The winter guests at Paraiso del Pescador RV Park and Bunglows in Rincón de Guayabitos had been talking about doing some community outreach in a school for a couple of years, but we really didn’t know where to start.
In early January 2014, three of our group got serious and meet with Jamie of El Marlin Restaurant as he had some connections in the Jaltemba Bay area’s school system. Jamie took them around to see some of the kindergardens and to check on what their needs were. It was easy to choose the kindergarden in Puerta de La Lima as their playground needed help. Soon after, a meeting was set up with Ken Snyder and Ryan Campbell from Los Amigos de Jaltemba, who quickly mentored our group and sold us a set of spare monkey bars.
Then our group – Sveinn Helgason, Lorne DeGirolamo, Eli Pighin, Laura Saunders, Ross Driver, David & Joanne Killey, Ed Szeliga, Glen & Linda Sutley and family, Keith Jones, Art & Gerry Laforge and Annie Boldt – ventured out on our own with the assistance of Refugio ‘Cuco’ Avila Montes (interpreter and parent), Magaly Gonzoles Flores (Chair of the PTA) and Karla Conzolaz (kindergarden teacher) to come up with a plan to fix up the playgrounds.
First off, 24 mini school chairs in disrepair were brought back to the RV park where our volunteers made new seats and backs, and sanded and painted the chairs in bright kindergarden colors (shown above). When the chairs were delivered back to the school, excited children ran to the truck to carry them back into their classroom.
Next, the teacher’s badly damaged desk was brought back to the RV park and the top was replaced. Then a large, triangular multi-use wooden bench was fabricated.
A load of pea gravel was deposited in front of the school’s fence and Mom’s arrived with wheel barrows and buckets to move the gravel to the play area. It was spread under the swings, wooden benches and monkey bars.
Then a painting crew of park volunteers arrived to spiffy up the existing equipment while the children ran about us.
By now it is getting close to the end of February and time for some of our Paraiso del Pescador snowbirds to fly or drive home, but not before we celebrated the end of the season with a hot dog lunch for the children and their Mothers.
We have come back to Canada with a ‘wish list’ of supplies from the teacher for school supplies for the next kindergarden class, 2014-2015.
It feels good to have a project in the Jaltemba Bay area that our winter friends at Paraiso del Pescador Bungalows and RV Park can support!
by Annie Boldt
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