Who would have thought cruise ship passengers visiting the area would be interested in helping the less fortunate? The cruise ship adventure began with a request from a family asking about the schools in Chicxulub. I offered them the opportunity to come for a site visit the day they docked in Progreso. The village is a short 10 minute bus ride to the east.
Here there is the chance to visit Benito Juarez Elementary School and speak with the kids and teachers. Amazing how far a smile can go when seeing the children. Everyone tries a little Spanish/English and there are lots of smiles. There is again the opportunity to do a walk through the village to see the environment and how some of our people live. This is all done in a respectful manner.
We are often hot and thirsty at the end of the walking tour and we can stop at a Bamboo Beach, local restaurant that is the home for the Food Bank and quench our thirst and visit.
People from all over the States continue to donate school supplies and backpacks. The less fortunate kids receive these items in late August so they can start off their school year with a dream and the necessary supplies to achieve them.
I meet them where they get off the shuttle bus from the cruise ship to downtown Progreso and we take a local bus to the school, about 10 minutes away. At the school they meet the teachers, students and gain a better understanding of school life here. Then, if they wish, we do a walking tour of the village so they can see how the folks here live. This is often accompanied by discussions about housing and fresh water supply, things that we all take for granted. The group then returns to Progreso to continue their day’s visit.
Here is the list of needs as identified by the principals from both elementary schools in the village, Benito Juarez and Andres Quintana Roo.
- dry erase markers, brushes and board cleaner
- colored pencils
- art supplies
- first aid kits