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An Inside Look into the St. Anthony PPS with Aricela

At KDI, we work with communities through participatory design and construction. This means that community members take part in the process every step of the way- from design to finish. Here is a closer look at one of KDI’s valued community members in St. Anthony.

Aricela, also called ‘Chela’ by family and friends around St. Anthony Trailer Park, is a dedicated participant in the building process with KDI in the Coachella Valley of California. Every weekend, Aricela is among the first to arrive at the building site, ready to get to work. Last Saturday, I sat down to speak with her to find out her take on what is going on at the St. Anthony Productive Public Space currently, and to uncover what she hopes for with the completion of the project.

Aricela (in pink) and her friend Pearl

Aricela is 8 years old and currently in the third grade. She was born in Coachella in the St. Anthony Trailer Park but her family is from Michoacán, Mexico. Aricela is usually accompanied by her little brother Ernesto, 4 years old. Her favorite activities are playing soccer outside with her brothers and reading. She says, “I am excited about all the things that will come with the project, like the stage, the pretty flowers, and the park. I like to help build here and I want to play with my friends and brother when it is finished.”

Aricela and her little brother, Ernesto

The picture above is of Aricela and her brother Ernesto after they had planted one of the first shrubs in the St. Anthony Productive Public Space.

Aricela mentioned at the end of our interview that she is excited that her little brother Ernesto will have a nice place to play while he grows up in St. Anthony.

It is always exciting getting to hear first hand accounts of what is going on at the project site, and to understand how people are feeling throughout the building process. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned to the KDI blog for more interviews with community members!

– Jessie

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