Tashirat Newsletter – October 2013

Dear Friends,

This fall has been full of fun happenings for the kids. Jamal came from London for his ninth year volunteering in Tashirat. Jamal´s sister, Shelpe, and coworker/friend, Lee, also joined him for several weeks. They all spent many hours dedicated to teaching the kids. It is always sad for the kids to see friends go, but thankfully this time it’s not too sad because they can look forward to next year’s visit.




Jamal took our kids on so many great trips that they loved so much!  Thank you so very much Jamal for giving all our kids so much fun, love and laughter always, you have been a truly great friend to all the kids!


We’ve been having beautiful weather as the rainy season comes to its end; the sun is out, the weather warm, but everything’s still lush. On Sundays we’ve taken the kids to the local creek to play or to the mountains to enjoy the last of the waterfalls.



Another favorite recreation is picking the wild variety of plums which are in massive abundance this time of year. All the children organize themselves into teams to pick them: there are the pickers, who scale high into the trees, and the catchers who wait at the bottom to intercept the plums that are thrown down. Then they divide all the booty up equally, by size, ripeness and so on. It’s amazing to see how well they can immediately work in total harmony when doing something they love.


Autumn means wildflowers in Mexico, and they are blooming everywhere! It’s always just in time for making the Dia de Muertos offerings. It’s tradition to make an “ofrenda” or offering in one’s  home, replete with all sorts of beautiful and delicious things. We combine Halloween with this tradition, going around trick or treating and seeing each other’s ofrendas simultaneously. This year we will not only be visiting our own five homes, but a whole new community of new neighbors, most of whom moved in to Tashirat over the past couple months. Between all the bungalows that we are now renting to long term residents, we have gained a total of 27 new neighbors, 4 babies, 5 cats, 5 dogs and 2 horses  – which nearly doubles our Tashirat population! So everyone is excited for our celebration this year because it’s going to be big! All the kids have been planning what treats to make to give out from their home. We have come up with a lot of creative and natural trick o’ treats over the years. Here are a few of our favorite healthy Halloween recipes:


Jicama Skulls

Simply peel small jicamas and carve a skull face into one side. Place a raisin or other dried fruit in the eyes.


Amaranth Sesame Balls

Toast sesame seeds, let cool, and blend into a fine powder.

Kneed in raw honey, vanilla and puffed amaranth until the mixture forms a dry paste that can easily be formed into balls.

Form balls and roll in more amaranth.


Carob truffles

Dry blend in a blender a mixture of shelled sunflower seeds, almonds and/or pecans until it makes a fine powder.

Add raisins, dates or honey as desired, carob powder and a little vanilla and blend again (either in a blender or food processer if you have one) until the mixture forms a homogenized, dough-like paste.

Form into balls and then roll the balls in carob powder.

Hint: if the mixture is too sticky, homogenize again with more seed or nut powder until it can easily be rolled between the hands to form balls.


Mexican Style “Palenqueta”

Mix small puffed grains, such as amaranth or whatever you have available, with a mixture of raw or toasted seeds and nuts: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, almonds and or pecans. It should be about 2 parts puffed grains to one part seeds, or 1 to 1.

Knead in crystalized honey until the mixture hangs together.

Press the mixture into a square or rectangular cake pan and refrigerate overnight. Once it becomes stiff, you can cut into bars and wrap individually.

*These balls and bars can also be frozen; they get even better!


So, we hope these may inspire you to get creative! Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween, and send you all our love and many thanks for all your support and care for our children and our projects always.  (Kids Halloween pictures coming next month!!)


With lots of love,

The Tashirat Kids and Staff

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