Women’s Empowerment Continues!

Written by Sara Llansa

This week in the women’s group we did a new artisan project led by Sandra’s daughter, Rosa. Sandra is the mother of a young boy that consistently goes to Abriendo Mentes classes. I usually see Sandra when she drops off her son at English classes, and one day I started talking to her about the women’s group that we had just begun. I told her that the women wanted to learn handicrafts, and she immediately lit up. She told me that her daughter has taken courses on how to make different crafts, and would love to share her knowledge with the women in Potrero. I was ecstatic, and told her to bring me an example of what we would be doing. The next day she brought me an example of the cardboard box that we would be making. She told me that on Friday her daughter would come to show me how to make the box so that I could at least help facilitate the class.

Before Friday I asked my host dad, who works at the supermarket, if he could save cardboard boxes for me. Usually they just burn these boxes so it was nice to know that we were going to put them to use. Friday afternoon, after the English classes, I went with Rosa and Sandra to the Abriendo Mentes office so that they could teach me how to make the box. It didn’t take long to make, and it really did turn out beautiful. I asked Rosa if she would feel comfortable leading the class on Wednesday, and she said that she would be happy too.

Wednesday came along, and we took all the materials to the salon so that everything would be ready for Rosa. I arrived 30 minutes late because I teach the Adult English class from 4:30 to 5:30, and as soon as I entered I was glad to see that the class was going well, and that the women seemed to be enjoying themselves. Rosa also seemed to be in a good mood, and had definitely taken control of the class. Other Abriendo Mentes volunteers and I helped here and there, but it really was a class for the women led by the women. They enjoyed making the cardboard boxes so much that we’re already thinking of future projects that we could do with them, such as: make little boxes for Mother’s Day and put chocolates in them to sell and also to make cake boxes for Lourdes, a woman who owns a bakery here in Potrero. Some women weren’t able to finish their boxes that day so we told them that they were welcome to show up on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. so that they could finish and decorate their boxes.

On Thursday quite a few women showed up to finish up their boxes, and then around 5:30 p.m. we had a short dance class led by the same women that gave the class last week. In short, the women’s group is growing and so far is going very well. It’s a shame that this session is wrapping up which means that we’re all going on vacation for about a month, but I think that the women’s group will be able to continue in our absence.

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