“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” -Cesar Chavez
Today has been a full one in Santo Tomas La Union. We started off this morning not completely sure of what our schedule was going to be but after breakfast and an introduction to “Buen Vivir,” translated as good living, which is the nutritional program Clinica Maxena uses to educate the local community about nutrition. We then hopped in the truck and visited the coffee co-op about 6 miles up the road outside of town in the community of Pasac. Once we returned from the mountain towns, we had a lunch/nap break and then visited the herb gardens and learned about the agricultural projects the clinic has developed.
With this being my fourth visit here, I have been curious to see what might grab my attention that I would see from a new perspective or possibly find interest in that I have not found before. I am always interested to visit the co-op and sample the coffee, as well as to see the mountains towns. Today, however I found myself thinking about how a community cares for its people. It seems that a common theme today has been communities coming together to find ways that collectively make life better for others. Whether it be through nutrition and health, helping farmers, or teaching children - the communities here demonstrate many good examples of knowing that unless everyone’s lives have a chance of getting better they are not as strong as they could be.
In many ways, the work done here is more forward thinking than even in our own community. Given the challenges that exist here with funding, education, and stability people work hard to take care of others. Perhaps with the challenges here they know that personal prosperity is only going to come through working with and empowering others.