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Simply Smiles provides bright futures for children, families, and communities. The organization partners with populations in need to create physical and emotional environments where suffering is alleviated and from which local leaders can emerge.

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Silver Lake in Oaxaca 2013 (Blog #4)

Timothy Nurnberger

Our day (Wednesday) continued with delicious hummus wraps for lunch, followed by a makeshift assembly line for bagging sugar.  The sugar will be distributed in the jungle (at the Simply Smiles village project) at the next despensa.  We filled nearly 400 bags of sugar for the Zapotec people! At around 4 pm, we travelled to the center of Coyotepec to do some shopping at the market.  The first place we went was Doña Rosa’s world-renowned black pottery shop.  They gave us a special demonstration with a speaker and artisan working together.  It was truly fascinating to witness their creative process.  It was amazing how they could do it with such ease and speed.  We all had a little time to pick out gifts at the pottery shop.  Then we went to a few other small shops, most also filled with black pottery.


Following our shopping, we went to dinner at Casa Coyotepec and ate a traditional Oaxacan meal.  We ate family style, and we truly feel like a family.  The dominant spice according to Oaxacan tradition is cacao, so some of the dishes needed an acquired taste to enjoy.


We came back to the center and socialized outside. Our night was filled with singing and guitar playing amongst good friends.  Kristen helped some of the girls get a single dreadlock in their hair.  It was a great ending to a culture-filled day.

Around 10 o’clock, our Zapotec guests, our friends from the village of Santa María Tepexipana, arrived.  It was exciting to see so many new faces.  We look forward to sharing the Center of Operations with them for the rest of the week!

- Julia, Kelly and Lela