Congonhal is a poor suburb from Embu Guacu in the south of Sao Paulo. Many people live there having land occupied and very bad constructed sheds fort them to live in. They often don’t have flowing water, only a few have had energy and time to dig a font to gain water. Hygienic artifice are selden and they go in the bush to carry out their daily needs. Animals walk freely around the area. Horses, dogs or chicken bring a lot life to the neighborhood.
As you can read from our documentation before Aramitan has started to build a house for a family in this area.
Our next step was to include the neighborhood in our activities. The plan was to organize a “Festa Junina” for Congonal. We wanted the whole community involved in a socializing activity, for us to get more connected to them and for them to interact more with each other.
We walked through the vilage and started to ask people what kind of contribution they would like to offer. For shore seven families where pleased to donate traditional dishes.
Friends where invited to help with the preparation, and lots of games where organized. On Friday the 26th of June we had a “Mini Work-Camp” together with the seminar of „Freunde der Erziehungskunst“ and started to build up the tents. By the end of the day there where four improvised, not yet decorated tents for various activities ready. This Day was full of rain but although many people left the building side very early, for a small group of helpers enthusiasm didn’t stop.
Saturday was the action day for cooking. New helpers come to make „doces“. I ( Simon) and Rodrigo and Marcio went out to the community and decorated the football field. Made Bamboo walls fort the tent and started to clean up the area where the party was going to take place.
Sunday the 28th of june we started with breakfast together, it was a big group of helpers and we had a meeting to organize our selves. We had various people responsible for different tasks. Decoration, food, games and the prices needed to be organized
Festa Junina starts!
With a lot of care and many helpers Lila a kindergarten teacher from Horizonte Azul drew with the kids and made Lanterns, throughout the fest they led a whole handicraft workshop. Kiko and Eduardo made kites with the children, later on the youth joined in their activity and made a hot air balloon together. Reca and Eduardo started to paint pictures with them. Face painting was creatively done by Ilet and Ediane. The fishing game was accompanied by Manu and Ilet. In Between the group and friends “Vagabundos“ from Monte Azul played music and people joint in to dance “Cirandero” and formed up to a traditional “quadrilia” dance. During the celebration no one managed to clime up the big „Pao de cebo“, a tree prepared very slippery to make it difficult for everyone to clime up, the person would manage wins a price.
As the evening rose the lights went on, which our electrician Josué had installed for us. The fire kept smoking but because of the rain wouldn’t light properly. It was a day filed with activities; everybody contributed their part to it. A neighbor who used to work as a DJ had kindly offered his stereo for the party, it was installed on a big truck, which we used as a stage… the „5th” time the stereo played „No desligar telefoni“ :-) . In order to gain the last prices which where left over the children continued playing „Boca de Palaco“ with Sally and Rebeca, the aim of this game is to throw the ball into the mouth of a clown.
In the end it was a wonderful “Festa Junina” with a very special atmosphere of liveliness – Jipsy juggled with fire her and there people kept on dancing and laughing or rope skipping, it was a traditional “Caipira” scenery. Joao the father of the family lead the participants with his engagement and self-confidence through the program.
We left the field very exhausted from the day, convinced that our effort was a success. I think everyone of us left a small light in the community.
We thank very much all the helpers, I personally think we managed to leave a big present behind and a community which is now part of us and maybe closer to each other.
Best regard Simon Stott