Well we are back and if I were to label my feeling after our inaugural project as an independent organization, it would be that of deep contentment. On the most important level, we created an opportunity for some teens with cancer to participate in some new and fun activities and just enjoy some freedom. 14 young teens, 2 staff from AMANC, and 1 paramedic joined my kids and I, and our host family for a total of 28 who took part in Campamento 31 Pies (feet, not pastries).
Contentment came first in seeing the fun that we were having together, and knowing that this was the first trip ever for some of these teens, and that without it, most would never have had the opportunity to go quadding, horseback riding and to a huge waterslide park. A more sobering perspective of course, was knowing that there were some teens who may not have the opportunity again.
We have stated that we value finding places to assist that are under-resourced, and that we want to create partnerships with those from the area we are working in and again I find contentment in how we addressed those values.
The teens we brought were from more marginalized communities, and from homes and families with few resources; our host family live in the community we invited the teens to; our cooks were from the same community; the money raised to take the teens to the waterpark came from a group of young adults who work at Proctor & Gamble in Mexico City who wanted to help; the t-shirts were designed and donated by a young adult in Colima; and all the staff and leaders were from Mexico.
Support in the form of financial resources did come from Canada as well, and without it the camp wouldn’t have taken place. But to be true to our values, we intentionally didn’t do it all ourselves, and to be frank, we couldn’t have!
We have heard back from the staff of AMANC, and the teens and their parents, and all have expressed their desire to make this an annual event, and their contentment to have been able to participate.
And that, of course merely adds another layer to my own.
(Check the projects page soon for pics of our camp, and this blog for some comments from my kids – Diego, 11 and Dia, 9 – regarding their perspective of the camp)