Thursday, February 9, 2017

The ‘Gran Inauguración’ - The Learning Centre is Launched

Friday February 3 was the big day — the official opening of the ‘Centro de Aprendizaje La Casita’. Prep started at 6:00 am, when Olivia and Petrona, two members of the faithful Colectiva — the group of women who have acted as a board of directors over the past few years — arrived to fire up the stove and start cooking the rice for the tamales.

By 1:45 taped marimba music was tinkling from the sound system, bowls of guacamole and chips graced the tables, and invited guests were arriving. Nothing could start until the mayor arrived, but hey, he was only half an hour late, so at 2:30 the speeches started. Guatemalans can be pretty long-winded, but this time the speeches all seemed just right — filled with hope and optimism for the future of the Learning Centre.
Vicente, one of the school principals, brought out his guitar and got us all singing along to a ditty about San Antonio. The Mayor made a formal presentation of 3 new desktop computers and a printer.

(Below): Candelaria, our supervisor, Yesenia, our new coordinator, and Kathy, with the newly-installed computers (3 of them from the Mayor’s office, one donated from Canada), in the background.
The librarian from nearby Panajachel presented us with 2 bags of cast-off books (a mixed blessing). Kathy, Susan and Mary all got to practice their Spanish in front of the gathered guests. The ribbon was cut, and the 50+ guests were served plates of tamales and cups of tea. A great success, and wonderful to see all these people from different sectors of this oft-conflicted community working together and expressing shared support for the new Learning Centre.

 ¡Adelantemos! !Forward we go!

Posted by Susan

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