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¨The miracle is not to fly through the air or to walk on water, but to walk on the earth.¨ -Thich Nhat Hahn
THURSDAY, AUGUST 19th
We haven´t even been here three full days and already we have been received with incredible hospitality by the local community. A Catholic parish granted us the use of their ¨Casa Parroquial¨ or Parish House, which consists of a 2nd-story open-air, thatched palapa hut where we have pitched tents for the week and taken in the immaculate view from the church bell-tower.
High up in the church belltower.
Andrew, Pete, Katrina and Erin setting up our tents for the week.
Views of Rio Grande.
Eduardo taking in the view of Rio Grande.
One family in particular has opened both their home and their lives to us. Javier aka ¨El Profe¨ and his wife Susi are a remarkable couple, both professors here in Rio Grande and active in promoting eco-consciousness. Their house itself is worthy of an eco-tour… mango, papaya, coconut, lime and various fruit trees I have never seen before provide food and shade in both the front and back yards. For El Profe, anytime is a good time to machete-open a coconut for visitors and family…
His wife, Susi!
While our group was enjoying the coconuts that El Profe and Susi had prepared for us this afternoon, their niece brought over a 2-day old baby goat. Their family´s property next door is an urban farm, home to goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, geese, pigs, parrots and the usual dogs and cats.
Hana with 2-day old baby goat.
El Profe Javier is the Director of a primary school here in Rio Grande and his care for the environment was evident as we toured the school. All over campus there are sets of waste bins labeled ¨Organic¨and ¨Inorganic.¨ For all inorganic waste, there is a very small dumpster sitting next to a rather large compost pile where all the organic waste goes. At the time we saw the dumpster, it was full, but from last SCHOOL YEAR´s worth of waste. Not much inorganic waste at all. Students are not allowed to bring disposable waste to school, for example
chip bags or plastic bottles.
chip bags or plastic bottles.
El Profe´s school.
As a daily reminder of the importance of caring for the earth, students painted a mural on one wall of the campus. It is symbolic in that the future of the earth is in our hands.
The kids are the future of the world. This is the reason why we have to educate them with values of conserving the natural environment; this is the only way that life on our planet can be sustained.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD´S WORLD, BUT DON´T JUST THINK ABOUT IT AND REFLECT ON IT…MAKE IT HAPPEN ALREADY!¨
One way that the community of Rio Grande is ¨making it happen already¨is through a weekly day of community service. Both students and adults alike take one day out of the week to do a form of community service. Doctors may volunteer their medical services, while El Profe´s students may clean up trash at a nearby hiking trail. Several weeks ago, over 300 parents showed up at El Profe´s school as a day of service to paint and prepare the premises for the new school year. This weekly community service day is a cultural tradition that both lowers overall taxes for the community as well as reflects the spirit of community collaboration that is so prevalent here in Rio Grande.