I want to do this in El Paredon, Guatemala. I’ve talked to the creators of this amazing project in Puebla, colectivo tomate and to the village committee in El Paredon. All we need is the ££ to make it happen. If you’d like to be involved, get in touch.
This weekend, I went to the OTHER Hawaii – what you haven’t heard of it?!
A village 2 hours south of us. We took our surf boards, squashed into, on top of mini buses and tried to surf but were the only ones. The waves swelled slowly, breaking hard too close to shore. Nice view from our hotel though.
A fab chica called Alice I met a few months ago lives in Hawaii.
She, like Carla and I, is into community development and sustainable tourism. She started volunteering for a turtle organization, built a house and now does multiple projects in the area. She introduced me to some cool people who can potentially collaborate with La Choza Chula. At the hotel Hawaiin Paradise, I sold 4 products to the owner, who will see how sales go and potentially buy more stock within the month. These are the things we sold:
Ligia, the lovely Colombian owner of Hotel Honolulu met us next, who loved our project and is keen for us to start something similar in Hawaii and also ask our surfer friends to run classes for tourists there.
Finally we went to ARCAS, a turtle nursery and animal sanctuary which hosts many international volunteers.
Glenda and Willy who work there are great and we plan to run an exchange day of making things from recycled products. These are some earrings Glenda made, weaving round tin can pulls.
Monterrico was our last spot, heaving on Saturday night with party people from the city. It felt intense but at least we found El Gecko where we could cook our own fresh shrimps and chill in their nice living area.
And, as always, it was great to return to El Paredon…..
I’m so glad we made the 2-day trek to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead at the beginning of this month.
Bright yellow flowers
Cemeteries filled with buzz and beauty
Guitar music, soulful songs
Taco stands, skeleton faces of all ages
Drums and trumpets and dancers
And alters to the dead filled with
Things they liked – apples, chicken mole, Corona beer
Skull paintings made of coloured sand
And street food steaming
Once a year, it is a chance for family members to decorate the graves of and remember their loved one, chat about them to other family members and even strangers. I spoke to a woman whose niece had died from cancer aged 5. Her grave bore a princess castle, sweets she liked. Her auntie proudly showed me photos. Both our eyes filled with tears. A chance to share.
Oaxaca. Hmmmm. A city to fall in love with. Things work. The food is delicious. There is culture. Contemporary art. Music. Good bars.
And I went to the coast – to Puerto Escondido – where my eyes were opened at the wonderful Buena Onda hostal where the wonderful twin owners there each spend 6 of every 18 months travelling and make it work.
And I went snorkeling with a life guard, underground with some eco-builders, cuddled a Jehovah’s witness on a bus, ate the best fish tacos of my life and invited 4 separate wonderful people to El Paredon, who all arrived on the same day.
And made a fabulous new friend, David, from San Francisco, who volunteered repairing bikes at the fascinating MayaPedal and whose friend Kirsten is going to try and find some outlets for our jewellery in coffee shops in The Bay Area.