Imagine, just imagine living in a place were opportunity seems to not exist, were cleanliness is not an option and were preservation of the land seems to dwindle. I am speaking of a place somewhere far in the central Mexican mountains, in a small isolated village named Atlatl.
My mother is an adventurer but she also has a heart for others. She started a program working with the indigenous communities in Atlatl , Mexico a place unheard of to many. Her goal in starting this service was to help the indigenous women learn to diversify their products. See if you were to go there all the indigenous women would be trying to sell you their embroidered hand cloths or shirts. They are beautiful; however, the problem lies in that all the indigenous women in the town make the same designs. Therefore, none of them sell anything because they are all so similar and only reach that small market. Last summer, my mother asked if I wanted to go with her to help in the Sierra, little did I know that this trip would change my mindset forever.
If there is anything that stands out to me the most from the trip is the little girl’s eagerness to learn; her admiration and joy of the fact that we came for sole purpose of teaching them how to crochet new designs. The town was beyond what I expected, the house consisted of two rooms; one room had a table and one bed, the second was on dirt floor and had nothing but bags of corn and a few sticks in the middle for a fire to cook their food on. Despite the poverty the young girl’s joy of our coming showed on her little faces as she grabbed my hand and asked me to come play with her.
The following day we conducted the workshop to teach the indigenous women of how to elaborate a diverse selection of designs using crochet techniques. It was such wonderful feelings seeing several indigenous women bring their young girls. They were all in desire to discover and teach their young ones what would teach them.
The indigenous women’s kindness and aspiration to receive knowledge from us was indescribable. Living in America, is often as if living in a dream, we don’t realize all opportunities we have available. It is until we step out of our comfort zone and travel to a place like Atlatl that we realize all the privileges we have compared to others. This travel experience has influenced me in a remarkable way and it is the promise I made to the little girl when she asked if I would return to teach her more that will bring me back town of Atlatl. How can we in America not have some unsettling rest in knowing that one can live so luxuriously yet have children yearning for opportunity miles away? For it is through giving that we can truly receive.
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