We the Women of Potrero!

Written by: Lynn Hessbrueggen

A lack of educational possibilities and after school activities has centered Abriendo Mentes’ primary focus on the children of Potrero. As we all know, children are our future. But where do all these energetic, smart little ones come from? Who brings themup, feeds them and loves them? La Mujeres de Potrero (The Women of Potrero)!


A few important women of Potrero share smiles and stories during the first meeting

To honor this strong and essential part of our community, AM has created a women’s empowerment group program. The group strives to be a place, where all women of Potrero (young and old, from Costa Rica or abroad) can gather together, discuss, learn and spend quality time just for themselves. A place where there is room for questions concerning women’s health, child care and economic independence; a place where no woman has to restrict herself; a place for women.


Shannon with some of the women of Potrero spending quality time together

This past Thursday at 5pm (más o ménos) we started our first new Women’s Group meeting. To our delight, the small room was filled with women of all ages. After Meradith had welcomed everyone in Spanish, and the buffet of food, which was provided by volunteers and village women alike, was emptied onto our plates, AM introduced the ideas of possible activities that we had thought of in advance: healthy cooking, Yoga, swimming classes, women’s health, Spanish-English intercambio… and the list goes on. There was plenty to talk about while enjoying fruits, chips, dips, rice and chicken.


Meradith enjoying arroz con pollo and conversation with Maritza, Margarita and Tina.

Everyone discussed, with openness and excitement the different possibilities of the women’s group. A lively exchange of opinions full with laughter and jokes created a comfortable atmosphere: surfing and snorkeling were dismissed, in a fit of laughter, everyone imagining themselves on a surf board, and many new ideas were added. Next week, everybody is going to come with a towel, ready to learn how to give and receive a relaxing massage. Having attended the first meeting, I’m really looking forward to the next one.

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