La Zapotera Community Center
In Mexico we have a saying "Me acompañas?" This is what you ask a friend when you want them to just "be" with you or to accompany you on whatever errand or adventure you are heading toward. Today mi amigo Harvey Bernier asked me to acompañar/go with him to see the Food Program at the La Zapotera Community Center that we helped develop, along with the good people of La Zapotera.
At 10:30 a.m. we arrived at our destination to find a line of children waiting outside of the Community Center. They seemed patient and hungry as the breakfast program was about to begin.
Indoors the tables and chairs had been set up and the children who were assigned to serve that day were laying out fruit on each table.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m. the children filed into the Community Center to sign in for the meal.
Agua fresca de Jamaica at the ready, the children filed into the dining room
while the kitchen staff served happily.
Before each meal children are reminded to wash their hands.
Everything was done in an orderly manner...and the children, in the short time that they've had this program, seemed well versed in manners and politeness.
The food was appreciatively eaten with gusto.
At the end of the meal the children scrapped off their plates and placed them in bins to be taken to the kitchen to be washed. The scraps would go to feed farm animals in the local homes.
Then a most miraculous thing happened. The children started to clean up the dining room and to put away the tables and chairs....all on their own! Without anyone telling them what to do.
We were pleasantly surprised.
The children seemed to enjoy the chores and in a lickety-split moment, all the clean up was done.
In addition to the food program, the community center will also have a functioning bazaar or store soon. Talk of it being run as a token store was heard. Sonia is to head up this new venture.
The breakfast program is to feed 100 children, 3 times a week right now,
with expansion coming next week as the children start their new school year.
The need for more food grows as the children start heading back to school.
San Pedro Itzcian
Dental Hygiene Workshop
One of my goals this trip was to share with my friend Harvey the work that we've
been doing in the San Pedro Itzican area. As we arrived at the Brigadista home office
we were greeted by Doris Wakeman, who had brought Nikki and Henna to visit.
Nikki is a dental hygienist and she was going to talk about dental health
with the local children and Moms.
The children were both eager and shy, eventually trusting Nikki
to show them proper brushing techniques.
Our music teacher Yanin was also doing double duty as a translator for Nikki.
Moms were also shown proper brushing techniques for infants.
While Nikki worked with the kids and moms indoors, Henna (Dutch) took pictures of the kids outdoors.
The kids loved seeing their images instantly on Henna's camera.
Harvey & Henna
San Pedro Itzican
One of our on-going workshops is the music workshop. We've moved the workshop from La Pena to San Pedro Itzican, because most of the students live in this area and it is easier for them to attend.
The Brigadista plant nursery looked so inviting that our music teacher Gil decided to have the music class in the garden. Brigadista Xochitl was present to work on her guitar skills.
San Pedro Itzican
Medicinal Plant Nursery
You truly never know how what you say and do will inspire people. In a recent conversation with Brigadista Director, Anita Torres Guerrero, I mentioned that my Medicinal Plant Garden was also working as a food/herb garden. With this idea in mind, Anita decided to expand the San Pedro Nursery
into a medicinal plant garden as well.
When we arrived for our various workshops I saw the plants in the nursery
had been tagged and identified with their medicinal properties.
As it turned out a woman from the town came to us that day with need for assistance with a dental infection. We were able to prescribe mouth rinses and local plant remedies for her, as well as a possible visit to the the Tepehua Dental Clinic on Friday.
And as always, we continue our recycling efforts throughout the towns.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein, Physicist