Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Workshop in Puyo!

Our arrival to Puyo this morning was earlier than we had originally anticipated, and so after setting up the workshop stations, we were able to tour the school. I couldn´t believe the differences between Puyo and Mindo!

It had been to my understanding that Puyo would be similar to Mindo, and the concept of ¨basic education¨ was stressed. What I discovered, however, was an advanced facility (in comparison to Mindo), with thoughtful adaptations and beautiful classrooms packed with equipment. There were so many great things that I had never thought of, nor seen, before!

I´m always a little nervous before the workshops because I don´t know how actively engaged the participants will be. Within the first ten minutes, the air was filled with a buzz of excitement and people were immedietely picking up materials and developing ideas of what they wanted to create.

I was fortunate enouhg to have the experience of introducing a mother to the head of a special needs committee. He was interested in creating a button hook that we had on display. I was in the middle of helping a mother create one, so rather than re-explaining all of the steps to the gentleman, I introduced the two and the mother took it upon herself to help him along. What was perhaps even more remarkable, was that this was a man who needed his own adaptation. The mother immedietely catered to his needs, while also giving him enough room so that he could independently carry out the tasks that he was capable of.

In Mindo, people seemed to have an idea in their head and carry it out on their own away from the rest of the table or group. Here, I got to witness professionals and parents, students and children, actively engage with each other and share ideas.

It was wonderful to experience both towns and see the similarities and differences between the communities. Both are filled with wonderful, dedicated, hard-working, loving individuals who have forever left an impression on me and inspire those around them. Great job, everyone! It was a collaborative effort between locals and CITTI Project, and I think it couldn´t have gone more perfectly!

Katherine Behrens

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