Thursday, April 15, 2010


Apthapi is a word in the local indigenous Aymaran language. Essentially, apthapi means "pot luck;" it's a communal event when people bring a type of food to share.

In the local communities, campesinos often spread aguayos (their colorful, woven blankets) out on the ground and then place their food offerings on top of it. Little by little, people make their way around filling their plates (or shirt tails) with the variety of items available for consumption.

UAC-CP administers gather together for an apthapi on Campus Leahy.

Apthapis are special events--ways for community members to come together, share, and often celebrate. Several months ago a UAC-CP graduate proudly showed me pictures from the time a very poor community he had been working with organized an apthapi for him. He said most of the apthapi consisted of all sorts of varieties of potatoes. "Though they had so little, I know they brought everything they had to share and they did it partly to honor and thank me. It was beautiful," he said.

In a similar spirit, yesterday the College's nearly 40-member administrative staff hosted an apthapi in honor of visitors from Carmen Pampa Fund--Ann Leahy and Tara Nolan, who were participating in the bi-annual Joint Planning and Oversight Council.

Gathered around a series of long tables topped with all sorts of food prepared by UAC-CP co-workers (potatoes, baked chicken, corn, salad, beef strips, rice, and Hugh's racacha cake), the College Director Fr. Freddy reiterated that, on behalf of the College, he was happy to have our visitors here with us and hoped they felt a part of the College's work.

Cecilia Carrizales reflects on the ability of the College to fulfill its mission with the help of people who provide financial support--like those who give to Carmen Pampa Fund.

UAC-CP graduate and long-time employee Cecilia Carrizales talked a little about how and why we all found ourselves standing there. After reflecting a little bit on the mission of the UAC-CP--to provide education and human formation to young people from Bolivia's poor, rural area--she pointed out that without the work and presence of everyone standing around that table, this "obra de Dios"--"work of God," as students and locals often refer to the College--would not be possible.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

This sounds wonderful, I wish I had been there!