school kitchen completed!
As part of the project of rebuilding a school in the Arhuaco community of Sogromin was the building of a new adjacent kitchen. This kitchen was necessary because it served as a place where the pupils could socialize and share with each other. Most children have to walk far distances to get to school and some of them have to leave as early as 05.00 am without having anything in their stomachs. There they will be receiving breakfast and lunch.
Protect our Cultures decided to support the building of the school kitchen because it formed an important part of the traditional culture. Every pupil has to bring something in order to prepare food for all of them. Early in the mornings, while the children arrive one at a time and before attending school, they have to go to the kitchen to deposit whatever they carry for the day. It can be firewood, panela (made out of sugarcane), plantain, beans and once they have done that they can go to their classes once the bell rings. Every week they rotate so that everyone gets the chance to bring something different. This form of community collaboration is common among the Arhuacos.
In the community house, where all members of the community meet to discuss issues concerning the community, the authorities accepted the building of a new kitchen but made it clear that it had to be made according to their traditional standards. Some members of the community gathered and collaborated to collect the traditional materials to start building the kitchen. These materials included stone, sand, grit and straw.
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