Never Too Old to Learn—Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

FOC volunteers helped participants learn to use a sewing machine.

FOC volunteers helped participants learn to use a sewing machine.

Imagine using an electric sewing machine for the first time—at age 60 or 70 or better. Vitalia, Ramona, Celia, Elsy, Brillante, Maria Esther and their friends couldn’t have been more pleased. Twenty-three women participated in the Friends of Cozumel sewing workshop held in a local senior center. They were happy to wait their turn to share the sewing machines.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Maria Esther, a Cozumel resident. “My teacher was very good, very patient, so I learned how to do it. I wish we could always have a machine here.”

She went on to explain that clothing is expensive for her in Cozumel. “I am very fat, so it’s not easy to find my size,” she joked. “Now I think I could make something myself.”

Workshop participants showed no hesitation to learn a new skill.

Workshop participants showed no hesitation to learn a new skill.

The sewing workshop at the Centro de Adulto Mayores is a new partnership for Friends of Cozumel. The volunteers found participants to be enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity—giving kisses of thanks as they finished their projects. Today’s class was on how to make a zippered bag while the next class will teach how to make a skirt.

A simple zippered bag was a good project for those just learning to use a sewing machine.

A simple zippered bag was a good project for those just learning to use a sewing machine.

“I was impressed by how eager they were,” said Rita, a new FOC volunteer from Texas. “They had so little previous knowledge, but caught on quickly.”

Maria Esther described a woman who has been coming to the senior center, but not participating in the activities. “For eight years, she doesn’t do anything or get involved. But today she did the sewing. Today she made something for the first time.”

The participants clearly enjoyed themselves—almost as much as the FOC volunteers.

We were as proud as she was of her work.

We were as proud as she was of her work.

“The coolest thing was when a woman told me she planned to put her most prized possession in the bag she made,” said Ilene, one of FOC’s volunteer instructors. “It was her Bible.”

Additional sewing workshops will be held in other locations during the mission week activities, thanks to our great volunteers and donations of fabric and supplies. ~ Phyllis from Nebraska

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