Conscious Alliance teamed up with the inaugural SCI International Incident to provide a one of a kind service opportunity for generous festival-goers who took time out of their vacation to give back. Over 45 patrons and Conscious Alliance supporters volunteered to accompany us to Akumal (only a 25 minute drive from the festival resort) to give back to the local community's library and after school program, Hekab Be Biblioteca.
'Hekab Be' translates from the native Mayan language to 'Open Road,' which is exactly its mission, according to the library's Director Anne Gabbert. Anne explained that the library's continuing purpose is to provide an open road to literacy and education for the local youth community. Many local youth are kept in school for less than an hour a day, and the need for education and extracurricular activities is great. Hekab Be Biblioteca strives to meet these needs by providing language, arts, and sports classes for any youth participant free of charge. It also serves as a safe haven for children who may otherwise be on the streets.
One group participated in a soccer clinic, led by Conscious Alliance Executive Assistant, Cathryn Folkestad. Folkestad, who has experience coaching kids of all ages from her time working for the New England Revolution Academy, brought the students through an hour clinic at the local court a couple blocks from the library. With the help of volunteers, Folkestad worked on their dribbling, passing, moves, and encouraged the kids to see the importance of teamwork, communication and sportsmanship. The clinic was a huge success and ended with a 45 minute match between the kids and volunteers. The amount of joy and happiness that was illuminating from both the volunteers and children was tangible.
The other group was tasked with excavating the original basketball net and transporting many tons of dirt to begin a new basketball court, complete with two hoops. The original site had been purchased by the village and was no longer Hekab Be Biblioteca's property. Our dedicated volunteers shoveled and pickaxed in the hot sun, removing large rocks, trash, and roots from what was to become the new basketball court. The Library has reported that the basketball court will be completed in the coming months and we are staying in close communication with their needs as the court is built.
The entire Conscious Alliance team was so grateful to have had this opportunity to work with so many wonderful people, both old friends and new, to help support Akumal. This marked our first international service project, and we believe that the relationship we forged with Hekab Be Biblioteca community has just begun.
Many thanks to Scott Wheeler with the Atlanta Silverbacks for donating 20 brand new soccer balls and 30 pinnies, the India Pacers who donated 20 basketballs and all the volunteers who packed an extra soccer ball and art supplies in their luggage. Finally, we cannot say thank you enough to the unwavering dedication of The String Cheese Incident community!!