It’s been a few days since we’ve blogged, but today, Team 50 Phase 3 officially began! The other nine members of our team from Maps Credit Union arrived over the last three days, and we spent the weekend getting to know each other and doing some sight-seeing (Monte Alban and Atzompa.) This week, our team includes John and me, Susan, Wayne, and the Maps team: Jill, Paige, Joe, Bobbie, Tom, Barbara, Oscar, and Stephanie. It’s a really fun group of people, if I do say so myself! Everyone is really excited to be here, and their energy got us off to a good start.
We worked today at New Creation Kindergarten in Vicente Guerrero, the transient community near the Oaxaca city dump. Susan told us that she was down here about two years ago, and New Creation was nothing more than a plot of land and a giant boulder. Now, it is a full-fledged kindergarten with two classrooms, thirty-two students, and…a giant boulder. It has made a lot of progress, and by the end of the today, it looked even better.
Joe, Wayne, and Paige did amazing work enclosing a play structure that now has a roof, newly built and painted walls, and a sandy floor to play on. Bobbie and Stephanie worked with a local man named Pablo to build some bookshelves.
Barbara and Jill were masters with the paintbrush.
The rest of us floated around and helped level the floor for tomorrow’s concrete, haul dirt when the floor still wasn’t level, pound nails, and play with the kids. We worked hard out in the sun, but we certainly had fun!
One of our favorite memories from the day was five-year-old Rebecca, one of the kindergarteners, who changed her name every time she introduced herself. To Paige (who shall forevermore be referred to as Pagina, the Spanish word for page), she was Esmerelda. To Wayne, Esperanza. No matter her name, though, we all had fun playing with her and the other kids- London Bridge; Wolf, Are You Here?; Party-Cake, and more.
Tonight, we are meeting with a group called Fuentes Libres, which does microloans and other financing. Tomorrow, we’ll meet with some women who received loans from this group, and I’ll tell you all about it. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report!
From Oaxaca, adios!