Chingchuan Community Activities Center
The History: The aboriginal village of Chingchuan has never had an activities center, where people of the Tayal tribe could meet together, participate in training seminars, learn traditional crafts, or engage in a wide variety of activities that could benefit their cultural and economic development.
Up until now, the only venues for these activities have been the local primary school or the Catholic church building. Because there is not a proper place to hold gatherings, very little progress has been made in community development. In fact, recent years have seen a regression, with the main street in Chingchuan falling into neglect and decrepitude. It is time for a renewal project. The Chingchuan Community Activities Center could begin a rebirth for the village. Since the proposed Community Center is the first building on Chingchuan’s main street, it could inspire a total makeover美化 for Chingchuan’s old section and enable it to become what it should be: a beautiful, productive mountain village with historic significance for visitors and locals alike.
The vision: What is my dream? I have lived in Chingchuan for 35 years. I came here to help the Tayal people create an environment of beauty that could help them attain inner peace and happiness. My greatest frustration during these years has been seeing the village remain in disrepair and depression. While I have spent over half my life trying to beautify the church and its surroundings, I have been able to do very little for other parts of the village, despite incessant complaints and suggestions to government sources. However, during recent years, the Chang Hsue-liang Memorial and San Mao’s House have become big draws for tourists. And there are more plans for the area along the riverside. My dream is for Main Street to also look good, even cultural, so that the entire village would be appealing to everyone.
To begin this renewal project an attractive community center is needed. At present there is a sturdy, two-story cement structure that has not been used for over ten years. This is the first building people see when they enter the winding main street of the village. In years past, this building was used for the village credit union and coop, both of which later became defunct. The property is now owned by the government, but the structure belongs to the villagers. The government has granted permission to the villagers to use the building as community center, if they like. It could easily be renovated and made into a community activities center.
Possible uses for the activities center could include the teaching of indigenous arts and crafts, a gathering place for meetings, a youth club, or even a small restaurant or coffee shop, with an outlet to sell locally-made goods or produce to visitors. Some architect friends of mine have made a digital design of what the proposed community center would look like after its renovation, plus an estimate of the cost.
As the main street of Chingchuan winds its way toward the river, I also see in my vision a series of old, ethnically renovated houses, each with its own specialty – but this is another project for future days…
沿著清泉的主要街道蜿蜒曲折到了河邊，我也在我的願景中看見了一排排經過重建的當地傳統住家，每一戶都保有各自的特色 — 但，這是另一個未來的計劃了…
Fr Barry Martinson SJ
Pastor, Chingchuan Catholic Church
August 15 2011
丁松青 (Fr Barry Martinson SJ)