Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving in Cuenca

Thanksgiving began with a beautiful sunny day --  the perfect weather for the Turkey Trot scheduled for 9AM.  We met at the starting point which was Otoronga Plaza.

This event was to benefit the "Fundacion El Arenal".  Some of the women who work at the El Arenal Mercado (Feria Libre) were present and very thankful for any help we were able to give them.  (Please see updated information at the bottom of this blog.)

These women represented the families working at El Arenal.
And they gave out brochures explaining the Fundacion, which provides services for their children while they are at work.  Their services include school support, workshops, family and individual counseling, healthcare, etc.  Before the Fundacion started, the children (ages 5-17) would be seen on the street trying to make money for their families by shining shoes, selling newspapers or vegetables, or carrying loads and working between 5 and 12 hours a day.  With this Fundacion, they can just be children who thrive under the care of the Fundacion.

They made posters to depict how the Fundacion helps their children.


Turkey Trot
The following are pictures of the 2 to 3 mile walk/run.

Walkers are starting (the joggers are already long gone!)
The course was along the Rio Tomebamba
Those in front of me . . .
. . . and just to prove I wasn't last, those behind me!
The turnaround point at Puente Roto (Broken Bridge)
Starting up the 83 steps that lead to town

Mike's thinking:  "What took you so long?"

Ending point (Kookaburra Cafe)

Our prize!
We received a handwoven turkey from the Asociacion de Toquilleras Maria Auxilladora (women's hat-making cooperative)

Thanksgiving Dinner
In the afternoon,we went to California Kitchen for a full Thanksgiving dinner (roasted leg of lamb, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, mora cobbler, and cheesecake).  Needless to say, we were very happy, indeed.

The restaurant was packed and we knew only about 10% of the people there!

Hoping that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Updated Information from an email received from Mark Raderstorf (organizer of the event):

Hola Turkey Trotters,
Thank you for participating in the first annual turkey trot. 
With your contribution, we were able to donate over $100 to 
El Arenal Foundation - this will go a long way at this program. 
I gave the money to director Bette yesterday and she was very excited 
and appreciative. 
Just a couple of followup items:

1.  Several of you expressed  an interest in volunteering at El Arenal. 
Please let me know if you would like to help out ( I am there 4 
afternoons a week). The programs for the kids run from 2 to 5:45. 
I am glad to show you around the place if you want to just take a look. 
Habla Espanol is not necessary. 
2.  El Arenal would love to create a website for the foundation. 
If you have website skills or know someone that does, they would love 
to tap into your talents.  Just let me know. 
3.  Bette would like photos of the event to show other parents, - 
if you have any you could pass on to me, I would appreciate it. 
Due to popular demand, we are already planning a jingle bell run/walk 
for Saturday morning, December 17th.  More info to follow. 
Hope to see on the 17th! 
Muchos gracias, 
Mark Raderstorf 

1 comment:

  1. Where can I buy one of those turkeys? They are so cute! Thanks for the posting.