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East Norwalk, CT
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Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

Simply Smiles blog

Follow our blog and read insights from Simply Smiles staff, volunteers and other individuals whose lives are affected by our work!

Mixed Group in Oaxaca - July 2013

Timothy Nurnberger

Greetings from Oaxaca! To start off the week we visited Casa Hogar. Here we played with the kids and had a hot dog roast. Surprisingly some of the kids came back and ate about 5 hot dogs each, which was quite amusing. For the past week, we’ve been mixing cement and laying down bricks for the second story of one of the buildings at the Center of Operations. In addition, we bagged rice to be dispensed in the village (one of Simply Smiles' other project locations) later on this year. The second day we toured the dump, which was a completely eye-opening experience. It’s incredible to see such happy people living in such a poor condition.

Tuesday morning we organized a despensa (distribution) at the dump. Here, we distributed sheets, towels, shoes, clothing, milk, and toilet paper to all of the families at the dump. Everything was so perfect that it warmed all of our hearts. It was amazing to see how kind and appreciative everyone was.

Wednesday we went to see the Zapotec ruins. Looking out from the top of the pyramids was a spectacular view. We also brought along Martin, Angel, and some girls from the jungle, which made it really fun. Following the pyramids and mixing concrete, we went to the park with the dumplings. Here we met Luciano, one of the lively elders of the dump community, and played an intense two hour game of soccer with majority of the dump community. After the game we sat and had Edith’s sandwiches for dinner. As we sat under the pavilion everyone seemed to come together so nicely. Campbell brought her polaroid camera and took about one hundred pictures of the families, which will last a lifetime. It was awesome to see the families so happy to have a photo of their children and them.

Thursday we began our day handing out invitations for the fiesta we are having tonight (Friday). The community was surprisingly kind and receptive to our invitations. Also that morning, Fiona (the dog at the Center of Operations) had "the zooms" and ran into Sam, knocking her off her feet, literally. Luckily only a few scrapes and bruises were made, along with a ton of laughs. Later that day we went to the market and saw how the black pottery was made. The artistry was so beautiful and unique. Following the market, we went out to dinner at a local restaurant, Casa Coyotepec. The three courses were delicious and the atmosphere was wonderful.

Today we are bagging beans and preparing for the Fiesta. It’s sad that today is our last day. It’s unbelievable how fast the week flew by. The company of Fiona’s five puppies was a fabulous surprise to our trip. Such an extra bonus! Altogether, the week has been amazing and it’s been an awesome experience! It was great to spend our time with such wonderful people who are so involved here in Oaxaca. Hopefully we will return next summer or in years to come.

- Essie, Evelyn, & Allie