We have a new Volunteer house, as some of you have probably heard by now. its a beauty, old, with a rabbit warren of spaces and yards, big rooms, rooftop hideaways and a giant hibiscus plant in the front. We got a great deal and so we can afford to rent rooms to volunteers for about one third of what it would cost them to live in a hostel during high season.
It has great bones, this old house. but like most old houses, it also problems from neglect...the rooms are in need of a fresh coat of white `paint and the kitchen, though huge, is a disaster..we need a new water tank upstairs, we are stripping grotty old tile off the counters and layers of multicoloured paint from the walls with help from the students at BreakPoint surf school.. a great project i will tell you more about later.
There is also a decent sized yard, surrounded by about twenty aloe plants and a couple of trees that looked like they were going to not sprout much more greenery.
And it has GRASS- but , hate to say, due to neglect of previous tenants, the grass was dead. just brown and dead. Senor Upanqui, our landlord, a great guy and hell of a negotiator, calmly took the garden hose the first day and began watering. ´’Con Cuidar, ‘ he said, ‘vivres’ . with care, it lives.
I have to admit i didn’t believe him. i mean, it wasn’t just dead, it was DUSTY.´viney, shrivelled. nothing. nada. But i did as he told me and every morning since we got the keys, i have watered early in the morning so that the grass doesn´t burn.( i know, dead grass burning, but he said this is the way to do it.)
So.. i water. wait. water. wait. and then the other day, i woke up and found, of course, green patches. five of them. couple days later, it was seven and they were bigger. now the yard looks to be well on its way to becoming GRASSY. and the tree with the dead branches? its got little tiny spring green leaves budding.
You know the next bit. its so obvious. Its really dusty and brown around here for the poor. Huanchaco might be a burgeoning tourist town, but seems there is more and more businesses and not really much more support or money for people without running water, adequate education or nutrition, or futures that will guarantee the flourishing of a culture that is kind of marvelous.
Help us begin this New Year right. *give ten bucks to us instead of Starbucks* this week. Give Aunt Carol a donation to one of our projects in her name instead of another vase, makeup bag or a Reindeer sweater she will never wear again..
We wish you all a Merry Christmas, Good Winter Soltice, Happy Hannakah and everything else you love to celebrate this year!
Together, we could change things for a few. Or for many. The choice is ours.
*all donation payments are made through our secure PayPal system and are reported onsite monthly.
Sarita Brown is the Co-Director of LaCasaCorazon along with Miguel Fernandez. She has worked with social projects and families for most of her adult life. She has lived in London for the better part of the last decade but has made Huanchaco her home where she has a Reiki School and many lovely friends. Su Bueno Suerte!!