I wasn’t looking forward to another set of churches and pretty buildings so I decided to skip that altogether and volunteer in a children’s center instead. So, this morning I did a bit of research and headed to the centre that’s only a short walk from the hostel.
I read about it in the Lonely Planet guide book, and then came across a lady’s blog describing her experiences with the centre.
I went there and asked if I could help with something and that I had two days. They immediately told me they needed help in the kitchen. So, I spent most of the day with Juanita (the cook) washing/drying dishes, serving lunch, helping out with the cooking. Juanita showed me how to make agua de jamaica.
Then later that day I was joined by an Australian girl and a New Zealand lady. They left after lunch but I stayed and got to talk to the children a bit. That’s when I also met a couple of Dutch people.
I spent most of the time talking to a teenager called Marco, who was rather cheeky, not to say rude at times. Anyhow, it was an experience. The reality of doing good is not nearly as glamorous as we think. I willbe spending another day with them tomorrow, helping in the kitchen and later anging out with the kids, making Christmas cards.
A bit more about the project. It was founded by Jodi Bauman in 1985 and it’s aim is to help the Triquis – the poorest indigenous people in the Oaxaca region.
The center operates through sponsosr, mainly from Western countries, who take care of a child’s school expenses. The center also looks for volunteers and donations. Another part of the expenses is covered by a German NGO.
The center has a dining area, which is visited by roughly 70 kids per day; a clinic, operated by a volunteer; and a nursery for the younger siblings of the ponsored children.
One has the opportunity to sponsor a child throughout school which only costs bout $150 per year.
To be continued…
I left the center at 4pm, got some food and thought I could have a look around. As expected churches, gardens, pretty buildings, bustling artesanias markets, intresting indigenous people. Charming pedestrian streets, full of life.
The highlight of tonight’s walk is Templo de Santo Domingo. One of the most beautiful churches I have seen. If not the most beautiful one. It looked more like a palace on the inside than a church. Rich gold carvings and scultures covering the walls and the ceiling. I overheard a guide saying that it is one of the most beautiful curches on the continent. I am glad I took tat walk, even if it’s just to see the church.
I walked through a market street that was so low, even I couldn’t walk through without bending. The women wore beautifully hand-woven red robes dotted with yellow, orange and green. The artesanias are goregeous. There’s everything from little wooden turtles that move their heads to luxurious, expensive jewelery. I would buy so much if I could carry it with me. For now I’m ony buying little dolls dressed like the indigenous from te different regions.
I wanted to see a traditional dance performance but it didn’t happen so I ended up going to a free cinema to see a very weird movie.