Gaita Festival

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My pueblo holds a Gaita Festival each year. A gaita is a flute-like instrument and is often played while being accompanied by three different types of drums, maracas, and sometimes an accordian. There are actually two types of gaita, the male and female gaita. The female gaita has five holes and the male two, weaving together different sounds to form the unique gaita music. Our pueblo has famous gaiteros, including a group who won a Grammy. Of course, with any music here, there is beautiful, colorful dancing to go along with it!

During this festival, not only is the music on display, but also many beautiful crafts of the artists in the pueblo. This included mochilas and bags from the kids who are starting to learn the crafts of their pueblo.

Celebrations start early and continue late into the evening, with non-stop music and performances. A lot of people travel for the festival and it was fun to watch the mixture of locals and visitors. Cerro Macco, one of my favorite spots in town, made for a great spot to watch, listen, enjoy, and even dance some.

Costeños (people who live on the coast) love their Festivals. It is a very catchy emotion and I have found people love to share their excitement and culture. Every pueblo has its unique features and in this festival my pueblo celebrated theirs to the fullest!

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Reconnecting

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Singing Happy Birthday to one of our own!

So my group has been at site for three months! I know, can you believe it? This meant it was time for both IST and Reconnect, which combined to be a weeklong conference. IST was for the first 2.5 days, where each of us invited a teacher we work with to collaborate, learn, and share best practices. My teacher, Luz Elena, really enjoyed getting to know other teachers and volunteers and learning new activities and methodologies for her classroom.

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The following 2.5 days were just with CII-8 (and some special guests from CII-6.) We talked about life at site, shared positive and negative experiences, and even made skits to portray common occurrences in our pueblos.

We also had some time to enjoy the coastal location we were in…

It was great having time to spend with all these wonderful people and pause to reflect and consider what’s coming up.

Here’s to the next steps!