With the end of the project insight and only two weeks left until final debrief, we are reaching the point when things become somewhat more hectic and the thought of a hot shower and no fear of soup for breakfast makes us all smile. This landmark has given us a chance to reflect on our achievements thus far and our own personal contributions to the project. The artisan centre has finally immerged from its foundations and starts to look like a genuine building and not just clumps of lime and cement, which for the majority of the group who have never been part of a construction project of any type is a real triumph.
The journey up to this point has not been easy and we have fully experienced what El Salvadorian time is, which means sitting around making eco bricks because of late materials. However, despite this, as time runs away from us we’ve pulled together as a team and pushed forward in the time we have left. So you’re probably wondering what an artisan centre is. The centre the UK and national volunteers are building is continuing the work of the previous cycle of ICS volunteers where they built a recycling centre to encourage recycling in a community tarnished with rubbish.
The artisan centre will coincide with the recycling centre and will be used as a place for the community to re-use rubbish in a creative way and also be a way for the community to prepare itself to one day be a thriving eco-tourists destination. It will benefit the community through self sustaining craft productions and possibly become part of El Salvador’s many tourist routes, one of which is the artisan route.
And if anyone is wondering what it’s like to have soup for breakfast, that’s a blog for another day.
Written by ICS volunteers Iram Sarwar and Harrison Shackell Green