During the final week of March, which was full of volunteerism for the Gran Pacifica staff and partner groups, several members of the medical mission took a break from making diagnoses and giving medical advice to attend a volunteer trip to a local elementary school.
There were around a half dozen volunteers. Some included members from the medical mission, such as Ms. Roslyn Parker, the trip organizer for Travel To Do Good. Other volunteers included members of the Gran Pacifica staff, such as Helio Alfaro, who regularly teaches English classes at the California School. Holly Wilson, Gran Pacifica’s full time Corporate Social Responsibility volunteer, frequently joins him. She also regularly teaches English classes at the nearby San Diego School.
The school event was organized by Ms. Maureen Cantu. It was her first trip with Travel To Do Good. She had met Roslyn in 2016, and after discussing the Travel To Do Good organization and its trips to Nicaragua, Maureen decided she wanted to try it. Maureen is an ESL teacher, so putting together an activity for Spanish-speaking students came naturally to her. She has expressed an interest in working with Travel To Do Good in the future.
There were two classes of students (3rd and 4th graders), with 37 children in total. Maureen organized an art project for the students. They traced their hands, used Q-tips dipped in multiple colors of paint to decorate their art projects, and then finished the projects off with stickers.
Some children chose to get a little more creative with their art projects.
However, all of the children were proud of what they accomplished.
The children enjoyed many other treats throughout the day as well. Rachel Zakem, one of the volunteers with the medical mission, sang the children a song from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Her beautiful voice entertained the children very much.
Eventually, once all of the art projects were finished, the children moved on to face painting. Professor Helio, as well as Gran Pacifica staff member Osmond Picado, took care of the face painting duties. Cat whiskers were a popular request, but many styles of face paint were given out.
In addition to the art classes, there were many plants donated to the school by Gran Pacifica Resort. In the coming days, Gran Pacifica staff will head out to the school to help the students plant these shrubs around the school premises.
In the end, it was a very fun day for all involved.
Gran Pacifica would like to thank all of those who volunteered their time to make this amazing event possible. This includes members of Travel To Do Good, Help Them Help Themselves, as well as members of the Gran Pacifica staff. We would like to extend a specific thank you to a few key individuals, including Osman Picado, Angela Smetana, Dr. Lori Zakem, Dr. Andrea Martinez and Maureen Cantu. Without the hard work and dedication of these individuals and groups, none of these activities would have been possible!