How is this week flying by so quickly?!
Today, we began with breakfast and then a lesson in making tortillas on a wood-burning eco stove. It’s a good thing we did an ok job, as the tortillas we made were part of our lunch later in the day!
After tortilla-making, we met the women of Cosiendo Esperanza (Stitching Hope). These talented and business-savvy women dye their own fabrics and then use them to create beautiful clothing, bags, stoles, and more. They also sew high quality school uniforms and sell them at reduced prices throughout the sectors of Chacraseca so that parents are better able to afford their kids’ school expenses.
This week, the women of Cosiendo Esperanza are under a deadline on the uniforms because school begins on Monday. In order to help them, our job was to dye t-shirts in bright colors so that they can use them for screen printing and then sell them. They taught us the dyeing technique and then let us at it — this saved them half a day of work, and we had a great time. We also purchased some of their gorgeous inventory, and some of our own quilters spent time discussing techniques and equipment with them via the excellent translation of our friends Francis and Juan.
After lunch, we went into Leon to meet with Kara, who is Program Director for Just Hope. She taught us about the history, purpose, and projects of Just Hope, and she helped us to process some of what we’ve learned this week. She also helped us to begin thinking of ways we can continue to build this partnership after we return home to Missouri. When it was time for her to go to a meeting, we got in the van and headed to the ocean for some time at the beach.
It was wonderful to walk along the beach and wade in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. We wandered, collected shells, and took lots of pictures. Then we ate a magnificent (and VERY reasonably priced) dinner of fish, shrimp, and lobster at the seaside restaurant. On the way back to Chacraseca, Juan Pablo stopped the van so we could look at the stars — without the light pollution of the city, it was quite a sight!
Now we’re winding down and getting ready for bed. It’s been a great day, and we’re excited to see what tomorrow will bring. ¡Hasta mañana!