dinner with the Yanes family
Just a little while ago we were treated to a home-cooked meal by the Yanes family in El Progreso. Prepared by mom Maria, and the two sisters, Meredith and Yarly, we had baleadas (a thick flour tortilla prepared on wood-fired grill, filled with cheese and re-fried beans), tamales, and a pineapple-filed pastry for dessert.
There’s a group of graduate students from Columbia University here doing volunteer work with OYE as an alternative spring break, and Señora Yanes taught them all how to make tortillas from scratch.
Teaching seems to come naturally to Maria. She has taken it upon herself to provide education for the local children. There is no school in this neighborhood, so Maria, on her own, teaches children basic academic skills in the shade of a big tree. Terms like curriculum or skills development seem abstract when you have to concentrate on such fundamental things as having no actual physical structure to teach in.
Maria’s daughter, Yarly, is extremely active in OYE’s programs to provide education for children in and around El Progreso. More about Yarly next week.