October is already over? It’s been awhile since we’ve sent out a Lo Que Pasa, but not because of lack of news and activities! This summer brought a full house of long-term guests and friends, 10 amazing weeks with our four Haverford College summer interns, visits and outreach to Quaker meetings and activities in the US, continued work housing and supporting vulnerable migrants and refugees, new relationships with cooperatives doing great work on economic justice and the environment, and lots of special moments of learning and play. Now we’re getting ready for the holiday season and settling in with our new team of very dedicated national and international volunteers.
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Nuevas Amigas: La Cooperativa Lum K’inal
This month, the Casa team traveled to Xochimilco in the southern part of Mexico City to visit the home of our new partner organization, Lum K’inal. Their mission is to promote better ways for humanity to interact with the environment and live sustainably.
After a leisurely boat ride through the canals, we were greeted by Claudia Medina, one of the founders. She gave us a talk about the history of the area and how the centuries old farming techniques they use are in jeopardy because of the amount of pollution left behind by the tourist population. We at the Casa are witness to why these techniques are worth preserving: every day we gather around the breakfast table and eat hearty food prepared with the fresh vegetables grown and distributed by Lum K’inal and their allies. Over the last few months we have begun buying their local and organic (or as they say, agroecological) products to serve at breakfast for the Casa team, guests and visitors.
While we were there, it was amazing to see how their farming techniques can be used to help combat the encroaching pollution. Claudia showed us how certain vegetation can be used to remove the toxins from the water naturally.
We hope that the fight for the earth continues in their favor.
The Casa team just got a whole lot bigger! In September the Casa had the pleasure of receiving several new additions to its volunteer program! Our new helpers come to us from all over the world and each one is eager and enthusiastic to join our work and keep our initiatives moving forward.
Please read on to learn a little bit more about each one.
Sol comes to us all the way from Frankfurt, Germany. She found out about the Casa through the website Lonely Planet and thought it would be a good place to work on and learn more about issues of migration. Soon after she made a proposal to the American Field Service to live in La Casa as a full-time volunteer. The community aspect of life and work in the casa drew her attention because she wanted to live a more modest life focused on things that truly matter to her. She also hopes to better her Spanish by speaking with new and exciting people!
Katarzyna (Kasia) comes to us from Varsovia, Poland. A former Spanish teacher in primary schools and kindergartens, Kasia chose to come to the Casa to learn new things and live in a new culture. She is well accustomed to travel having been to many Arab countries and once lived and studied in Spain for a year. She has enthusiastically involved herself in the classes de Espanol and the spiritual talks. We are lucky to have her!
Daniel Martin Del Campo
Daniel is our newest volunteer. Born in Las Muches, he grew up there until he moved to the States with his family at 8 years old. At fourteen he returned to Mexico City as one of Los otros Dreamers. During his time as a guest in la Casa he met a group from the US that helped him change his point of view and truly see the value in fighting for social justice and equality. He then decided that he wanted to help make this impact in someone else’s life and that the Casa is a wonderful place to do just that while gaining knowledge and experience in living a community designed to help people.
Jeff comes to us from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States where he lives with his wife and son. He previously stayed at the Casa 8 years ago. Attracted to the peacemaking, immigration, social and economic justice programs he felt moved to stay here once again. Once a computer programmer, he left that life behind when he felt called to become a pastor in the Unitarian Universalist church. As a pastor, his passion has been finding ways to integrate nonviolent communication into his daily life. It is his strong belief that it is possible to speak with compassion in a conflict or disagreement. He has been ecstatic since recently learning that his wife will be able to come and visit him this November! Congratulations Jeff!
Juanita Mora Malerva: Friend in Residence
Juanita is true veteran of Quaker affairs. She spent years working with different Casa de los Amigos in the north of Mexico. She herself is Mexicana but she is can lay claim to many places on both sides of the border. She was born in Veracruz but grew up in Sonora, and at the age of 26 moved to California where she continues to live to this day. Pursuing her desire to live in a Mexican Quaker community she came to live here in the Casa as a Friend in Residence. But this isn’t her first time in a Quaker community! She previously shared her kind and warm spirit with the community at the Scattergood Friends school in Iowa for a year when she was 25. Juanita recently returned to the US but we hope she’ll be back soon.
Before coming to la Casa William was already very familiar with the country of Mexico. For ten years, he traveled to and from Mexico working various jobs back home in England to support his excursions. His longest stay was two years in Yucatan. However, he had never spent time in the capital. To follow his interest in the fight for social justice and get to know México City, he decided to come to la Casa. His sharp wit and dry classically British sense of humor will be a welcome addition to the casa team.
Marcus is the third of our volunteers that come to us through our partnership with Haverford College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Haverford he studied Spanish and health studies where he deepened his understanding of issues of migration and economic justice and their impact on the ability of people to work towards a fulfilling, dignified life. Aside from a brief two weeks spent in Spain in high school, he has never had the opportunity to live abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. So he saw the Casa as a perfect opportunity to fulfill this dream while learning, living, and working in the subjects he is passionate about.
Flor de Mazahua
The women of the Cooperative Flor de Mazahua continue their embroidery workshops here in the Casa every Friday from 5 – 7 or on Saturdays from 10 – 12. Antonia Mondragon and her family are working hard to make sure their knowledge and skills are passed on to the next generation. Come learn with them! You’re welcome to come to one session or many, no experience necessary. The Cooperative is asking for a donation of $100 pesos per session (materials included). Their beautiful patterns are on display and available for purchase in our reception.
Decorate your home with one or come and learn how to do it yourself!