Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Small Bit of Good News

After four months into site, all project groups get together for more training and to meet the other volunteers in the respective projects that have been in-country for over a year. This is called the Reconnect Workshop and ours was at Los Pinos National Park near Lake Yojoa. We learned a bit about the Riecken Foundation (builds libraries all over the country), how to write grant proposals (info that would have been good to have about two months EARLIER), Peace Corps funding options, making a hydro (how to use for example, a waterfall, to produce energy), insect collection and mounting, trail interpretation, etc.

To help the women in my community out, I took some of the alfarería to see if I could sell it to the other volunteers. Not only did I sell everything that I brought, but the woman in charge of the cabins where we stayed wants to buy some of the stuff to sell at her place! I’m really excited that Alba, the woman from Los Pinos, is interested in selling the pottery at her place because Los Pinos is a very developed National Park and gets many tourists from all over Honduras and the world. It’s a great opportunity to get greater exposure of the artwork outside of the west and to increase sales. Also, Alba has worked closely with Peace Corps volunteers before and she is more interested in helping the women out in my site than making a profit. Right now, Alba and I are keeping in contact through e-mail to decide what she is interested in buying. I took photos of practically everything we have in Nueva Esperanza and she is deciding what she can afford to buy and then sell. Although I am taking care of everything for the women as of now, I eventually plan on helping them get in contact with Alba directly (either by phone or helping the women set up an email account and show them how to manage it) and figuring out a plan to get the artwork sent out there on their own so they won’t have to depend on me to do it.

Some of the alfareria that the women make:

¨Anafre¨ - you put coals in the bottom and can serve hot beans and cheese with chips

I have also started to talk with the women about making brochures that tell about the history of the Lenca and explains the traditional process of making the pottery. Although I wrote earlier only about the firing method, the whole process from collecting the sand and making the clay to how they sell the product is very unique and interesting. There is a cooperative in a community nearby that makes recycled paper and so I also have thought about talking to them to make little tags to attach to each piece of artwork that says something simple about how the alfarería is unique only to this area and how everything is made by hand.

Some of the women are experimenting with making black pottery (the color is just from smoking the pottery)

tools used to make the alfareria

Doña Feliciana making large pots

No comments: