Visit by Evergreen State College group, 20-29 January, 2012

Evergreen trip by David Wood
Evergreen State College logoFor about eight days, 37 visitors from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, USA, stayed in the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela. Professors Anne Fischel and Peter Bohmer brought 30 students enrolled in the study abroad course, “Venezuela: Building Economic and Social Justice.” During this week, the group visited a poor barrio, a rural community in the mountains, the Bolivarian University, Centro Madre, a chocolate cooperative, a national park, the new national police academy, and met several social leaders. We provided each person a bunkbed, three meals a day, and optional yoga classes. On January 29 the group left for the cities of Mérida and Barquisimeto, where they will stay individually in the homes of Venezuelan families for seven weeks and do study and film projects with cooperatives and community organizations. They will return to the institute in March for their last five days before returning home. Here are some of their comments:

Sitting on the grass by David WoodI want to thank you and all the staff of the Prout for all the hospitality and care that you showed to my large group of 37 people. The food was healthy and delicious, the house is lovely and welcoming, and above all, you and your staff were totally available to provide advice and support as we acclimated to our new environment. The daily yoga classes were very restorative also! I want to especially thank you for the care you showed to our student who needed medical attention on a day when the group was committed to a fieldtrip. Your staff took charge of the situation, escorted him to a clinic, helped translate for him, and made sure he got the medicines he needed. This was really above and beyond what we had any right to expect, and I am deeply grateful. – Anne Fischel, professor of communication, media and community studies

My stay at the Prout house in Caracas has been a wonderful experience. I have felt truly at home and safe… Thank you and peace on Earth! – Claire Brown

Chilling at night by David WoodThe staff here is absolutely the best and they are so friendly and have great stories to share… Beautiful place for beautiful people. – Annie Choi

You have a lovely and powerful space here. You made my first week in Venezuela spectacular; the people who maintain this community are interstellar. Keep up the energy! I wish you all the nourishment you may ever need. Please visit us in Washington State, USA! – Araceli Tamayo-Lee

The past week staying at the Prout House has been truely great. The food is excellent, the staff warm and welcoming and the location gorgeous and comfortable. The Prout House is not just another hotel, it is a family. Thanks so much. – Sasha Fischel-Freeman

The location of Prout provides stunning views of Caracas. Whether on the balcony soaking up the sun or enjoying yoga up on the veranda. The space houses welcoming staff, warm smiles, delicious Venezuelan cuisine and plenty of memorable experiences. – Heather Allen

Staying at Prout has been awesome… Its been great doing yoga with Dada, singing, talking, eating and working together with everyone. – Alex Mahy

Prout is a wonderful place to view Caracas and has a great mission and philosophy. The staff are extremely welcoming and accomodating to everyone. Dada is very optimistic and leads yoga everyday, which is a great way to relax. – Kathryn Brignac

Prout is extra awesome! Staff are beautiful people and wonderfully helpful. – Elizabeth Seibel

Living in Prout has really changed my life. I am eating healthier and composting more… You are all really amazing – beautiful people! – Adriana Herrera

Music night by David WoodProut!!! You must be PROUD!!! Prout is an awesome idea that encompasses so many honorable ideologies. The world is a better place because of you. – Allyce Miller

We are so happy to have made the acquaintance of Prout and the many wonderful and dedicated people associated with this movement, ideology and philosophy. Thank you so much for all the work you do. – Larry and Patty Mosqueda

When I first arrived, I was awed by the view and outlay of the Prout House. Then I got the experience the excellent people who live and work here and soon felt like I was at a second home… It was nice to do yoga with Dada as I had never done it before, it was a barrier broken. The Prout philosophy is righteous. – Matt Siano

I never would have thought this would be a place I’d love so much. I’ve been an atheist for years and have never understood spirituality. After a week I can’t say I understand it,… but Dada has certainly made an impression on me and I’ll keep trying to understand the fundamental questions of life. – Steven Reilly

I had everything I needed staying at Prout in Caracas. The food was energizing and healthy, and I felt welcome to help in the kitchen and excited to learn about some new dishes. The community feeling was very important, I felt comfortable talking to everyone who lives and works in the house and it seemed like they really cared about my well-being. Also, there was plenty of beautiful outside space to enjoy, mangoes to eat off the tree, a guitar to play, good books to flip through. – Jessie Herzog

I loved the vibe and the people. Thank you! – Kirstin Craig
Metro photo by David Wood