For a Philadelphia June day this cool, coat grabbing weather is unusual. June is the official start of summer here, a time for short sleeves and the occasional sweltering heat that makes the beach a welcome destination. This cool, cool weather reminds me of July in Paraguay. July is
the Winter in the Southern Hemisphere, a time for light coats, morning and evening chills and
crisp sunny days.
Speaking of Paraguay, it is a good time to let people know how the preparations are going for
the upcoming 2 nd Pathways to a Sustainable Future Project. Our work in part will take place in
the community of Feurte Olimpo which rests on the banks of the Paraguay River a two hour
boat ride south from Leda. The port city with a population of 4,230 is the capital of the state of
Alto Paraguay. Villages are clustered near the city including indigenous communities. We will
work in one of those villages.
Our project directors, Mr. Sano and Mr. Gustavo Giuliano from Leda, have been visiting the
communities in the Olimpo area for years. Recently they have made multiple visits to the local
schools, talked with the head master’s and have spoken with the mayor about what would be
the best way to make the international Pathways to a Sustainable Future Project beneficial for
the local citizens. They shared the following in a short report:
Recently we re-contacted the Olimpo city mayor and decided to do the following. We will plant
200 trees along the streets. 100 will be Neem trees and 100 will be Lapacho trees. I don't know whether you know Lapacho tree. It wears very beautiful flower and the color are pink, yellow,
purple. The Pink flower is just like Sakura tree.
If these trees grow well Olimpo city will be a very beautiful city in the near future. The officials
in Olimpo City will take responsibility to make protection for the trees as grazing animals can
easily destroy them. We will help with some of the financing of the effort. Local high school
students will join in the efforts. Other students will be involved in the planting we will do at
two schools. Almost all the students of Olimpo City will have a chance to participate in this
special project where international volunteers will be coming from ten nations.
In addition, we will work in an Indigenous Village and the village of San Miguel where the
following preparations have been made. On July 7 th we will arrive in Olimpo around 10 o'clock,
and have a welcoming ceremony at 11:00AM. In the afternoon we go to the San Miguel school
and paint walls and plant trees. On July 8 th we do tree planting on the streets and this should
take the whole day.
On July 9 th , we will go to the indigenous school, plant trees and have numerous activities with
the children. On July 10, we will have a city tour in the morning and an afternoon closing
ceremony in the gymnasium. We will then take a three hour boat ride to the Leda Settlement.
While our plans remain flexible this gives you an idea of what is ahead."
For those joining the project it is greatly appreciated if you can bring some clothes as gifts for the children as well as some personal items to share with new friends. This will make people very happy.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!