Finally girls from Chiapas

Filed under: Mexico, Chiapas volunteers — evs global change @ 00:27

Hi Everybody!

Finally we make our first post in the blog! We are three girls: Kathrin from Austria, Louise from France and Zsuzsi from Hungary. We make the voluntary service for Sendasur in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Sendasur is an ecoturistic network and they have an information and a reservation center in San Cristóbal. They also have 20 associates: 16 ecoturistic centers, who are mainly communities and 4 tour operators. In the office there are two womens working Alma & Anita and for 3 weeks we have a new boss Ramón. You can find our associates in Chiapas,  in Guacamayas close to the reserve Montes Azules (Blue montains), in the Lacandon Jungle and in the jungle of Ocote.

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a small (it has 200.000 inhabitants) city, but it has everything a big city has. There are a lot of turistical sites, temples, museums and the best! a lot of bars. In this city you can go out every night, you will find a live concert for sure. And of course you can always dance salsa!

Around the city there are a lot of indigen towns, you can see them all around the streets selling their products. They are mostly from origen tsotsil which is one of the maya languages. One interesting thing. The people from San Cristóbal is called coletos which came from the word coleta which means pigtail. This is because San Cristóbal was one of the first towns founded by the Spanish conquistadors, and they all had pigtails.



Bhubaneswar – The Temple City

Filed under: India, Orissa volunteers, Indian Diary — evs global change @ 11:38

Hello from India! It’s nice to have contact with you all through this blog, to read about all your experiences in other countries even if we haven’t met each other yet. Zita, Chris and me – Ami, we are in Bhubaneswar, India, working on Sustainable Tourism project. The name of the hosting organisation in Jeevan Rekha Parisad an NGO organization. They are working with rural and tribal communities to educate them on environmental justice, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. For JRP, this is a brand new project, they have never had this activity. Because of this, at first we had to explore the potentialities in the project area in Chilika-lake, which we have already started. In the next months, our challenge will be to build and develop Sustainable Tourism in Orissa state.

The Chilika lake is 70km away from Bhubaneswar. This is the biggest salty water lake in India, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of islands and sand-flats. In the peak season, it is literally a paradise for birdwatchers. Irrawaddy Dolphins are a very rare type of dolphins which attract a lot of tourists year by year. The main occupation for local people is fishimg, catching prawns, mackerel and crabs for a living. In the last years, the number of fishes decreased effecting the incomes of villagers. With help of JRP, in village Moisa was given a prawn farm, helping the local people to earn their living.

I have visited 4 villages in the area so far. One big school, where the children maintain a Kitchen Garden, a women self help group in Moisa and one little village situated on sand-flat between the sea and the lake. The last one was Gangadharpur, where the men are fishermen and the women are packing snacks and making some handcrafts for selling. They all are living under the poverty level struggling for a living.

In the first few weeks we met the staff and found out more information about the other running projects. On 2nd March, we had the opportunity to participate on the Inter cultural Evening, where we had the opportunity to meet all the staff, JRP volunteers who are going now to Europe and supporters of JRP. One lady from the guests invited us to a round table discussion in women rights topic to the University. Few days later we attended this meeting, the students were very nice, they talked about womens position in political and social life. The women’s situation in India is not the same like in Europe. This is a very traditional country, where the women in general are housewives but despite of this the President of India is a woman.

Bhubaneswar is also called – The Temple City, because there are a thousands of temples. Lingaraj is one of the famous temples, but unfortunately foreigners are not allowed to enter. Near to Lingaraj is Bindu Sagar, a saint pond, in the middle with another temple.

As part of the ‘Golden Triangle’ we visited also Konark – Sun Temple and Puri – The Golden beach. Another highlight of the state is Bhittarkanika Sanctuary Park where we enjoyed a lot the beauty of nature, the wild life and especially the boat trip watching crocodiles and birds.

More about the life in Bhubaneswar next time!

I’m looking forward to hear from you :)



Burmese Learning Center Field Trip

Filed under: Thailand Diary — Tags: , , — evs global change @ 12:21

by Laura Pelegrina

2 march 2010

A special day for the Burmese Learning Center. Today it’s the last day of Leo a volunteer from Danemark. He spent one month at the school and teach English to the kids.

That was a fantastic experience and he wanted to give something special to their children. So he hired a bus and we went to the beach in the morning, playing games as cartwheel on the sand, or making sandcastle. We all had so much fun. And how it’s so beautiful to see their eyes sparkling everywhere, just happy to be along the coast.

 Then we went to river next to Kuraburi, we had lunch there. Everyone helped , making the sauce, spread the rice into lunch boxes, mashed the chili for the salad and the chicken…. We had a Burmese meal , delicious!!! And all that in a wonderful place, following music and the famous dance “Do RE Mi .“

To finish the day everybody in the river, bigger tried to make some jump in the water, and the little children stayed long the coast and starting to learn how to swim. It was magical , even for me that was one of my best day in my life. A day full of smiles and happiness.


Senegal volunteers

Filed under: Senegal Diary, Senegal, Tambacounda volunteers — evs global change @ 15:10

You know Africa, “which can not be done today will be done tomorrow”  Senegalese proverb

/…/And we have not taken the time to do things since we arrived! We will rectify this by telling you of our best impressions! It is now 1 month and a week since we arrived in Tambacounda (east of Senegal), we are 3 Volunteers, Carol (Lyon), Giulia (Italian) and Francois (Nantes). The first week was quite difficult, not because of the change in culture, food and comfort, but because of the heat: an average of 45 °.  After one week of adaptation, we have instituted fully integrate phase. You should know that the city of Tambacounda is nearly 75 000 hab, this is the capital of the Region of Tambacounda (largest region geographically, the lowest economic level)/…/


/…/We are housed in a single storey dwelling with 3 bedrooms, lounge, shower, toilet and most important: a fridge. Our neighborhood is called “fifteen enbougou, it is composed mainly of Catholics, we have a large church, right to the next door (the songs are beautiful), and the atmosphere in the area is very nice, we have already many friends, mostly men, women are more reserved (much to the misfortune of Francis). Our neighbor is a carpenter, so we can make furniture (very handy). We spent the evening outside our house, talking and drinking tea in Senegal: very strong and very sweet. The tradition is a long preparation and so we have plenty of time to talk. We learn to know the local culture and custom. We learn how the two religious communities (Muslim and Catholic) live in peace as well as different ethnic. If not us, everything goes well, there are many tasks to do, about 4 hours of cooking per day (there is no ready-made dish, like pizza or frozen product, which is handy when was too lazy to stay ahead of the fournaud (which increases the ambient heat). But we take pleasure in cooking (often pasta with beef, onions, peppers and chilli). Utensils and Household also require significant time but the tasks are distributed naturally! /…/ 

/…/During the first week we took the training in relation to responsible tourism project that we are putting in place. It was very interesting and trainer. We shared available information and our various skills. It has started operating in a gait’s the moment we have observed well, despite small problems (conflicts between some institutional players) we continue to cope with a positive attitude and a good team spirit. In any event after one month of training, road show of public, private and institutional mechanisms; After studying and mapping, prepared an inventory of accommodations and camps, and after much thought on a grid of analysis, it looks forward to the day when we begin to move to visit the camps in question and the sights of interest. So hopefully a bit out of this city a little too dry and “western” to our taste!/…/


Yucatan Photos

Filed under: Mexico Photo Album, Mexico, Yucatan volunteers — evs global change @ 17:17

Thailand, Bangkok to Kuraburi

Filed under: Thailand Photo Album, Thailand, Kuraburi volunteer — evs global change @ 16:24

Som Tam

Senegal, Tambacounda

Filed under: Senegal Photo Album, Senegal, Tambacounda volunteers — evs global change @ 16:06


Khandagiri (Broken hill) & Udayagiri (Hill of the sunrise)

Filed under: India, Orissa volunteers, Indian Photo Album — evs global change @ 17:24

The Golden Beach in Puri

Filed under: Indian Photo Album — evs global change @ 17:17


Greetings from Mexico

Filed under: Mexico, Yucatan Diary, Mexico, Yucatan volunteers — evs global change @ 11:15

March 1

/…/I arrived to ecotourism village in Mun-Ha after 5 hours by car. Rrommel picked me and Katy up at the Cancun airport and we returned to the village. I was very tired after the flight France to Mexico, Rommel was already willing to share it with us,  the project , all the time in a car! I think there’s lot of work waiting for me. Apparently I plan to  work in ecotourism management and administration. For now, it takes time to understand the project and get to know the different actors. And we all try to get used to the heat and mosquitoes!!! I do translation for the moment and during the time when Katy learn Spanish. But I’m sure she’ll do it quickly. We expect the formation of the next week to take stock of things, including the issue of money (I think this is still not very clear to Rommel …). I’m rather pleasantly surprised at the moment and it reinforces my idea that the experience will be something special/…/

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