When you're starting up a handful of new programs, excessive advertising comes with the territory. Planning for classes, charlas, mingas, and health clinics takes a ton of time and we certainly want to make sure we have successful event turn outs. In order to make this happen, we are on our way to mastering various types of advertising strategies. Some are pretty straightforward: making posters, handing out flyers to community members and library kids, and attending as many community-based meetings as possible (churches, town councils, futbol leagues etc.).
There are also some more non-traditional methods. One of them involves hopping on buses and having one person give a presentation while the other puts up flyers at the front of the bus; so far Erik and Mike have mastered the art of bus advertising while the rest of us stick to less intimidating methods. However, starting next week I will be participating in three days of advertising via riding around on a Camioneta shouting into a megaphone about the details of our very first Minga, set for the third of October.
Erik and I have collaborated to co-lead a community clean up in Rumiloma. It's a perfect combination as he is in charge of organizing Mingas (an Ecuadorian word for people coming together to do community service projects) and I am running the environmental programs. Litter is a huge problem in our community as people are accustomed to simply throwing trash, from water bottles to candy wrappers, all over the streets. Many community members approached us both in the library and at one of the town meetings last week about this issue and wanting public trash cans. We've also created a friendly competition between library kids to give them incentives to come to the clean up. Hopefully we'll be able to use this time to talk with interested people about improving waste management and mitigation for our community.
I'll keep you updated about how the telefoneo incident goes (and of course about the clean up itself); I think I'll be spending the next week taking notes on the Camionetas drive down our streets yelling things like "el gas el gas el gas" and "escobas escobas... escobas."