We visited Bella Selva in our first visit to Beni, Boliva in 2015 but decided not to implement a project with the community for a handful of reasons, the main ones being that the project they wanted didn’t seem feasible for Alma and the community didn’t seem to be very well organized. Nevertheless, the community continued to solicit a partnership with Alma and in 2018 we saw that conditions in the community had changed. We took a risk with the guarantee of a lot of support from the parents and community leaders, and began an afterschool program to reinforce academics through fun, culturally-based projects that promote critical/creative thinking and harmonious values. It was worth it!
Bella Selva is a Mojeño Trinitario community, and their enthusiasm to integrate their traditional culture with Alma’s methodology has born a handful of beautiful projects: a student-led cultural magazine, traditional dances and costume design, etc.
I still remember that during our first meeting with the community in 2015, an older man expressed his doubt that Alma would ever actually work with them. It hurt to prove him correct for three consecutive years, but we are both happy that since 2018, we have been able to assuage his doubts.