GVI Live! July 2013, Lara
Last Monday I had the chance to venture further down the bumpy road we live on to visit the fishing village of Punta Allen. It was immediately clear that the lifestyle in Punta Allen is a simple one, however the people living there are some of the most welcoming, friendly people I’ve had the pleasure to meet since being here in Mexico. We go to Punta Allen for various reasons but mainly to help out with teaching the adults basic English along with topics such as recycling and to have a laugh with the children whilst hopefully introducing them to a few English words and maybe even picking up a bit of Spanish yourself.
On arriving we went straight to the fishing lodge hotel where Valeria (GVI Staff) and two volunteers, on this occasion Costa Rican Sammi and myself, teach some of the staff English providing the hotel isn’t fully booked. It turned out that due to it been the summer season the staff were rushed off their feet so didn’t have chance to attend the lesson that day. However there is always a plan B here so we went on a short walk to look over the Black Lagoon mangrove under the clear blue sky.
After tearing ourselves away from the expanse of fresh water we devoured some delicious empanadas, which were probably the best I’ve eaten since being here and then went to the library where a few ladies were waiting for us. We taught the ladies how to weave materials such as empty crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers into accessories so that they could sell them at markets etc and bring much needed money to their families.
Following that we rushed over to the playground to be greeted by 15 beaming faces all screaming whilst they charged towards us. We were helping the kids make papier-mâché pigs, or a cochinito in Spanish as I learnt that day. As you can imagine, excited children, glue and paint makes for a messy fun-filled afternoon and it was great to see the kids playing with their new pigs before the glue had even had chance to dry. It is blindingly obvious how much the community love Valeria and the teams she brings as on trying to leave the truck was stopped several time with people wanting to say bye and wish us a safe journey back to base. I had an awesome time in Punta Allen and I hope I get the chance to go back, and not just because of the empanadas.