Monday, February 15, 2010

SPA in Chimu

I have a student named Emelia that always lights up my days. This is the student I took to the Encuentro Juvenil. She's one of the top students in the school. She's a bit older than the other students. I'm not sure if she started school late or flunked at some point in primaria. Everytime I see her she gives me this huge hug or pokes my stomach and grabs my hand. Today she came up to me and we started talking about proyects for our school. This is another thing that sets her apart. Ever since we went to the Encuentro Juvenil, she has it transfixed that we have to do something about the garbage problem in Huehue. We've had to postpone any kind of activities because of the big problem with the mayor and the garbage. Oscar the Grouch, why did you have to screw everything up so badly? Lining our streets with trash. Baby diapers. Orange peels. Tamale leaves. We wanted to put up garbage cans in the community and signs with thought-provoking messages. But no one was picking up the garbage for months so it was useless to organize clean-up days, make garbage cans and paint signs if the garbage was just gonna overflow and pile up next to the garbage cans. Recently the EU with the help of some government agency put trash bins all over the casco urbano. A nice little duo of organic and inorganic. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if they were supposed to capacitar people in what the differences are. Because if you run into one of these in Huehue you'll see that people are using them but are putting the trash in whichever bin is closest. Today I went to lunch at my friend's house and her husband, our town's carpenter, started suggesting we do a project to clean up the community. There is a clear need for it. We are divided by the Interamerican Highway. People driving by fling out their garbage, making our town its new home. I've never been super proactive about the environment. I rather try to build a community center to bring this town together. Even though everyone in my town are the descendants of 3 main families, there's a lot of division. They need some conflict-res and team-building charlas. Too much division over creencias religiosas and infidelity. I fantasize about a small building with a computer room, a library and a salon. Tables for students to do their homework. To spend time together in a positive and safe setting. But there's no time. Unless...I extend. If we were to do this garbage project though, we'd need a SPA grant. There needs to be a community organization in charge of the project and the PCV is just there for apoyo. So I wouldn't be able to say...let's do this. But rather, I'd have to see what their needs are and what will actually benefit the community, principally the youth. And, will it work. In the words of Tim Gunn, "make it work." Gotta make it work. Gotta be sustainable. Or else, when its all over... nothing was done.

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