Friday, May 20, 2011

At the Campesino

Last night the fiesta came to our neighborhood of El Sauce.  We had time to enjoy the music and get a little sense of the culture in the dancing.  It proves to be an interesting contrast to everyday life here.  If you were so inclined you could also find almost any "typical food" and lots of games of chance.  It is sort of like a North American street festival on steroids.  We didn´t stay too late, though, as the crowd tends to get a bit rowdy as the evening wears on.  It was easy to enjoy the music from the live bands throughout the neighborhood, however, and far into the night!!  

Since many of our work places closed today for the grand fiesta, we took the opportunity to visit a small pueblo in the country called, La Bomba, a funny name for a town as it means bomb in Spanish.  When we return next week, we should ask why it has that name.  About 35 families live in the community which was originally displaced by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.  About 4 or 5 years ago, the government finally gave the community some land on which to build their homes, but did not include land for farming, which had been their primary livelihood before the storm.  Now they try to eke out a living with such enterprises as making bread for the local towns, but find it difficult to make enough to even purchase new supplies let alone make a profit.  Some of the homes, built by a church community, consist of cinder block walls and a tin roof, while others are made of a sort of mud and wattle brick between wooden sticks with a tin or wooden roof.  I am not at all certain that I would want to be in one of those mud houses during the rainy season.  All the homes have earthen floors.

Someone also built them a school room and they sometimes have a teacher, but not always.  Our work today consisted of painting the walls of the school room and sanding down some second (or maybe fourth)-hand desks in preparation for painting when we return there next week.  It turned out to be hot-dusty work, but we stayed in good spirits, sometimes entertained by some of the sixty five children who live in the community.   The older children assisted us with our sanding. 

Tomorrow we will go to the dump to meet with a woman who serves as a sort of unofficial "mayor" of the dump community.  She will welcome us into her home, tell us a little of her life and answer any questions we have about the community.

After that we will have time to enjoy some of the delights of fiesta day, but nightfall will find us back at the school building for a fiesta party of our own -- complete with barbeque and dancing. 

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