We are a small town of less than 4,000 people in the mountains of Ecuador . Recently our new organic farmers cooperative started hosting one afternoon a week to exchange our produce and seeds among ourselves...no money changes hands. As of this past week we started to lay our stuff on wooden tables set in a portal on the main square, we hold hands around the table to give thanks to our ancestors who used to do this in ancient times in this country, and we pray in thanks, either out loud or silently according to each one's own spiritual beliefs. Then comes the fun... each person around the table tells and shows what she brought. Each one, in turn, goes around picking and taking what he NEEDS to either feed him/herself and family, and to add to their garden that which is missing. This last Thursday was one such day and some ... Read Full Story >>
When my son was young, we earned a very low income and were living in one of the housing projects in Queens, NY. Having Spanish was his first language, but through attending nursery school, my son was already bilingual.
We were at a health clinic waiting our turn one day, when one of the nurses asked out loud "is there anyone here who could translate from Spanish?" Immediately my son called out raising his hand "I can". I took him into the doctor's office and both he and I helped a Spanish speaking woman to communicate with her physician.
This small act from him many years ago, has been a mirror for me to try to become a bridge between cultures. I now live in an area of Ecuador where there are many English speakers living among the Ecuadorians who speak only Spanish. I have been translating public meetings, without charge, so that bridges may be built among all of us by getting to know one another as individual persons, and so that a community spirit may grow.