La Casa del Arbol is located in the Floresta neighborhood on Quito's western slope. It is a community space, offering classes and workshops, and works to promote interpersonal relationships between neighbors and people who frequent the house.
Reading groups for children and their parents, a weekly farmers market, and weaving workshops are just some of the activities offered in this space.
"For us the library is a very important space, because it is a launching pad to take back reading, because in today's world there is the influence of television, of videogames, of screens, telephones, and here children leave this technology and we can emphasize reading physical books. So that is how this space came to be on Mondays, which is called Afternoons of Free Play and Reading,” Casa del Arbol Maria community member Jose Flores told teleSUR English.
Every Wednesday local products are sold in this multi-functional space, in a market called the Zapallo Verde.
Frequent shopper at Zapallo Verde Beatriz Toapanta said, "This is organic food, and for this reason most homemakers from the neighborhood come to shop here. They take home baskets of produce. You have to be here at 4, 5 in the afternoon to take advantage of the first products, because afterwards they run out."
People from across the Floresta neighborhood come to buy produce, sausages, dairy products, spices and natural remedies, which are all organic and chemical-free.
"Here we are small groups of producers, small-scale producers, but that are conscious about what we are giving, what is being provided to consumers. So all of us who are getting together are a small group, but socially aware,” said organizer of the market Germania Jurado to teleSUR English.
Thursdays are the day for knitting and weaving at the Casa del Arbol. People are encouraged to bring their own supplies, and organizers say they want to bring back the medicinal value of weaving and various patterns found throughout Ecuador.
Community member Valeria de la Torre said, "We want to recuperate weaving from a lot of different parts of Ecuador, and also make a written record, a record that can be open to all the women who want to reconnect with weaving. Before it was our grandmothers who taught us how to do crochet or knit, but now very few do this now, very few. There are not a lot of spaces to learn how to weave if you want to. So this is one of the reasons why we created this space."
The Casa del Arbol is a daily hub of activity, offering activities for children and adults alike, to build community, learn new skills and develop interpersonal relationships.