FIELD REPORT – YUCATAN, MEXICO
Throughout the summer, AMIGOS participants complete CBIPs, or Community-Based Initiative Processes. They worked closely with local youth and community members on a collaborative project. The project leadership team from the Yucatan sent this field report on their progress at the end of the summer.
In Tixcacaltuyub, Gerardo, Lily, and Melissa worked very hard all week to collaborate with the community on several fundraising events for the community meeting palapa. Luckily, Tixca has been able to earn enough money to purchase all of the necessary materials and services for the palapa. The partner agency, La Fundación de Haciendas del Mundo Maya, is supporting the project with an architect who is designing the palapa, and the construction will begin next week.
Itzincab, participants organized clubs which held makeup classes, English classes, and a movie club. The participants in Itzincab, Sam and Daniel, went on a city-wide scavenger hunt in Mérida with two community members to find all of the materials for the clubs. They helped create a schedule for the next six months and worked hard to ensure the sustainability of the project so that the clubs will continue long after they leave.
In Xcanchakan, Isabel and Annamaria also went on a journey to buy construction materials in Mérida for their community’s bus stop, which included sheets of tin roof, wood, wire, and nails. Once the girls returned to community, construction began just five minutes after the materials were unloaded from the truck! The entire bus stop was finished three days later. Xcanchakan is very excited to now have a more comfortable place to wait for transportation, one that protects from the strong sun and frequent rain.
In San Antonio Chun, Daily and Jessica worked with the local youth to organize the final construction of seating surrounding six trees around the community’s sports field, which will provide shade and comfort to spectators. The girls had a great time painting the seating with the youth in San Antonio Chun a few days ago!
Taylor and Cora this week got their materials for the project, and got to work right away. They plan to work on improving public spaces inside the community. They will work fixing and painting the plaza, including two murals. One of them is about the unity of Chichimilá, with a message of empowering diversity and taking pride in one’s identity, and the other is about the importance of recycling and having a clean community. A few days ago, they finished the first mural, and the town’s youth are very excited.
After receiving the rest of the materials this past Tuesday, Sofie, Sanna and the committee started crafting trash cans. Their community project is working on setting up a trash collection system, which includes building and placing trash cans and also promoting and talking with the community members about the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment. They are collecting signatures in order to ask the Valladolid Municipality to implement the system, and they are talking with the community about how much having the system will benefit the community.
Participants in Tekom went to buy their materials and they have already started working! Their first activity was to clean the local cenote. All the youth are even more excited about the project now that they have the materials. They are fully supported by the municipality, too. They plan to clean and paint the local plazas, which will create a better space for community members to spend time together.
In Dzitnup, Carina, Lesley, and the youth group have made some great advances with their project, fixing and improving the soccer field. The municipality has agreed to pay construction workers to help with the project. They started building a fence around the field and soon they plan to paint it. It something the whole community is looking forward to, especially the youth.
All of the CBIPs are progressing quickly in these last weeks in community and the participants are finally getting the satisfaction of seeing all of the hard work they did come to fruition! In Yalcobá, their CBIP is almost finished; the community has already laid the cement floor in the structure and is halfway done laying the cement for the pathway out of the cemetery. The only things left to do are finishing the pathway and affixing the new gate to the entrance!
In Chechmil, the community members have just started putting up the posts for the fence around the church and have also already taken out the old, dangerous play structures in preparation for the new ones from the Bevil Grant.
In X-Cohuo, the community has already put up the posts for the fence around the clinic and only needs to affix the chain link fencing to the posts.
In Sisbicchen, the weeds have been cleared and the community organized a day of planting the community garden. All that is left to be done is to put up the fence around the area to keep out the animals!
In Chibilub, participants had the opportunity to visit an ancient Mayan ruin in the jungle behind their community where they found the highest point in their region with an ancient Mayan altar! They have also had two extremely successful workshops for their project, where the women in the community have come together to weave their hammocks and share techniques/designs. The best part is that they all stayed an extra 3 hours because it was such a great way for the community to come together!
In Muchucuxcáh, the participants have begun construction on a community center. This will be a beautiful area for the community to have refuge from the sun or rain while still having an outdoor space to be together! They are practicing a salsa dance every day with their host family to prepare for a performance during their despedida, which will take place in the newly built community center.
The participants in San Diego have had a fantastic last week in community filled with soccer and basketball games with all of the local youth. They spend their days hanging out with the local youth in the community playing cards, sports, or other games the youth invented for themselves. During meal time, they have been arriving early to help the women make tortillas and learn to weave hammocks, which connects directly to their microenterprise project.
In Popola, participants traveled to Valladolid and bought books for the community library! The windows for the Molino center will be installed on Tuesday. The participants and the children in the Kancabdzonot are patiently awaiting the arrival of their new park. For now, they’re staying busy sanding and painting benches. In Chimay, materials have arrived to begin construction on the cement flooring for the park. Lots of community members have committed to donating time and labor. Communities and participants are diligently working together to finish projects and affirm sustainability plans, before their going away party.