Today was an important day. We started off the morning like any other, with the wake up call and breakfast, and started up the academic seminar. This time, we discussed aid and development, and what the government has been doing so far in giving away all this money to different countries. After that, we had a guest speaker, Mitchell Lincoln, come to the hostel to tell us about his non-profit organization called Quetzaltrekkers, an organization that takes people on hikes up on volcanoes to slide down them after they get to the top, which we will actually be experiencing in a few weeks from now. Since they’re a non profit organization, they donate all the money that they get. Since we need money for our community action project, they have agreed to donate money so the group has the opportunity to pay for the supplies that we need to help Barriletes, a daycare and also preschool that’s located in a neighborhood that isn’t that great.
After lunch we were able to have the opportunity to visit Barriletes and Dona Maria, who is the lady who started it all. Barriletes is different compared to other schools and daycares. Dona Maria has about 100 students attending the school and about 40 kids who come to the facility, that’s owned by the mayor, for daycare. Some of the parents don’t come home until maybe 6 pm, so these kids stay at Barriletes until they pick them up, if they pick them up. Some times the parents leave their kids there and go off to Peru or another place in hopes to be able to find a good paying job and then take their kid back so they have a good stable place, but a lot of the time this doesn’t happen. Sometimes, parents that leave their kids at the daycare may not come back for them, leaving them as orphans at such a young age. Barriletes isn’t perfect and definitely has some things that we could do for them, like repainting the murals on the walls, getting the kids more toys, and maybe paying for the 6 students that have yet to wear a uniform during their preschool hours. Dona Maria also mentioned how she needs to install a water fountain, because 2 water fountains for 100 students doesn’t suffice. Another thing is that there’s a huge hole at the front of the yard and a lot of the time trash is left in the hole and sometimes the kids trip and fall into this hole, so hopefully we will be able to find a way to be able to fill up the hole so it doesn’t cause any more harm to anyone. After we learned about Barriletes, we came home and went to dinner. During our nightly seminar I had the opportunity to pass the torch to the next person or people who will be the leaders the next day- Jahred and Reginald. For the talent display that all new leaders must put on, these two hooligans had the bright idea of polishing off a whole watermelon in 2 minutes in which they failed miserably. It started with everyone cheering them on but half way in they started choking on watermelon seeds, dripping watermelon juice all over their shoes and pants, and by the end of it, Reginald blew watermelon chunks all over the floor. Even though they weren’t able to finish the watermelon in the certain time given, they certainly gave it their all and I passed the torch to them because at least they tried. They get a gold star in my book.
Today was an experience in which I don’t think I will ever forget. From all the laughs that we shared today, the thunderstorms scaring the wits out of everyone, our new pet lizard named Larry that room 6 and I own, to learning about how Dona Maria has these necessities in order to hold a stable daycare for all these children, and the schools around her didn’t even bother to help her. This put a spotlight on how truly good we all have life back home and I can’t wait to be able to start up the community action project, because I think right now is the biggest time in which we can make a difference in someone’s life. I think everyone back home reading the blog should be absolutely proud of all these members who make up Global Glimpse Leon 2 and how much work they are about to put into this project.