Day 1:

We began the work by all visiting the site where we will build the Tourist Welcome Centre.  We began to clean up the area by cutting away some of the weeds that were on the site, cleaning up the area, and picking up rubbish. Then lunch time arrived and we were all very happy that it was time to eat.

After lunch we went to Sensuntepeque to get to know the partner organisation ADES (Asociación de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Santa Marta), where the president of the Association received us. She began talking about the work they do and what it consists of, which helped us to realise all the effort that ADES has made in communities like Santa Marta. And that is how we ended our first day of work.

Day 2:

We all went to collect stones in the morning. We organised one group to cut grass and others formed a line to collect as many stones as possible and then pass them to the construction site. Then, once again, it was time for lunch and we all went to eat.

A car had been rented to transport the stones that had been collected for the rest of the day. But the car was not able to reach the site where the stones were, so we formed a line, and between all of us, the stones made it to the site.

Day 3:

In the morning, we collected more stones until the car arrived with the materials and a group took charge of unloading the materials and storing them in the storage space.  The morning came to an end and we went to lunch. In the afternoon, we finished organising the work plan for the week.

Day 4:                                                                                                                

We formed work groups that were in charge of going through all the neighbourhood house-by-house to collect plastic bottles for making bio-blocks. Another group went to collect mud, and the others went to start digging ditches where walls would be built. In the afternoon the first ditch was finished, while another group worked on the bio- blocks.

Day 5:

On this day, one group went to finish making the second ditch while the rest made bio-blocks all morning. In the afternoon, we held a small evaluation to see how the first week of work had been and what expectations we all had from the group.

And this in how our first week of work came to an end. All of us were very tired and some with small lesions but with a lot of enthusiasm to continue on to the next week and fulfil our goal of building a tourist welcome centre for the benefit of the community.

Written by national ICS volunteer Wilian