Over the past month we have been filling out 'organizational matrices' to keep track of our goals throughout the next quarter for each of our programs. While we still have awesomely solid programs like children's Art and English classes in full swing, we also have many new initiatives and enhanced programs that are well worth pointing out...
Generally speaking: We've started calling our building space Centro de Manna to encompass everything that we offer, including the library, teen center, and third floor space used for Women's exercise, classes, and future preventative health center.
Library: We have $1,000 of new books !!! We're also in the process of reallocating the library space to focus on our goals of appealing to more adults and encouraging reading.
Education: We have a new adult English class in Barrio Rumiñahui, lead by Chet and Mike. We also added a world studies class, connecting South American-focused geography with natural science and environmental issues.
Teen Center: Shawn, Mike, and Erik are working on attracting more teens to bi-weekly movie nights and special monthly events, with a Valentine's day party coming up.
Women's Exercise: Haley/Jillian Michaels, with help from the other health constituents, added a new Wednesday morning class and is working on giving workshops to dedicated attendees who are interesting in helping lead exercise in the future.
Microfinance: Erik and Chet are designing a survey to get to know the small businesses in the community and assess the feasibility of creating a network between them.
Agriculture/Environment: Jackie is working on monthly AG charlas, composting and rain barrel workshops, and monthly field trips for kids to explore the great outdoors.
Nutrition: Krysta is working with local school Aliñambi on a project that includes community based nutrition education, cooking classes, and an agricultural aspect to connect participants to where their food comes from.
Preventative Health: We've been buying and setting up our Centro kitchen (expect pictures soon and a huge thank you to all of our donors!). Sarah, Sonia and Shawn have been working with the Conocoto Ministry of Health on planning the center and finding future staffing.
Mingas: Erik is working with local government officials on setting up public trash bins in Rumiloma, as well as other community projects such as potentially building a a local bridge.
Phew! - I know that's a lot of information, and you're probably feeling like you want to dip your toes deeper into our refreshing pool of community development. But don't you worry because we're about to embark on a new chapter of guest blogs. First up, Haley Booe tomorrow - this will be a special one, folks... I've heard already heard it rehearsed in the living room!
We also promise to go into more depth about these projects as they progress, and if there's anything you're dying to hear more of, holler at us!