It has already been over a week since we returned from our MCC Team Retreat in Guerrero. While the travel was a bit taxing (in all we took 6 modes of travel – airplane, bus, metro, taxi, truck, and donkey!) it was a great experience to reunite with our fellow MCCers and also learn more about the work the Friesen-Pankratz family has been doing in the village of Zacango, a small village of 250 people, for the past 2+ years. MCC has had a presence in the mountain region of Guerrero for many years focusing on low-cost, appropriate technology for rural families, such as concrete water cisterns, dry latrines, and earthen stoves (I, Rick, was a part of the Guerrero team in 1998 when we were based out of Tlapa de Comonfort). As MCC winds down its presence in Guerrero, it has been important to properly transition the work and materials to the community. One of the events of the weekend saw MCC officially hand over the molds for the concrete cisterns to a community cooperative to continue the work.
Some of the highlights over the 2 days were…. a donkey ride out to the milpa (corn field) of a local family, to learn about the annual activities, culture and significance of maiz….. Food was plentiful! We had some great pizza the first day prepared by a group of ladies who meet weekly a to bake a variety of Mexican/north American food, and of course others prepared “pollo en mole” and “pozole” for us the second day (rural Guerrero has some of the best of these Mexican dishes)…….. a presentation by a group of young ladies who have been taking computer classes and are now publishing Zacango’s first and only monthly newsletter.
There were also volleyball games, pinata’s, and good team sharing. Jamie, Bruce, Zam, Heize and Ziko did a great job of sharing their home with us and organizing the weekend – thanks guys! The kids had a great time too playing with friends, running around
What was impressed on us the most during this trip was while it can be evident as to the things MCCers can bring to the communities in which they live, we as MCCers are perhaps the greatest recipients of blessing, and impact. The folks in Zacango generously and humbly showed us the richness of life that exists in rural Mexico, in a region where life can be tough, but through a commitment to hospitality, generosity, friendliness and hard work ethic, life is also beautiful and dignified.