Last Tuesday, on International Children’s Day, we asked the 11 construction workers who have been working on the land, to invite their families for an afternoon of activities hosted by the team here at Project Somos. We had no idea what to expect as this was our first opportunity to host a party. To our surprise 35 children showed up including some children from the village whose fathers weren’t even involved in the project. The energy was incredible.
We started off the afternoon with a tour of the first house, explaining what Project Somos is about, and what the charity is hoping to do in Guatemala. The children were completely engaged in activities, and enjoyed making clay hearts with the same soil that is used to build the houses, planting cilantro into sectioned bamboo sticks, and filling plastic bottles with plastic to make eco-bricks. At the end of the day, we had each family pose for a photo in front of the house, which we will then present to them this weekend on Father’s Day.
For me the highlight of the day was when a few mothers approached me and said, “muchos gracias,” followed by a huge smile, hug, and then a kiss on the cheek. I found out later that for many, this was the first time that they have ever been invited to a community event such as this. Building relationships and getting to know the community is such an important aspect for Project Somos, and I am proud to be part of it.
I am definitely looking forward to more community events and parties before I leave Guatemala. There is nothing sweeter than a group of laughing and smiling children, and I want to capture these moments before my time here ends.