Saturday, February 23, 2008

Get your hands on Conviven's gym

We are planning an exciting, hands-on volunteer opportunity in the form of 'Paint the Gymnasium!' part 2. Thanks to our friends from South American Explorers, who made the first effort on January 26th, we are already about 1/3 finished with the project. We are hoping to finish with the help of a couple of volunteer teams in the first week of March. We will be renting equipment to reach the higher, harder to reach places and will be needing both volunteers and donations to get the job done and to cover the costs of equipment rental.

Important! To finish the job we need to prepare the walls, and apply two successive coats of paint, which will require at least two or three volunteer days because of the scope of the project and the necessary drying time between coats.

Also, the equipment rental is costly and we will only have it for a 5 day period, hopefully beginning the first of March, a Saturday, until the 5th of March. The travel time is about one hour from downtown BsAs and the painting shift will be roughly from 10am to 3pm, and more details will be provided once we know we have the man-woman power. So please, please, please RSVP with your availability as soon as possible so that we can know if we have enough volunteers to get the job done. If we don't have a minimum of volunteers then the project is a no-go and we will be missing an opportune opportunity!

The school year is approaching and this is the best time to get the job done, sorry we know it is a little short notice, but please let us know if any of you wonderful people can commit to a shift on one or all of the first 5 days of March, beginning on Saturday the 1st. Again, we will quickly do the math, make teams for the different days, and get back to the coalition of the willing to confirm.

Please email with questions or comments Nathaniel (Nate) Galea,, or Cecilia Hellstadius,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A mindblowing beach trip

Last week our kids had the opportunity to spend some time camping in Lucila del Mar to enjoy a fabulous beach trip. Our new volunteer coordinator Bella Koerfer reports.

Over 40 kids between the age of 11 and 17 spent over a week at the beach with us and as you can well imagine had a fantastic time.

The place was a six hour bus drive form Buenos Aires and the kids clapped with delight as the movies began and we breathed with a sigh of relief as we realised we could at least relax for the next 6 hours.

The camp consisted of six dorms interlinked and a large main hall, the best was that this was all walking distance from the beach. The kids had a tight routine in an attempt to keep them in order but to be honest all they wanted was beach, beach and more beach, with some football and volley matches thrown in.

One day Jess and me took the kids riding which was just perfect total caos with everyone smiling, horses galloping here and there and incredibly no one falling off! This was my favourite moment and a picture I will always keep in my head.

In the evenings there were group trips into town, walks along the beach and on the last night a Talent night. As the days passed the kids got browner, the romances confused, the volunteers just got exhausted. When the time to leave came, you felt like you had been there 6 weeks!

Most of us adults came home sick with bits, sore throats and exhaustion, but of course it was all worth it, as the relationships you are able to form with the children, in that short time are priceless.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Last weeks in Conviven

Our last weeks have been relatively busy despite the fact that kids are on holidays. First of all our new volunteer coordinator took over. Bella is now fully in charge of everything and Liis has left.

Also we took the kids to visit Latin-American Modern Art Museum – Malba. After waiting for the bus for some half an hour and then getting lost since the driver didn’t really know where the place is, we arrived at Malba on Friday, the 25th of January.

The kids had a wonderful experience where Malba staff introduced them to Emilio, Petorruti, Antonio Berni and other Argentine artists whose works are up on the walls. After that everybody had a chance to make some art as well. You can have a look at the pictures taken in Malba here.

On the following day we cooperated with volunteers from South American Explorers who helped us to paint some of the walls downstairs in the big hall. We had about ten people in the house.

On Tuesday, 29th of January some of our volunteers went to Banco de Alimentos to help them with sorting all the food that had been donated during December and the day after that the kids went to a beach trip on Lucila del Mar and you can read more about that from our next post.