What unites a community? What brings us together? These are questions we all ask ourselves at holiday times, and something I’ve thought about often since moving to Juluchuca a little over a year ago. With roughly 500 residents, Juluchuca is certainly a small, close-knit agricultural community. Residents are brought together by their common roots, familial ties and community-wide celebrations throughout the year.
We recently celebrated 2 of our largest holidays here in Juluchuca, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec 12 and the patron saint of the town, San Martin, on November 3. All four schools in the town also recently organized a celebration for the Day of Guerrero, our state day. These festivities are full of music, dance, food and traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.
If you have been to Mexico you likely know that these types of celebrations are usually held at a central plaza, or zocalo. In Juluchuca, we don’t have that central community space where we can come together as a town…YET. In response to this need, the Juluchuca Plaza Project was born.
In September 2018, a group of Juluchucans in the US, most of whom live in Portland, Oregon, raised money for the initial building phase of the project. With their donation, we were able to clear the space for the plaza and build the overarching structure.
Since then, however, funding has run out for the project. Juluchuca is a vibrant community, but without a central space for all residents to enjoy, it is harder to come together for celebrations and meetings. The unfinished plaza has also become an eyesore in town and is a project residents wish to finish as soon as possible.
With the support of Playa Viva’s international community, we are hoping to raise enough money to finish the Juluchuca Plaza. So far we have raised $650. We hope to reach our $2000 goal to complete the project, and make sure Juluchucans can celebrate the next holiday season in the new zocalo.
The plaza will benefit the entire community – it will be a space to host school productions and weddings, traditional festivals and town hall meetings; it is where people will sit to enjoy ice cream on a hot day or where kids will get together to play on the swing set we hope to install.
In October of this year we started a GoFundMe campaign to facilitate raising money for the project. If you would like to contribute, please follow this link. If you would like to find out other ways to get involved in the project, you can always email Colleen Fugate at email@example.com.
On behalf of all of Juluchuca, thank you for your support!