As most of you who have visited us before probably noticed, there is never a lack of new projects going on here at the Mariposa. The change of seasons and the wet weather have failed to dampen the goings-on around here. Here’s a glimpse of our most recent activities!
Due to our normal overflow of guests, and increasing requests from families and groups, we have begun construction on a new two-story rancho! It’s located just behind the monkey cages in a cool shady corner of the property. Construction materials include volcanic rock, tree poles, bamboo and palms for the roofing. The rancho will have two single rooms on the bottom and a single room up top, offering accommodations to students on a tighter budget. The building will be finished in less than three weeks – the guys are amazingly fast workers! We’ve also re-thatched the roofs with palms on the classroom ranchos so that they will hold up better during the rainy season.
The Santiago school has had another volunteer generously donate not only her time, but also shared the cost with La Mariposa of build a new roof. Previously the roof had been riddled with holes, somewhat problematic given the start of the rainy season. This project has given the community workers more ideas on how to improve the school and the plot of land it sits on. The large water tank next to the school will be cleaned out, and the inhabiting turtles transferred to the zoo. Some students planted trees and flowers around the building, and there is also talk of creating a community garden to help provide vegetables to the undernourished neighborhood.
As the land has been sold where we planted our finca, we are in the process of transferring our veggies up to a new plot of land being readied in La Concha. This new plot has a small house that Paulette has decided to renovate in order to rent out to guests.
La Mariposa has opened business in our tiendita, a small “shop” where we sell local artisan works to raise interest in our surrounding community. The tienda shelves, built by volunteers, are on display in the library. For sale: bottles of honey, jewelry, handbags, maracas, ceramics… all handmade by our neighbors!
And of course, the animals. Paulette built a larger cage for the parrots right next to the shower and latrine. It has become home to two toucans as well! One of the mares gave birth to a new foal this month. He’s been named Junior, after one of Guillermina’s favorites that passed away several years ago.
Finally, Paulette’s support for the community of la Concha was evident in the 1st Annual Student Environmental Fair. La Mariposa donated prizes for an art competition. Guillermina gave her first speech in Spanish, encouraging students to continue protecting nature, and presented the prizes to the winners.