Santa Elena – Onward and Upward!

June 30, 2010

Santa Elena – Onward and Upward!

Don Felix, Santa Elena’s shaman

On Monday, I drove a group of  Santa Elena Sustainable Economic Development Project supporters straight through Tropical Storm Alex! Navigating the torrential rain was a nightmare but our spirits lifted immediately once we arrived in the town.

In the midst of heavy deluge and flooding, the residents of Santa Elena were optomistic and happy. They have a dynamic new mayor with great plans for their town. They are also beginning to truly believe their talent is going to help them improve their income and enable them to continue living in their community.

Besides the opportunity to meet the new mayor, Mr. Wilberth Che Leon and his team; Beth, Nancy, Theresa, Valerie and I were honored to judge the handcraft contest. The fifty women who participated in a fabric painting course that had been sponsored by the State government were displaying what they had made.

Underneath the makeshift, tin roofed “classroom” it looked like a garden in bloom with brightly colored flowers! How difficult it was to choose … but eventually we managed to narrow down to the three winners. We were very careful to point out that all the pieces were exceptional and that each woman should be very proud of her skill.

Next Wednesday, Rosa, Elizabeth and Abel will be coming to Merida with Valerie and we’ll go shopping for the materials they need in order to create an inventory for the next winter season’s visitors to the town. The precious pesos  we require to buy fabric, thread, buttons and so on have been donated by extremely generous private donors. We are very grateful to them for coming to the project’s aid when the grant we hoped for did not materialize.

After our shopping expedition we will take our three Santa Elena friends to lunch at Las Vigas. If you’d like to join us and meet Rosa, Elizabeth and Abel, come by the restaurant about 1 pm.

We are so heartened to see how much the project is progressing. Click on this link and enjoy the photographs taken by Beth Knepp. They show much more than more of my words ever could.

santa elena powerpoint



Filed under Destinations

3 responses to “Santa Elena – Onward and Upward!

  1. Nancy

    I’m not sure why, but I can’t view the Powerpoint. I have the program, and it opens, but I only get one slide and it is just the letters PK. I am curious if others are able to view it.

  2. Valerie Pickles

    It was a heartwarming experience to be a part of the exposition yesterday in St elena and to see the lovely smiles on the ladies faces. They were so proud of their work and for sure the teacher was very grateful that the gringas helped judge the work. You gave them lots of information Joanna and I am sure they appreciated all that they heard.
    I am so excited that we have a new mayor who is very enthusiastic to say the least and only wants the best for his people and has a vision.
    And a lots of thanks goes to all who came in that terrible storm from Merida you have true spirit !

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