On Saturday, along with Voluntario Global founder Valeria and coordinator Pedro, I had the chance to participate with the families that make up the kindergarden community located in Jose Leon Suarez. As a volunteer that works in an urbanized neighborhood, (La Boca) and who had only heard about the conditions of some of the villas surrounding Buenos Aires, I did not know what to expect. When told about poverty, most of us draw a picture in our heads to try and imagine it, but the reality is we will not even get close to it until we live it. I only saw one side of Suarez and it was the beautiful one. The people and families have basically nothing, but life has taught them to fight for their dreams in order to overcome all the difficulties that their conditions have posed on them. Lorena, founder of the Kindergarden and fellow-teacher Viviana , have worked very hard for the past four years to develope their own teaching principles and methods. On Saturday, parents were told about the kindergarten’s goals, the work that has been done, and their achievements thus far.
The learning environment of the kindergarten ensures that kids who learn in different ways can have a positive result. As is the case with all kindergartens across the world, the children are all different from each other and learn in different ways. The kindergarten has a very nice dynamic as the children naturally want to learn and the teachers understand how to guide the kids to their right path.
In terms of the community garden, we prepared ideas to share and organize the project collectively. Before we could say anything, we witnessed mothers sharing wisdom of a community that understands how people have always been linked to the earth. From then on, we enforced the idea of seeding simply because the earth is capable of providing them with food and would be beneficial to their local economy. That is why it is so important to take care of the earth, as many little things such as recycling, taking care of the water, and breaking down litter can make a big overall difference.
To understand the community garden is to understand the relationship between society and the Earth. We know for sure that wherever we go, we'll pass on all of the knowledge learned from the mothers and teachers of the kindergarten.
In conclusion, the encounter between the parents, the teachers, Valeria and Pedro was an astonishing learning experience. Parents looked up to the teachers with smiling hope, taking every opportunity to tell anecdotes about how their child has changed for the better since attending the kindergarden. They loved the idea of applying ecology to their children's education because it is regularly applied to life at home. Mothers nodded to each other when Valeria emphasized the importance of working together as a collective. A commitment was made, and a bright future surely awaits for the community garden. On a personal note, I have never seen so much ambition and respect. The kids have so much ambition to grow up, go to school, and become something amazing. They respect their parents who provide them with all that they have, and also respect those who have worked hard to ensure their future. The "seños" (kindergarten teachers) are recognized as one of the most important figures in their lives, as it was visible from all the hugs, smiles, and effort that reflects in all corners of the kindergarden.