Last Saturday morning we hosted our first official community meeting in our new and beautiful community hall. We’d handed out invitations to the moms of Chivarabal on the last day of school back in October.
As always, we had no idea how many people would show up. The morning was an interesting combination of sunshine and a misty rain. About 125 people arrived and filled the Community Hall. We had borrowed 50 chairs and gathered all the benches on site but still did not have enough for everyone to sit. (hence, our Holiday Campaign call for table and chairs).
Greg, Susan, Antolin and I presented. Greg welcomed everyone, I shared the vision and then Susan and Antolin took on the “meat” of the meeting. They talked about the importance of education, how we want to offer opportunities to children, how we want to share our growing library collection and playground with the local kids on a more formal basis. We will offer a library time or playground visit each week.
Something that created much buzz was our announcement that we will start to host movie nights in the Community Hall! Thanks to our generous donors, we now have a projector that will be used in the Community Hall! Families can now come and enjoy movie night together in this small Highland “theatre” of Guatemala!
After the meeting, all were invited up to play in the playground and to visit beyond the walls of the Children’s Village. For the majority of the adults, they had not been on site before. The women were intrigued with our garden and I had such a sweet time wandering around it with them and talking about the various vegetables and herbs growing.
The kale created a buzz as it absolutely dominates our garden (at close to seven feet high!). We have only ever seen kale as a decorative plant in one of the nurseries in Guatemala. It is not known by many or widely eaten in this country. I asked if anyone wanted to take some home to try. All were very excited as I shared bunches of curly kale leaves with them. They asked how to best to prepare it so we had a discussion about the ways I like to cook it. It was just so sweet and so normal – women chatting about food and recipes together.
Greg has been gathering and saving the kale seeds and I had a moment of inspiration-to offer the women some seeds to take home and plant! They were so excited about this idea and enquired how best to plant and care for their kale plants.
All in all, it was an amazing time with everyone. It’s an ongoing process to build relationship with the local community and I believe we are on track…