A Trip to Entreamigos

By Pam Brody

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Every year, millions of students graduate from college and continue down their expected path. It usually involves accepting a job in the corporate world, where that graduate may question if the work he or she is doing is valuable. Even though I still have two more years to determine whether or not I will take this next step, it is something I think about often.

My parents expect me to obtain this type of work, especially after dishing out thousands of dollars for me to attend UNC – Chapel Hill. Of course, they want to see some sort of return on their investment (which means me obtaining a high-paying job). I had always agreed that a job of that scale would be the logical next step in my life. Yet, ever since I’ve been in Bucerias, this belief has not been so stagnant.

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This belief was especially shaken when we all visited the Entreamigos community center in San Pancho. In the middle of this small, quiet town lies the bustling center of Entreamigos, which is doing amazing work within the community. When we first walked through the door, I was absolutely in awe of the layout of the center. Almost everything is made out of recycled material: from the tree that lies in the center made out of metal to the floor pattern made of glass. We were shown around by Nicole, the founder of Entreamigos who described the story of how the community center was started and continues to run. I’m not sure if it was the heat or the sheer amazingness of the center that left me in such a trance. Even though there are so many varied activities going on in the center (yes, there is a circus lesson course for children), each and every part of the organization makes it run. If you took away the scholarship fund or the library, it would not be Entreamigos.

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What really struck me were the last few moments of the tour where Nicole spoke of her doubts about continuing with the community center. At times when she was about to give up or questioned what she was doing, there was always someone to push her to keep developing Entreamigos. In order to use the space for the center, Nicole needed to obtain a permit from the government. After several attempts, no one was willing to give her this permit. She was about to give it one final shot at a meeting with a certain government official. Right before this meeting, she was in a grocery store where she ran into a prominent man in the community who she had known previously. This man felt so moved by the work she was doing that he decided to go to the meeting with her and help her obtain this permit. As she was telling us this story, Elly’s story and Nicole’s story have many similarities between them. Just when Elly was about to leave Bucerias, she gave a tour to a man who believed so much in what she was doing, he decided to help her as well.

Do you ever have a moment of “I am supposed to be here right now” That is how I felt in that moment – looking at these two women who went against the grain and followed their passions. And even though the path to obtaining their dream was not easy, there was always someone there to help and push them along the way. It’s like it was fate that these two women are doing the work they have accomplished. While I’m thinking about what’s next for myself, I think about these two women. Whether or not I take that third step and obtain the job expected of me, I honestly do not know. But it’s nice to know I have options.{:}