Sowing the Future in the Land of Contrasts

by Laura ⌂ @, Monday, June 05, 2017, 13:20 (323 days ago)

Hello Everyone!

What better time (the tumultuous) and place (paradise perceived as partly under siege) to call attention to something beautiful where you can participate and contribute to positive solutions - projects that sow seeds with our children for a good future through educational support and community shared positive activities!

There are a number of excellent projects now in our extended Zihua area and I encourage everyone to find one or more to connect with. Rob has been so generous to give this venue to inform people and to make connections for this purpose here on this message board and through his own work with Lupita in direct support of local projects.

The Children's Library Project of Barra de Potosi is among them. We've been quiet in recent years in giving updates. So here's an update we are excited about! We will reopen in a week with new full time volunteer teachers! Patty Sullivan and Mitchell Thorpe have already worked hard in their first week including making a way for all to contribute to this resurgence of the library! We hope to once again find the amazing caring and generosity of those in this board community to be part of our project.

First for background about the Chidren's Library...this vid can give you an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BfBVmuSDgs&t=163s

The Children's Library Project of Barra has been providing a place for our children to get help with homework, nurture reading and art, take home books, learn many things and interact in a fun positive way with our many volunteer teachers and workshop givers from all over the world for almost 20 years. We are a legally incorporated civil association made up of local village residents, providing free services to the children of our community and their families. The program has included after school classes, art and fun activities, environmental education, state of the art lending library, teacher support in our local schools (in the form of in-class teacher aides and English classes as well as collection and distribution of donated school and art supplies and books.

We have done this in an entirely volunteer basis with no organized funding source (either governmental or foundation) but through pure word of mouth and social media communication (largely on this board through the past years). This is a real testament to the power of caring neighbors and friends in an extended community blending countries and cultures in a tourism/local context. [image]

Many have taken the trouble to personally bring supplies in a visit to the library, whether a bag of pencils or multiple suitcases filled with amazing art and study supplies. Many have donated their time and talents giving workshops on a topic of interest or helped as tutors or painting murals or working in our garden with the children. It has been a wonderful collaboration bringing together the children and families of Barra de Potosi with visitors from diverse backgrounds, languages and countries, each learning from the other and having a lot of fun together![image]

We believe it is just this sort of collaborative positive interaction supporting the education of our children and breaking false perceptions that will sow seeds of peace for the kind of future we all want to see.

In recent years at the Library, we have been struggling a bit and our program has been much reduced due to lack of volunteer teachers. (Regulars on this board may have noticed perhaps a certain absence of library news....lol). Sadly for us, the wonderful volunteer teacher program based in Europe, on which we relied heavily throughout the years for our full time volunteer teachers has been impacted by the perception of insecurity in our area. This perception arises out of the current situation in our state and our neighbor state of Michoacan involving drug trafficking cartels and government intervention. It is partially based on fact but amplified and distorted through the lens of distance and fear.

Mexico is the Land of Contrasts...also in this. Truth about the state's complex cartel situation lives together with truth of the amazing peace and serenity with which we live in Barra de Potosi. Truth is a delicate balance of influence creating possibilities of where a child might grow, the kinds of choices they might see and make. We are all participants in creating this.

With periods of no teachers or few part time teachers, we have struggled. But still we have kept the library alive in full faith in an eventual resurgence. We have had periods of being closed and periods being open with a reduced schedule, thanks to some wonderful volunteer teachers from other sources we've been blessed to have with us. We were open with a reduced schedule 7 months last year and so far, 3 months this year. [image]

We are so happy now to announce that we have these two wonderful talented volunteer teachers who will be with us working full time in the library for an extended period of time. Welcome to Mitchell Thorpe and Patty Sullivan!

Mitchell and Patty are certified teachers of English, have a good start on Spanish, are fantastic with the children and are loaded with skills of all kinds. We are so grateful to them for the commitment of their time and energy at the library! We are excited to plan for a new chapter of life at the library and the children are especially excited and happy to have their library open and thriving again!

In the short time since their arrival Patty and Mitchell have already done so much! Besides an amazing amount of physical labor in clean up and organizing, they have also made a way friends can help get the library back in working order with donations... a fundraising page on gofundme!

So we return now to this community here at Rob's message board to give you our news and to invite the generous and caring among you who would like to be part the library to join us. I will also write out the links below with info about the library and a way you can help us sow seeds of a positive future in the land of contrasts. [image]

I send our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of you who have formed the motor of support for this project through the years and all who will in some way do so with us into our shared future. Many thanks!!

facebook: Children's Library Project of Barra de Potosi

Please feel free to contact me, Patty or Mitchell with any questions, ideas, donations other than the gofundme page (such as of materials or direct labor) interest in offering a workshop or joining us for a bit of volunteering in some way I haven't mentioned. We will be happy to welcome your participation. Many thanks!

Hasta pronto,
for Children's Library Project of Barra de Potosi
Niños Encantados A.C.

Casa del Encanto B&B
Barra de Potosi

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