June 5, 2012 7:19pm
Today was supposed to be our first day of doing service learning in Yambiro but due to the community celebration of a children’s day, we were unable to teach them class. The children were busy partaking in festivities further up the mountain.
Earlier in the day, I was updated on the current situation in Yambiro. The new community president is Blanca, the first women to be a community leader in Yambiro. This is exciting news and the scholarships (Premio de Beca) for Viviana and Nancy and future recipients are helping to create future female leaders in the community. Blanca is a positive step to show the other women of the community what they can accomplish. Sadly, there were recently two deaths in the community so things have been moving slowly due to the organization of funerals and mourning. Our philosophy with the Yambiro Project is to work in concert with the community. So the directors met with the community leaders last night and asked them what projects, they wanted us to help out with. After discussing the needs of the community, the top priorities of Yambiro are a Water Distribution Project and Greenhouse Project.
As for the Water Distribution Project, the Ecuadorian government helped replace the water pipe in the community but the pipe is small and breaks from the pressure. The pipe provides water to several communities in the area and is not reliable. The community wants to replace the pipe so the rest of the community will have reliable access to water. The estimate of project without factoring in the cost of an engineer was almost $5,000. Both the Project and the community do not have the funds to allow this project to happen but the community leaders will decide on whether or not they want to proceed with the Water Distribution project by Wednesday night.
Another concern of the community is the problem of parasites. The doctor at the Jambi Huassi Medical Clinic will be coming up to the community to examine the children and possibly the adults if funds allow. Money is an issue. There will possibly be an intervention with women and educating them on how to encourage boiling water to kill the parasites.
The Greenhouse Project has been a priority but the water project is more important. The water transport system may cost more than is available in funds and the Greenhouse Project may be put into motion instead. During the meeting with the community leaders, there was constant gratification for allowing us to work with the community and for them working with the us for the last three years especially thanking Patricia Bolanos, who wasn’t able to attend this year due to illness in the family.
As for the Women’s Coop, the leaders believe that it is providing good work for the community and there will be two more women joining the cooperative this year. There will now be eight women partaking in the embroidering of items. Tomorrow morning will be a big market day, I will be purchasing the rest of the items that the women will be embroidering. The women will need to fill out a Tax Withholding Form and I will be paying them for the items that they completed over the past year. I will also be distributing out the items that they will be embroidering while we are here in the next couple of weeks. If there is enough time, I want to interview the women to update the biographies that we have on record, but that probably won’t happen until next week. Yayyy! Busy day tomorrow!!!
After coming back from Yambiro, I went on a walk with a group of the students and we got some helado, some brownis, petted some perritos, and ate some pie. Then, we went to dinner at a small family-owned Mexican restaurant near the marketplace. Afterwards, we tasted sheep meat, colada morada and had a few empanadas. Today was the first day of class for the Gender and Culture class so I spent my time sending emails, journaling, and updating Xcel sheets while most of the other students were in class. Buenos noches! Tomorrow is going to be a huge day for the Yambiro Project!