2019 Youthlinc Real Life Refugee Scholarship Winners Youthlinc is pleased to announce a new…
Where do I even begin? Aside from our two sick team members, we have all been kept healthy so we can complete the jobs we came to do! We have been working on painting the mural so there is a little bit of everyone in it and we are all able to be super proud of the work we have put into it.. It adds so much color to their community and it seems like the villagers (and especially the children) are very excited about it!
Construction has been AWESOME. We have pretty much finished the trench and started pouring cement (along with some of the men in the village who are total PROS!) to finish up the well. Yesterday morning we also picked up lumber to build the bathroom (baño) with so that construction should start soon.
Also, I guess I should explain a little more about what the microenterprise group has been working on.. I have not completely understood it until last night`s meeting so I apologize for being so sketch about what they have been up to. Basically, they have been working hand in hand with the government`s microfinance group, Ban Chiapas, to find a way to help economically through giving out loans to those who could truly benefit from them in their businesses. As they met with multiple candidates, they chose a three-generation family who makes clothing to give the loan to so they could improve their business and therefore, their lives AND community. Yesterday a few people from the microenterprise committee visited their home and though they were unable to enter inside, they learned a lot simply from being around them. Each person who works on the clothes has a specific job, similar to an assembly line (if I am not mistaken!), and they all just want to help each other. They use homemade looms to aid in their projects using sticks and string tied around their waists. It is truly amazing! Every part of their yard is used to hold what they have or to make a living, rather than having a simple lawn. Whether it is used to house animals or plant crops, NOTHING goes to waste.
This week, the people of the village are in San Juan Chamula to celebrate their patron saint, San Juan. They have a huge celebration to honor him (which we will be going to today!), so nobody is actually in the village right now. However, we decided to strip the classroom walls of all posters, glued-on pictures, and pull all the desks away to wash and paint them — and believe me.. Those walls are SO dirty! We scrubbed and scrubbed but ended up having to paint over lots of dirt, as it was super caked on. We have not completely finished, though they look 100 times better already! A little girl who apparently did not go to the festival ran up to her classroom window and returned with the biggest smile I have ever seen.. All because we simply painted her classroom walls. What an amazing feeling. We really do have so much to give! Who knew the joy a painted wall could bring someone? The other children have not even seen the walls.. I cannot WAIT to see their little faces!
Honestly, I do not know how I am ever going to leave this place. I love it here SO much.. These people have touched my heart through their humility and happiness and I have honestly learned so much. I only wish everyone could have this experience! It is so, so amazing. We only have today, tomorrow, and Saturday left at the village, and today nobody will even be there, with the exception of our team! Tomorrow we will finish up our last little bit of teaching and Saturday we will hold our closing ceremonies, complete with our rendition of John Denver’s “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” and dancing a flash-mob to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” I am so glad to have had this experience and I am only going to enjoy and appreciate the time we still have here and go home with a greater understanding of life and what I have and why happiness has nothing to do with materialistic things. Ahh, I love it here.