Back to La Montanita Day
Under threatening gray skies with drizzling rain, the team again journeyed up the winding road to La Montanita. This time the muddy narrow road was more dangerous as the clay base was wet and slippery. Water was to the top of one of the bridges at the bottom of the mountain. Arriving at the top, we were treated to coffee and some delicious, fresh baked pastries from the new, micro-enterprise bakery.
Quickly, we set up the eye clinic, brought in the boxes of donated prescription glasses, and set up the various stations. When we opened the door of the kindergarten, it turned into an eye clinic and we had a line of patients ready for us. Three hours later some 40 community members (one 90 years old) were fitted with distance and reading glasses as needed, along with non-prescription sunglasses. The HAF purchased focometer (funded by St. John’s United Methodist Church) provided a simple and easy method of determining the approximate strength of glasses. Needless to say, it was heartwarming when a patient beamed when he or she could clearly see again.
After a quick lunch of sandwiches, the HAF Education Committee met with the village’s Patronato (or village government leader). This meeting solidified plans for a pilot project to send 7th grade students from La Montanita to attend Saturday classes in Pinalejo. This will allow rising 7th graders to proceed on a path to completing the 9th grade. In closing, the Patronato and members of the Construction Committee discussed ongoing and planned projects.
New Craft Projects
Several members of the team met with Reina to begin several more craft products.
We saw two tilapia ponds at Riena’s house. These ponds had dried up before the new, HAF-funded water line was completed early last year. It was surprising how small the ponds were (about 8’x20’). One pond was used to grow the tilapia fingerlings and the other was used to grow the fish to harvest size. The larger pond typically held 150-300 fish. Some of the fish are used as food by the family and some are sold. Needless to say, we had talipia for dinner.