Thursday, January 29, 2015

Safe Stove Material Delivery in January

Text and Photos by Lily Bodinson

In November we conducted stove interviews for families in Llanos del Pinal interested in getting involved in our Safe Stove Project. The result was seven new families that are getting stoves in the upcoming weeks and months! 

However, before we can start building the stoves, we have to pick up all of the materials from La Democracia market and other vendors and deliver them to Llanos.  

Bright and early on a January morning, Safe Stove Project families, Pop Wuj staff, and student volunteers met at the school to walk over to La Demo.

La Demo market as seen from the back of the delivery truck
The first stop was meeting up with the truck and picking up the stove tops and chimneys from a ferreteria (hardware store).

The inside of the truck after picking up the stove tops, chimneys, and other metal parts
Second stop - bricks! We were lucky to have so many volunteers for delivery day because it made loading the truck with bricks a whole lot easier and faster. We also loaded up bags of barro, which is the clay we use instead of cement on the inside of the stove.

Filling bags with clay
Third stop - cement! We picked up the bags of cement on our way to Llanos.

With the families and staff in the truck

Final stop - Llanos del Pinal! Due to the narrow, bumpy roads/paths, we had to stop the truck on the main road and form a long chain to pass materials to each of the houses. It was quite an efficient system and everyone pitched in and put in effort to make the delivery a smooth process.

Setting up the chain/brigade to pass the materials

Using a chain to delivery the materials

Thanks to all of the families and volunteers that came out for delivery day! We couldn't have done it without everyone's help!

More to come on stoves!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Registration and Painting Progress at the Family Support Center

Text and Photos by Amy Scheuren

The Family Support Center is set to open on Tuesday, January 27th.  We completed registration on Friday afternoon and we have 40 children and youth signed up for 2015.   Our oldest is 19 and our youngest just turned 2 last week!

Carmencita registering families in the freshly painted classroom
I can't wait to see all of the kiddos after over a month of holidays and travel to the U.S.!  I wish today were Tuesday.

Now, for the pictures of Friday's work.

Gustavo in the fog, touching up the paint from the roof

Lety, Carmelina, and the zócalo

And the inside:
Some of the moms helping to clean and paint

Doña Laura

And the tree is still standing!

Ingrid and Amy, two happy little ladies
We're looking forward to a fantastic year of activities in Llanos.  Let the relajo begin!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Work in Progress: January at the Family Support Center

Everything seems to be a work in progress.  Here are some before and in-progress photos at the Family Support Center.

Scraping the old paint off the the front of the Family Support Center

Machetes can be used for anything!

Gordito and Amy, not working all that hard
La Bajita:  The lower stove with its new cement chimney

La Alta: We use this stove to prepare lunch for 40 participants plus staff everyday. 
It's finally time to replace the plancha/metal cook top.

Sad swings

The main part of the playground equipment
Even poor Canche is looking worse since we last saw him in December

Finally, the very dry, dry-season state of the garden
We have a lot of work to do, but it will all come together and we'll open to the children and youth next week!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

El Año Nuevo: Starting the New Year at the Family Support Center

The staff of the Family Support Center as well as Pop Wuj staff met on Friday January 16 to begin the work of 2015.  We came together to discuss logistics and planning, but also to start fresh with a staff development activity and the lighting of colored candles.

L-R: Gustavo, Lety, Doña Laura, Carmelina, and Doña Delfina

L-R: Carmelina, Doña Delfina, Doña Silvia, Carmencita, and Santos

This week we are starting to clean, paint, and organize the site.  We will also have two days of registration for the families.  We expect to open our doors to the children and youth on Monday January 26, 2015.

Just a few of the new additions to the Family Support Center library--especially for the grandes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Photography Results: The Best of the Best!

In November, the older participants at the Family Support Center attended photography workshops offered by Voces de Cambio, a Xela youth development program that focuses on writing and photography.

Each of our participants selected their favorite photos for printing and chose what they considered their best photo.  I asked each one to remember what we learned in the workshops, including the rule of thirds, lighting, the perspective of the camera, etc. in selecting their best photo.  Here are the results!

Photo by Angelica, "I used the rule of thirds.  You can see some of the dirt, but the focus is on the flower."

Photo by Brandon

Photo by Damaris

Photo by Carolina

Photo by Maria, "It looks like a sun with something behind it.  It's like a flower."

Photo by Carmencita, "I placed the flowers together.  I liked the colors."

Photo by Luisa, "It's an abstract photo.  I liked the colors."

Photo by Gaby, "I like how the branches are."

Photo by Jaqueline

Photo by Jenny, "He's working an honest job and not stealing."

Photo by Selvin

Photo by Erick, "It reminds me of the balcony in Romeo and Juliet."

Photo by Yesica, "This is something that's important for the country."

Photo by Cristobal, "It has a good perspective.  I only wanted a photo of the garden
and I wasn't thinking about the reflection of the glass."

Photo by Lesly

The following photos were also very good photos, but not selected by the young photographers as their best work.

Photo by Carmencita

Photo by Cristobal

Photo by Erick

Photo by Lesly

Photo by Yesica

Photo by Carolina "Vista de rana"

Photo by Carolina

Photo by Carolina

Photo by Carolina
An all too familiar sight in Xela, Photo by Damaris

Feliz Navidad!  Photo by Damaris

Autoretrato/selfie, Photo by Damaris
Photo by Gaby

Photo by Gaby

Photo by Luisa

Photo by Maria

Amazing Perspective, Photo by Cristobal