Voluntario Global is steadily increasing their number of projects and the number of organizations they are working with. One of these new projects is the so called "Alfarero", which is located in the south of city in the district of Barracas. It consists of a soup kitchen, a kindergarten as well as an organic garden.
The first thing I got to see when entering the building was the large kitchen, where around 10 women were hustling and bustling around, cleaning pans and pots, putting away the remainders of the lunch and bringing in chairs and tables in the dining-hall located close-by. We had arrived there at about 1.30pm, which meant that lunch was already over and their main work was almost done. In the soup kitchen they provide meals for the local community as well as for homeless people everyday. Visitors can choose whether they want to eat in the dining-hall or whether they want to take it away. The menu that day was chicken, rice and salad. Over 83 chickens had been needed to prepare all the meals, as one of the women there told me with some pride. Because they were about to dine themselves, Jimena and I were invited to stay and eat with them, which gave us a chance to get to know them a little more. It turned out that most of the workers in the soup kitchen aren’t from Buenos Aires, but from all over Argentina, with some even being from another country. Provinces like Tucumán, Catamarca, Jujuy and countries such as Paraguay and Bolivia – they were from all over South America! This project is an excellent representation of Voluntario Global slogan „Bringing cultures together“. Even though I was only supposed to be there for half an hour or so, they made me feel at home from the first moment on. I’m totally convinced that the future volunteers who are going to work there – the first one starting next week on Monday – are going to enjoy it.
After finishing lunch with the local workers, Jimena and I were shown the nearby Kindergarten. What shall I say: I was being very, very surprised by the fact how beautiful and well equipped it was. If I hadn’t known that I was being in a Villa in Buenos Aires, I wouldn’t have believed it – the building looked quite new, the walls were covered with colorful and nice posters, there were lots of things to play with. This is one of the oldest local cultural centers in this area, being founded in 1994. Furthermore, it’s funded in part by the local government, which probably explains the very good conditions. Nevertheless, as I pointed out before I think VG were quite lucky to find an institution like this to cooperate with and I’m sure the people volunteering in here in the future are going to have a great time.