Former Director Julia Harriman relates her first experiences in El Paredón before the formation of La Choza Chula
As a reward for helping with the beach clear up we were given a food bag
In it was beans, tortilla flour, ketchup, chow mein noodles, sachet of juice drink, bag of rice, bottle of oil, bottle of ketchup, sachet of chicken noodle soup. A really practical gift. On the right hand side of the photo here is Mylvia, who is one of the teachers in the school. She comes to my English class.
People have started giving us food which is so lovely – mangoes from their gardens, spare limes, fish tacos…the people here are amazing – so open and friendly. We are starting to feel properly part of the community. We know the family who run the eatery and we also often eat at Sandra’s family house, along with their 21 yr old son and his pregnant 16 yr old girlfriend, 7 puppies, the grandparents and 4 kids. We eat what they are having and laugh and chat. We pay Q15 (about £1.20) for the meal. Yesterday was fried eggs, beans, avocado, rice. It is so nice to turn up there and just hang out.
Carla met a local girl called Pati at the beach clean up who took us to see some land she has for sale along the beach.
Yet again our day became an adventure, having to wade through the river to get back. There are lots of empty ranches all along the beach. People say they will be full for Semana Santa. Carla and I are trying to think of enterprising ways to make money so we can break even here. We need to make Q72 (£6) a day each to live.
Yesterday morning, we tried our first enterprise idea – making and selling fruit lollies for tourists. Carlos, one of our surfer friends, lent us his blender and we experimented with pineapple and banana.
We are thinking of having a liquado (milkshake), lollipop and ceviche stand during Semana Santa (or do we go to Antigua and watch the processions..?)
On the way back from our trip with Pati and Gracie we found our ideal house / workshop / exhibition space. Gracie said it is haunted but it is incredible and we could rent it if we stay for longer….