Friday, April 21, 2006

Good Friday Walk to Santuario De Chimayo

Every year on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) the largest pilgramage in the USA takes place. The destination is the Santuario de Chimayo (Sanctuary of Chimayo). Most of the pilgrims belong to the Catholic faith, and come from around the state of New Mexico, however, every year brings participants from all over the world and from different backgrounds. For more than 20 years and possibly more than 30 years the Sikh community in Española has continued in the tradition of Langar and served pilgrims refreshments on their sacred walk.
This year S.E.V.A. played an important role in continuing this tradition and expanding upon it. This is an initial set of some of the photographs from that day, with more to come.

Siri Deva Singh (background) has been organizing this seva (service) for the last few years. With the help of Hari Singh (foreground) and Prabhu Singh (not pictured) he ensured that the serving began around 6:30 in the morning.

Initially gatorade, lemonade and fruit were served, but as more volunteers, such as Guru Jot Singh (second from right), Guru Terath Kaur (last on right) and Sita Kaur (taking photograph), arrived they brought with them some cereal and energy bars that had been donated.

There was a steady flow of walkers to serve.

Sometimes crowds would build around the tables.

Some would study what was being offered.

Others would just grab something and keep going.

Some people were content and didn't want anything, however, even those who declined often said "Thank you anyway". The concept of Cherdi Kalaa (ever-rising high spirits) was definitely felt by all. With the pilgrims...
celebrating Easter, and the volunteers...

celebrating Bhaisakhi.

More Pictures of the 'No Mas' Walk Against Drugs Event

These new pictures of the "No Mas" Walk Against Drugs event show a little more of how S.E.V.A prepared and show the rest of the pictures of S.E.V.A serving.

Guru Jot Cutting Oranges while Amrit Jot cuts Bananas and Sat Sundri fills cups with Gatorade.

Placing Trailmix into small bags.
The crowd as they approached our first serving spot.

Deva Singh, Sita Kaur, Jagat Singh and Hari Arti, serving walkers.

Serving a few of the people at the end of the line .
This kid was riding with the fire department and gathered some refreshments for them and other emergency service workers.Setting up at the second location.

Guru Jot serving and many people enjoying oranges.
Cups were constantly being filled and new fruit being cut to meet the needs.
Serving more fruit and gatorade to grateful walkers.

This is Hari Singh and Mukta Kaur with Marlo Martinez a Probate Judge for Española.
The walkers as they departed the second stop.

Friday, April 07, 2006

No Mas - walk against drugs

The walkers are coming down the road.
The walkers. In the left of this picture is Mehtab Singh.
Sita handing out water.
Joginder Singh handing out oranges.
The walk was around 13 miles and the pace was fast. The walkers didn't have the time to come to our tables, we had to go to them on the streets with the refreshments. We were really busy and didn't get the chance to take many photos.
One of Prabhu's coworkers told him an interesting story about the walk. When walkers spotted needles along the route (just one side of the road), police officers would come and pick them up. The needles filled half a bucket at the final destination. There's no question that this walk and other pro-active events to keep people off of drugs is needed here.

More from the walk against drugs

After serving refreshments to the walkers we went ahead of them to try and serve the rest of the remaining refreshments. There was another place where people had set up refreshments. It was in the parking lot of a local church which also had places for people to use the restroom.
Preparing for the walkers to arrive. Pictured here are Mukta Kaur, Gurujot Singh, and Amritjot Singh.
Haribajhan Kaur and Sita Kaur serving gatorade and other refreshments.
Amritjot Singh, Haribajhan Kaur, and Hari Singh are serving gatorade to the walkers.
Serving more Gatorade.
Parking lot where walkers took a break.
Amritjot Singh and Hari Singh talking refreshments to the walkers.
Picture of some of the walkers.
The stone wall where we set up our temporary operations.
Two of the Sikh walkers, Joginder Singh and Mehtab Singh.
Another picture of some of the walkers.
Prabhu Singh talking to Dennis Salazar who is a member of the Española City council. Prabhu has spoken to him before about community projects. After this encounter Dennis introduced Prabhu to the mayor of Española and to the head of the school board. The mayor informed Prabhu that his office maitains a list of volunteers. SEVA feels that it is important to maintain contacts with community and political leaders and hopes that these contacts will help us to serve the community more in the future.

The setup for the walk

We provided water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas and trail mix.
Waiting for the walkers to arrive (before it started to rain).
We bought the cover thinking we might need shade from the sun, but it protected us from the rain for a while.
Joginder Singh who joined the walk after helping serve.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

No Mas walk against drugs - opening prayer

San Juan Parish on the San Juan Pueblo, where the walk against drugs began.
People in the chapel.
In the background is Ray Chavez, an active member of the community who has helped us on a few projects.

T-shirts were made for the walk.