Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

An article from Action by Churches Together, describes one community giving thanks in El Salvador. The article describes aid efforts to campesino farmers whose crops were destroyed by Tropical Storm Stan last year, but who have recovered with a bountiful harvest in 2006:

San Lucas, El Salvador, November 15, 2006--Many cultures around the world have a time set aside each year for communities or families to gather and give thanks for what they have. Some of these traditions are celebrations that occur around the time of the harvest. One community in El Salvador was especially thankful this year as members gathered to share in work and in a meal – to celebrate the harvest again, after their supply of food was cut off last year during Tropical Storm Stan.

On September 13, the community of San Lucas, located on the border of the Tazula River in El Salvador, celebrated "la atolada." La atolada is an ancient tradition of pre-Hispanic origin in which the community makes a cream soup from fresh corn (maize) to celebrate the beginning of the corn harvest.

On that morning, the members of the community, which is located in the municipality of Cuisnahuat, arrived early at the meeting place. They picked tender corn and proceeded to divide up the work. One person was in charge of grating the corn, another started the cooking fire, and others brought the other ingredients needed to prepare the soup and other corn dishes that would be served that day....

On the morning of their celebration, in addition to sharing the work, the San Lucas community "shared bread together," which for Salvadoran campesinos means corn. They divided the food that had been prepared among all the tables, and all who were present shared in the meal. No one lacked a bowl of cream corn soup, corn on the cob, or a "rigua," a sweet corn tortilla.

Although they enjoyed all the good food that day, their focus was to celebrate the harvest and the food they would have for the months to come. And despite the poverty, their harvest this year was better than what Tropical Storm Stan had left them. (more).

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

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