In January of 2006, Nicole Swedlow began teaching arts and crafts on her old kitchen table in the street in front of a little storefront that she had rented. The idea was to invite local artists to sell their crafts in the store and in turn for a reduced commission rate on sales, they would be asked to teach an art class to children or adults in the community.
The store sat empty and things moved slowly until a cash gift of a friend, John Arner helped buy inventory to make the store look more like a store and “the project” began to attract visitors, artists and more interest.
In the summer of 2006 Entreamigos had two breakthrough events with the start of the Summer Workshops and their first Planta San Pancho reforestation day. In 2007 Indira Santos and Plantate Baronio joined Entreamigos and together they expanded the upstairs of their storefront to create a small library. The Recycling program and the Recicla Parque initiatives took off, the Scholarship program was launched and by the end of 2008, it was clear that the activities of Entreamigos could no longer be contained in the small space or the street.
The dream for a permanent space started down the path towards reality in April of 2009, when the State Government of Nayarit granted Entreamigos the use of a giant abandoned warehouse (bodega). A resounding and generous response from the community coupled with the funding impulse of the Three Swallows Foundation, provided the resources necessary to remodel the building.
Today Entreamigos enjoys the use of a spectacular facility as a platform to continue the work that they started. To teach what they know and invite others to join them.
Here are a few pictures of the early days…