This has been an exciting summer for the Nuestra Familia Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico! Our amazing Summer Camp volunteers began their summer by helping at a local school. At the school, they took the initiative to teach fun summer classes like gardening, music, art, cooking, dance and English!  Here are a few of the highlights.

They Taught Us How to Love

Summer Camp volunteer Ali Bustos had this to say about her Summer Camp experience:

“This summer was hands down the best summer of my life. I went to Tijuana having no clue what the summer would look like. I only had enough Spanish to order tacos and find the bathroom. I think if I had to sum it up, Summer Camp taught me to live and love big. I lived 24/7 with the best kids. They were born into tough home lives, but they are strong, resilient, and incredible. They are the cutest, happiest, funniest, most hardworking kids. It felt like the privilege of a lifetime to know them. After a month or so, it was like they were my own family. I’ve never loved anyone more in my life. I taught them gardening class, but they taught me how to love. They taught me how to work hard and play harder. They taught me how to appreciate every little thing in life. Even in their humble circumstances, they see abundance. With charades, and a whole lot of Google translate, they taught me how to speak Spanish. I’d give the world to live in Mexico with those kids forever. I have never felt love or joy like I did at Nu Fam.”

Ali Bustos

At Summer Camp we are blessed to grow together. Like Ali, we have all stretched our capacity to love and learn from each other.

We Flourished with Confidence!

Volunteer Hannah Marchant fostered confidence and creativity at Summer Camp:

“In art class, the children were all engaged and proud of their work! At the start, many kids have very little confidence in their abilities. They will draw something, erase it, and give up. One girl, Yulia, struggled with her drawing and became frustrated. However, our volunteers encouraged her to continue and championed her success. She ended up LOVING what she made and felt proud of the final result. Additionally, Anthony, who only participates in activities he deems “cool,” learned to appreciate the beauty in art. At the beginning of class he would only paint silly faces. After a while, he started to enjoy class and worked hard on his painting for 50 minutes. He was also very proud of the art he made.” After a month or so, it was like they were my own family. I’ve never loved anyone more in my life. I taught them gardening class, but they taught me how to love. They taught me how to work hard and play harder. They taught me how to appreciate every little thing in life. Even in their humble circumstances, they see abundance. With charades, and a whole lot of Google translate, they taught me how to speak Spanish. I’d give the world to live in Mexico with those kids forever. I have never felt love or joy like I did at Nu Fam.”

Hannah Marchant

The volunteers’ biggest goal for classes is boosting the children’s confidence. Volunteers like Hannah play a big part in accomplishing that goal. We love to see this change in the kids!

We Pushed Through Obstacles!

At San Juan Bosco school, a local school for specialized education, volunteers met a hilarious 15-year-old named Cleo. Math is hard for Cleo and she struggles to solve simple problems. Noticing her struggle, volunteer Ali Buestos explained math in a way she could understand. Cleo started to answer every question right and was excited to learn more. She was then eager to help her classmates who needed help too. Cleo was an inspiration to us all at Summer Camp!

Equally as inspiring are Nuestra Familia’s recent graduates. Those that graduated from secondary school invited the volunteers to their ceremony. Volunteer Elisa Schmitt expressed how amazing it was to celebrate this achievement with them. She was happy to be invited and was excited to cheer the kids on. We hope the graduates continue to thrive in their next stage of life!

We Followed our Passions!

An administrator from Nuestra Familia’s patron organization, El Sembrador, came and spoke to the kids. Afterward, one of the teens at the orphanage asked if he could interview our speaker. The visitor was surprised with the request but accepted the invitation. The visitor told everyone listening about how he grew up as a poor boy in Tijuana, having to shine shoes to afford clothes and other necessities. Later, as he became successful in his own industry, he had a chance to meet The Pope. The administrator humbly asked if he could shine The Pope’s shoes, telling him about his childhood in Tijuana. He felt called to remind The Pope of the poor and suffering people around the world. Though he is successful now, he understood that he could never forget where he came from. Children and volunteers alike were inspired to dream bigger, recalls volunteer Ali Buestos.

A big thanks goes out to our volunteers and the huge impact they’ve had this summer! Thank you for sacrificing a summer to make a difference. Please join us next summer to learn more love, more confidence, more resilience, and more inspiration. Email info@achf.org for more information. Thank you for helping lift our orphanages from surviving to thriving!

Together, we’re lifting orphans from surviving to thriving.

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