Today was the first morning we woke up from El 20. Sleeping in our hammocks was way more comfortable than thought and we woke up to the soft sounds of the birds around us in the jungle. They were so many and sometimes very loud too, but it made us realize that we really are in a remote community in the middle of the jungle.
We were served a delicious breakfast and afterwards started to plan our first introductory workshop. We split into pairs and visited the community house to house, inviting them to join our workshop. Many people weren’t home, but nevertheless we talked to many families. As the journey is just beginning it was also a nice way to get to know El 20 and present ourselves. The community is so warm-hearted and welcoming.
Before lunch we designed our workshop more carefully and made some preparations for it. The day was very hot and humid. At lunch we really realized that some energy was indeed needed. Then the rain came. It felt like it washed away any worries concerning the upcoming workshop and simply freshened the air. The hot pressuring air moved away and exchanged to a light breeze that was more than welcomed.
We had our first own announcement before the workshop. In El 20 they have the habit of announcing different things from a loudspeaker that can be heard in all the community, including the surrounding fields. Our announcement was accompanied with a nice song, which made us all laugh so hard. By the time of the workshop only two people came and while talking to them we decided to wait for more people. Maybe because of the rain maybe for other reasons not so many came after all. We had our workshop anyway and it went very well. The ones who came were interested in our projects and willing to take walks in the community with us the upcoming days. There were many children present and a lot of attention was driven to them while discussing. Also the children were very keen to participate in our walks. The kids of the community have been very open toward us and it has been very easy to communicate with them. There is a strong feeling of connecting to the community through the children, which has been very valuable.
The day ended with a nice hang out between the team and some locals, an ever so good dinner and our daily diary session in the evening. After today we are left with more knowledge of the community, new encounters and motivation to pursue our project.
Pictures by Rosa Haukkovaara