El Living – Montevideo, Uruguay
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At El Living there is nothing to join, no membership fee, and no one tries to make you dress funny. Come as you are, with what you believe, enjoy the food, take in the music, meet people who are different from you in an atmosphere of dialogue and mutual respect.
What happens at El Living?
A typical night starts up around 8 pm with a time to relax and catch up with people you know or have just met. On most nights we have the privilege to feature a local musician (doing our part to promote local art!) who warms the place with their tunes. One of our volunteer chefs (you could be next) then brings out a wonderfully delicious and economical meal that we share around tables of four to eight people. Every event has a given topic for conversation for the night, and as dinner wraps up, someone gives a brief discussion over a given issue.
Over coffee and dessert, we take up the topic around the tables. El living is a safe place to ask dangerous questions, and we try to push past cliché responses and speak from our own stories and background. It's like a room full of tribal campfires, giving everyone a chance to share their stories of the road. Maybe you won't stay at that campfire forever, but maybe someone by your side needed to hear what you had to say. After its over (around 10:30), people take off or stay around and help wash a plate or two.
El Living is structured in a common global language, but is Spanish-speaker friendly. Much of our live music is in Spanish. And we simultaneously translate the talks. One table is all Spanish. Another all English. Most other tables are Spanglish. Who knows, fifty years from now we might do it in Mandarin.
We think some of life's greatest questions are answered along the way as people give themselves on behalf of those in need. A few times a year we like to get together and take a day or a weekend and head off to do some greater good on behalf of humanity. Come along with us as we build houses with Un Techo or help remodel a CAIF, or hand out sandwiches to the homeless.