Playing catch-up

Over the last few days, we hosted a tough crowd at a neighborhood meeting, undertook the noble act of networking, went on vacation, and got home again in time to plan more comings and goings. No worries if that’s all a bit over your head, just think how mareada we must be feeling.

Welcome to the online gallery of the bicycle workshop of La Casa Naranja, a fellow collective way up north.
This is a mural they invited community kids to come help paint on the workshop walls. Of note in the bottom right corner: silkscreen print station!

Karen, the same author of our outside mural, showing us around the shop.

Tools galore.

“From the garbage to your legs.”

Did I mention that we made the trip over there to attend their fundraiser dinner to support their bike joust event? I know what you’re thinking, what a dope event, why not have one at La Colmena too?

Great call! They actually asked us while we were there if they could host another fundraiser in La Colmena, July 18. We were so honored that Las Bicis Piratas (a group usually ubicated out of Casa Naranja, a far older and wider-known collective than we are. Are we a collective? We’re a space, a group, a push to share) wanted to have an event at our place! We’re still figuring out the logistics, but look for updates on this late July.


So that all happened on Friday. On Saturday, we were scheduled to have our first of three neighborhood meetings about La Colmena and finding out best how we can fit the needs and harness the creative energy of our surrounding community of Portales Oriente.

We’d done our homework of going out and inviting the neighbors.

preading the word to the community.

But unfortunately only a total of 7 people came, all at different times. It was cool because we gave all the push we had. Meetings that droned on late into the night trying to figure out who we are and what we’re doing here, how we fit into this community, what our bigger goals are, and how we want to manage our summer school courses coupled with door-knocking and flyer-posting and cooking a feast of a meal including both red and green rice, chipotle hibiscus flowers, beans, and hibiscus water in our efforts to rally community support in the work we’re doing. Or at least feedback. The discussion now has shifted to how we can get folks to come to our next planned meeting which is in July. Ideas anyone?


Another thing we did Saturday was head out for a just-ouside-the-city vacation to Ixtapaluca, where we built a slumber house, visited some pyramids, and checked out another far-out collective, this time to the east, called Kontracultura.

iew of the hill from the hill.

o the Kontraculturas started as an occupation of a theater in a park in Ixtapaluca where they now give free workshops (like us!), have a free-lending library (like us!), put on shows and events (like us!), and help manage the little farm that was started in the park they’re in around the same time as them three years ago.

Here’s their theatre. Kids of all young and adult ages were playing on it just in the short time we were there.

This is what the rest of their park looks like, somewhat. They have an agreement with some municipal office for being there, but things are sounding pretty bad for a lot of the neighboring public spaces like this one. Take the basketball courts across the street, for instance. The municipality is planning to shut it down, undergo major renovations–so major that they will be enclosed hereafter and people will then have to pay to use them. Questions like who these new spaces will be targeted towards, who will be employed to work in these spaces, and how that will affect the health of the community were on the tips of all tongues.

his was our tourguide through the Kontracollective. Here he is showing us around the farm at the bottom of the park.

Zax with the animals for adoption.

irds and pig.




Back in La Colmena, we are trying to hang all the more out. English class today was a hit–we made phrase booklets. Amaury’s lentil soup was delicious. The sprouts are growing all the more every day. I think I finished my calculus homework for the week. If there’s anything else new, I don’t even want to hear about it.

With love and sleepies in the eyes,

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