Coinciding with the first showers of the rainy season, Enlaces is embracing many changes to its agenda and its crew. We are reflecting upon serious life questions such as: what have we accomplished and what do we hope to accomplish in the coming months? How the heck do you get your laundry dry in Mexico between June and November? And what does it mean to be a volunteer for Enlaces?
With regard to this last question, we would like to update you on the comings and goings of some fabulous volunteers. In May we bid farewell to a well-intentioned and ambitious French engineer. In the four months he was here, Olivier touched the hearts of many of the children of Tecuanipan with his humor and soothing guitar serenades. Aside from helping with delegations, Olivier found his niche in the construction of a portable compost toilet – a project which he engineered and dedicated himself to for the duration of his term. The toilet will be utilized at the house in Cholula and on the new land in Tecuanipan once we become established there. Olivier says that he was truly inspired by his work here and he will take what he has learned here and apply it to his personal skill set. He returned to Germany to work but will seek new education and employment in green energy and social entrepreneurship. We thank Olivier for the physical and financial contributions he made to Enlaces Comunitarios.
Our dear friend and compañera, Cecilia, headed back to Maine last week after nearly 6 months in Mexico. Cecilia expressed her perspective on life here through her artwork. She took numerous occasions to share that perspective with the children in Tecuanipan through art projects in class as well as the construction and decorations of the baño seco. Cecilia served as a guide for a number of delegations and worked on sustainability projects both in Tecuanipan and Morelos. Her creativity and her warm heart will leave a footprint on us and the members of this community. Inspired by her work with Enlaces, Cecilia is considering returning to Mexico as a teacher in the fall, or applying for a Fullbright to teach art in Peru. Thanks Ceci – we’ll miss you!
Alternatively, we would like to welcome Maggie and Jay, two volunteers who will arrive at the end of June. Maggie is from Ithaca, NY and is going into her third year in English and International Relations at SUNY Geneseo. Motivated by a summer service trip to Kenya, Maggie wants to expand the options, knowledge and awareness created by service trips such as those offered by Enlaces. Maggie will be studying at a local university in Cholula for the semester in conjunction with volunteering for Enlaces to seek a more holistic and experiential college education. She is especially interested in helping with ESL programming in Tecuanipan. We welcome her with enthusiasm on June 25th!
Jay comes to us from Springfield, Massachusetts as a school guidance counselor. Jay decided to return to volunteer with Enlaces during his summer vacation after his experience as a trip leader in April. He will be here for one month to guide the delegations, help with the summer camp for the kids in Tecuanipan, and perhaps focus on physical education. He hopes to learn a bit of Spanish during his stay as well. Can’t wait to meet you, Jay!
I’m still here – Rachel Winner from Asheville, NC. I have taken over the blog now that Cecilia is back stateside. However, she offered to continue working for the complaint department, so send any negative feedback you may have to her. Next time I write, we should have a new team and new updates. I hope this post finds all of you in good health and high spirits. Provecho y Paz from Mexico!