Irene Ventura, a vendor at the huge Mercado Central in San Salvador, tells how she is putting into practice what she learned at two two-hour workshops in Focusing, Listening and Nonviolent Communication that were given in July of 2009:
TRANSLATION: My name is Marta Irene Ventura.
I understand that, yes, there are still people who care about us. Sometimes we thought we had been forgotten because we didn’t have any value to anyone.These trainings have helped us to feel important.
For me, they have helped in the sense that I have practiced listening. And taking a breath before responding.
Sometimes one talks and doesn’t want anybody else to talk; at that time it’s good to listen to what the other person is feeling.
Also it’s helped with my family because I didn’t used to share much with them, but now I do, and I like listening to them, and respect their ideas. If they want to listen to music, I let them, or if they need my help washing I help them. Sometimes they ask me to cook a certain thing, and I cook it for them, and each time, I feel it has helped a lot.
And here in the Market, with my neighbors, it has also helped, because we all have different personalities, everyone has different opinions, and sometimes it’s good to listen to their ideas, because if we all thought the same way, everyday life wouldn’t be fun. And in that way I’ve learned a lot, because I look at them, and we’re all different, we all act in different ways, but myself, I try to act in best way I can. Sometimes one makes mistakes, because one always makes mistakes, but now it’s less. Before I would get mad, I would blow up, I would offend people, and now I say, no, that’s not good. .
I also like it when people listen to me. If I am with someone who can’t listen, who isn’t paying attention, I just stay quiet.
I feel proud to have known the people I met in the trainings, like Beatrice, because I feel she taught me a lot, things that I had never encountered or tried to understand, because one is always busy with work, work, work, and one never takes a moment for oneself. Sometimes it is very important to take time for ones own self, saying “I’m going to do this for me.. I want to feel that I am important.” That helps me a lot, and I’d like it to continue.
The workshops were organized by Melba Jiménez, who at the time was an administrator in the Mercado. She organized three different workshops for her fellow administrators, the rent collectors, and the vendors. Workshops were taught by Certified Focusing Trainer Beatrice Blake, assisted by Yara Jiménez. A series of trainings was also given at the Consejo Nacional de Salud Mental and at Sendas para la Mujer, a spiritual peer-counseling group in San Salvodor. Find out more at http://www.focusingnvc.com.