When vacation started this year in October, I wanted to try starting a girl’s group in a community called La Calera. La Calera is tiny with a thermoelectric plant and a little school, and I had a feeling that the girls there would be stuck at home every day when school let out. The idea was simple: meet twice a week in the afternoons and hang out. I kid you not, that was what I had in mind. Turns out we did lots of fun stuff (English classes, played TONS of basketball, made earrings ect.) It was a fantastic experience, these girls mostly speak K’iche’ and are very timid towards people from outside (aren’t we all?). Even though they already knew me from school it took time for them to really trust and include me. And that was a beautiful process.
This week we had an end of the year party! The GAD Committee (Gender and Development) of Peace Corps gave me funds (I love you guys!) to buy the materials. The main activity: decorate planting pots! Each girl painted her pot and then used marker to write her name on her pot. Then each girl had to write a complement on every pot. In the end we each had a pot with 13 complements on it. Ummm, precious? Why yes, yes it was!
When I explained the activity the girls said that they didn’t understand. Turns out those smarty pants just didn’t want to do it, but I insisted. I told the girls that the complements had to be about the girls’ character not her outward appearance. My pot is now one of my most prized processions. We then planted Dalia seeds and played basketball and ate delicious cake!
On the way out the door the girls told me that they want to continue next year: SCORE!