Tuesday, Day 4

Empowerment – after another good breakfast we dispersed to our two sites. The construction crew drove to Cebadilla and chose their tasks, which consisted of:

• Digging dirt
• Stuccoing at the school
• Painting the school dining hall, inside and out
• Painting the salon and the church exterior
• Helping to prepare lunch
• Nailing new barbed wire to posts

Eduardo and I were sent to the crafts cooperative, where we were warmly greeted. The director, through an interpreter, told us the cooperative’s history beginning in 1982 with nine women. Now 90 women and men participate, working from their homes. The artisans bring their products to the coop and each worker prices the products. Husbands have overcome their distrust in this macho society, allowing their wives to leave their homes, speak up and make their own money. Amazingly, the artisans have become confident and proud of their work. Twenty-five percent of each sale goes to the coop, 10 percent into a savings account for each participant. Self-esteem has soared. The process of creating products is often the result of a one-to-one mentoring process.
Previous Global Volunteers have contributed greatly to the landscape – bravo! Just as the community has been supporting the coop, let us too show our support when we visit it.

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