A Race Through Puerto Vallarta: Day 7 of #iProj14

By Edna Cheng and Anthony Lam

Today, our whole contingent traveled to downtown Puerto Vallarta to participate in a joint Rover Rally with the Mexican Rover Scouts.

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Most of our contingent had their first experience of Puerto Vallarta’s public transportation as we took the bus to Town Hall Plaza today to begin the rally, and what a warm welcome we received!  After a round of greetings and mingling, we were divided into 10 teams with a healthy mix of Canadian and Mexican Rovers to come up with our own team cheer that we had to recite at every station.  To join us in our welcoming festivities was the Chief Scout of Mexico, Scouter Ana Lorena Gudiño Valdez, who led us in a ceremony that included speeches, songs and dances.  Scouter Ana even joined us in some of our games and it was such an honour for us to see her at the event.

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Our mission for today was very simple; complete 10 challenging stations before a certain time in a fashion similar to the Amazing Race, and on paper, that did seem very easy!  Little did we know that the stations required knowledge of many things that characterizes a Scout.

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One of the tenets of the Scout Law states that a “Scout is wise in the use of all resources”, and several stations tested us on that.  We were given very basic prompts and we were expected to produce results with the objects and materials that we had in the surrounding area. Many of the stations were designed to expose us to Mexican culture.  We were required to sing a song in Spanish, explore Mexican stores and even learn about Mexican history!  At one of the stations, we were required to build a structure, and it was at that point where I saw how Scouting is genuinely an international movement.  We were required to build a structure with materials we find in the forest in order to elevate our daypacks above the ground.  It was interesting to see my teammates share their common knowledge of pioneering skills.  The skills that we learned in Canada are exactly the same as the skills the Mexican Scouts learned.

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However, what stood out to me the most today was a station where we had to sing a song in Spanish.  The leader at that station later explained that singing is very important to Mexican culture because it is integrated into so many things in their lives, whether they are celebrating or working together.  As long as there is a group of people, song and dance will definitely be a part of their daily lives.  We have been in Puerto Vallarta for one week, and whenever we meet the Mexican Rover Scouts, they lead us in songs and dance.

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On behalf of the contingent, I would like to express our thanks to the Mexican Rovers and Scout Leaders who organized today’s activity. We all learned a lot about Mexican culture and Scouting skills.

Today is also one of our photographer, Alex Dang’s, birthday!  Before we set off on our race, we sang “Happy Birthday” to Alex in three different languages, English, Spanish and Cantonese!  It was so inspiring to see different cultures connected together via Scouting to wish someone a very happy birthday.

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Anthony Lam

One Response to “A Race Through Puerto Vallarta: Day 7 of #iProj14

  • It is amazing to see how scouters from different cultures and background came together, learned from each other, and conquered the fun challenges of the day! And what better way to share our traditions and culture than by experiencing it in real life scenarios. Kudos to the Mexican Rovers, Scout Leaders, and Puerto Vallartans for a memorable day.

    Thanks for keeping us posted. Keep rocking!

    P.S. Happy Birthday Alex! >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ddNpwiAXKE (Spanish version of course, now that you’re all on your way to learn Spanish 😉

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