This week over 300 youth and community members came together to participate in a youth encuentro in one of our very own Amigos communities: José Luis Tamayo – MUEY. There was an abundance of intercambio cultural (cultural exchange) as volunteers and local youth were divided into teams that had representatives from each community. Each team battled it out in dynamic activities such as relay races of balancing eggs on spoons and balloon wars. The team-working skills of each group were tested in games such as hula hula in which teams had to pass a hula hoop through a circle of 50 people without letting go of each other’s hands.
After a break for lunch and catching up with old friends from briefing or making new friends with local youth, the AMIGOS volunteers and youth from their communities had 5 minutes to wow the judges with a dance, musical number, chant, or even a play with a whole five acts! Each community brought their energy, pride, and a banner to represent themselves and share their identity in front of other communities. The judges were given the difficult task of choosing winners from all of the diverse and creative acts, but a decision was indeed made. The community Muey won best chant, Febres Cordero won best energy and teamwork, Julio Moreno won best poster design, and El Azúcar won best presentation. The winning teams were awarded a very deserving prize – cookies!
During intermission, the audience got to experience the captivating folkloric dances from communities Manantial de Guangala and Muey. One dance even featured one of our favorite animals native to this region, la iguana.
Apart from the youth encuentro, some AMIGOS volunteers worked with their communities to organize and carry out fundraisers this week. Whether it be a community-wide raffle, bingo competition, or a movie night, the fundraiser will be very helpful to allow the communities to have more resources for their projects. Way to go, everyone! Soon enough, communities will be receiving materials and organizing the next steps to carry out the projects. We are very excited for this next week in all of the communities, and we cannot wait to share more!