Celebration is another constant at Casa de los Amigos. While their styles have changed over these past six decades, fun and fellowship have always been an enormous part of what we do and we have seen that fun can be as transformative a force as compassion, understanding, and peace action.
The Casa’s irrepressible life-affirming energy, renewed daily by those who come here, is what has made so much of the peacework possible. And we want to thank you being part of it all! Opening a space for folks of all kinds to get together and celebrate was a cornerstone of the Casa since the beginning. The invitation to the inaugural party, over half a century ago, states:
“Casa de los Amigos will be a welcoming place for everyone. It will serve as not only a temporary home for those who need to stay here, but also as a meeting space to reach out and affirm the ties of true brotherhood and sisterhood; a place of study and meditation, of recreation and culture, of cultivation of the spirit and the mind, of happy moments in the the life of all that come together in its environment and participate in one way or another in its activities.”
From the opening bash to the tertulias of the 1950s, from the Youth Committee’s traditional dance classes to the Central American refugees’ ‘Wednesday group,’ from the potlucks to the piñatas…the role of laughter and gaiety as a key element of peacebuillding is apparent at the Casa. This is something that has never changed.
A space for breaking bread and enjoying company was always part of the founders’ visionary intentions for Casa de los Amigos. However, it was the Casa’s Youth Committee (“Los Jóvenes”) that truly turned the house into a place where everybody wanted to be…their delightful history of baile folklórico, comidas, cantos, film nights, theatre, and holiday events continue to inspire us today. These fun times complemented the Jóvenes’ equally broad program of social justice projects.
This past year, we’ve rejoiced with our Spanish class students – recently arrived migrants and refugees – as they broke a piñata for the first time and started new jobs thanks to their new language abilities despite so many obstacles. We danced salsa with the Caravan of Central American Mothers Searching for their Disappeared Children, after they gave a press conference to hold the government accountable for the egregious conditions for migrants in Mexico. Our more intimate Casa community celebrated birthdays and bienvenidas with parties, potlucks, and lots of late nights on the couch in the reception after long days of service.
We look forward to much more joy this year as we commemorate our 60th year at Ignacio Mariscal #132 with a celebration weekend in October and the release of our own book about the Casa’s history and transformative power.
We’re so grateful that after so many years our worldwide community is as committed as ever to the Casa’s original mission of cultivating “a better human fellowship” which we have striven to live out in so many ways.
Thank you so much for all of your support and Happy New Year!