International Service Project 2014: A Preface

By Anthony Lam

In May 2014, we will be embarking on our fourth International Service Project in our Group’s history – this time to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  A contingent of 22 Rovers and Advisors from the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group will be partnering with a contingent of 9 people from 1st Rivorton Rover Crew from Fredericton, New Brunswick for our first ever joint International Service Project.  With less than six months left away from departure date, every member from our Group is working hard to prepare for this trip.

In the next few months and during the trip itself, we will be sharing details of our preparations and projects.  Every international service project is a highly meaningful experience for all our members, and we intend on documenting as many moments as we can. For the first in line of many posts, I would like to share with you details of what we will be doing in Puerto Vallarta, including renovations at the elementary school, an English literacy program, and contributing to the construction of a Scouts campground.

Renovations at an Elementary School for Underprivileged Children

Many people know of Puerto Vallarta as a spectacular resort city at the edge of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, but a lesser known fact is that many underprivileged families live in and around the city’s public garbage dump that directly overlooks these resorts.  For these families, critical hardships like meeting basic needs, safe living standards, and child care are difficulties they face everyday.  Fortunately, thanks to other mission agencies, children are afforded the limited opportunity to go to school so that they are given the chance to be the next valuable contributors to society.  We will be spending some time working directly at the school so that we can further enable these children to reach their potential.

We will be working at the school to renovate its kitchen so that children are given hot and nutritious meals every morning.  We will also be working on building an external stage that the school can use for performances and award presentations to children.  This is an extremely meaningful project because our work will directly be affecting the every day lives of children who attend the school.

English Literacy Program

A team of our dedicated Rovers will be heading read-alongs and programs that will help children learn English.

Construction of a Mexico Scouts Association Campground and Weekly Meeting Place

Many Scout groups in Canada are fortunate enough to have a designated meeting place; however, this is not the case in Puerto Vallarta.  We have been in contact with their local Scout office and found out that they are currently committed to build a new meeting hall and campground, slated for completion in late June 2014.  Our contingent will also be helping and guiding them through the process.  Our contingent is made up of leaders from many Scout groups in the Lower Mainland, and we all know how fortunate we are to have a weekly meeting place.  It would be a humbling experience to be able to to be able to give Puerto Vallarta Scouts the same experience.

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That’s all I have for this post!  Our 14 days in Mexico will be an incredible experience for many of our members who will be attending their first international service project with our Group.  With just a few more months left to go until our project, our entire Group will all be working hard to ensure that we are prepared to leave behind the greatest positive impact that we can in Mexico.


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