A day in Gandria

What better than a trip on the lake in a sunny spring Saturday?? That’s what seed organized last Saturday with a group of Muslim woman coming form very different countries and now living in Switzerland. The trip was part of an outdoor training carried out in Switzerland in the context of the Sharing Landscapes project.
This outdoor experience was designed for providing immigrants in Switzerland with an opportunity to understand the Swiss-Italian culture of work and to learn about the region of Lake Ceresio (also called Lugano Lake). The program blended natural beauties, culture and meeting with interesting people. Moreover one point that is at the basis of the experiences is that the local economy in Ticino (and in Northern Italy as well) is determined by small and medium enterprises, often active in craftmanship and commerce.
This outdoor experience was organized on three key moments:
– travelling across the lake on the boat. In this moment, after a presentation of the whole trip, information about the landscape and the history of the region was presented, focussing on the business that would have been encountered later (in this specific case: pottery). Women was asked to formulate questions about being an entrepreneur and about the region for the meeting with the entrepreneur.
– visiting Gandria. Gandria is a small lake side village, still kept as it was one century ago. It was a unique opportunity to see a wonderful place and to learn about Ticino. Indeed, this part of Switzerland, now perceived as “rich”, one century ago was a rural area, away from main communication routes, with people living out of small agriculture, fishery and small commerce.

– meeting an entrepreneur (in this case, a couple, a man and a woman which started handcraft pottery as a second career). In fact we had the opportunity to meet the story of the entrepreneurs, their motivations, challenges, successes, and to discuss with them about their choice. Also, watching how pottery is being made, gave the opportunity to discuss about creativity and the value of tradition.

Special thanks from seed to Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano SA, which provided a special price boat for this event.