This Community Center for the impoverished rural villages of Barlovento was started in 2001. The focus of the Center is on education, health, agriculture and cooperatives. The last 2 years they started a number of activities in this area and are slowly expanding their facilities.
A summary of their ongoing activities:
The Centre began to organise the youth of four villages in a program called Youth in Action or Jóvenes en Acción. Regular activities with them include drama, art, sports and training in self-awareness and social behaviour. The youth organised a Christmas pageant that was performed for the public.
The library has been set up and classes with 7 donated computers have begun. Youth from the villages come in their free time to draw, do puzzles, and learn typing and for help with their homework.
The Centre organised basketball teams for the boys and volleyball teams for the girls of 9 to 13 years old (in four villages). There have been several competitive games to date.
A 3-month course on the different uses of plantain, a local crop was held for 20 women of 3 local villages.
Agricultural development is going on to grow food for the Centre and to guarantee a small income. Horticulture has increased with 600 plantain, 100 papaya, 30 mandarin, 5 lemon and 5 mango trees bearing fruits.
Food production has started such as processing mango into frozen concentrate and jam; making flour of plantain and yucca; making ice cream; granola and granola bars; and other products. All are delicious and nutritious. We are now trying to market them.
An apiculture project with 10 beehives has been started.
Sewing cooperative with 4 women was started. They made 170 bathing suits to sell.
The Centre would like to expand their activities to serve the local community better.
Agricultural programmes will be added like planting medicinal and fruit trees, worm compost project and a herbal garden.
More cooperatives will be formed for food and honey production.
Jóvenes en Acción will continue to make more youth programmes and tries to involve local volunteers and will hire part-time staff to realise this.
The library and computer centre will be kept up to date by added volumes to the library and get Internet access and updates of educational programmes on their computers.
Community Centre, Barlovento, Venezuela
This Community Centre provides several (youth) activities; including cooperatives, education and health care. They are serving the impoverished rural villages of Barlovento.
When are volunteers needed?
Volunteers are welcome any time of the year.
How long can I volunteer?
The longer the better
They should be able to read, write and speak English. Knowledge of Spanish would be of advantage.
agricultural skills, working with youth and community, computer skills
What work will the volunteer do:
According to skills and what is needed.
What is offered?
Vegetarian food, simple accommodation and the opportunity to serve a needy community.