School kitchen completed!

The second phase of the school project which consists of building a new kitchen for the school children in the Arhuaco community of Sogromin has been completed. The kitchen is essential to the school as it not only serves as the place to prepare the food and for the children to eat but it is also the place where the children socialize and share with each other. Since most children have to walk long distances to go to school and leave their homes very early in the morning the school provides them with both breakfast and lunch.

Protect our Cultures decided to support the building of the new school kitchen because it also forms an important part of the traditional culture. Every child has to bring something from home in order to prepare food for all the children to share. Early in the mornings once they arrive at school they all go to the kitchen to drop whatever they brought in for the day, this can be for example firewood, panela*, plantain, or beans. Every week they will rotate so that everyone gets the chance to bring something different. This form of community collaboration is common among the Arhuacos and is passed on to the children at an early age.

When the local authorities endorsed the building of a new school kitchen they had insisted that it should be build according to the traditional methods and standards. This process starts with the members of the community gathering and collaborating to collect the traditional materials such as stone, sand, grit and straw before they collectively start with the construction. Over the last three months they gathered and build the new kitchen for the school and since the end of May it is officially being used.

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Panela is unrefined whole cane sugar, typical of Central and ofLatin America in general, which is a solid form of sucrose derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice. Source: Wikipedia.