Camp for girls in El Ayote, R.A.A.S. (Nicaragua), from January 17th to the 24th
This past January 17th the first camp for girls was held in El Ayote,Nicaragua which concluded on the evening of January 24th. Father Rafael and four sisters attended the camp. It only lasted eight days, but they were eight days full of graces. Seventy-two girls from El Ayote and from 20 other towns participated in the camp. The camp began on Saturday Jan. 17 with an opening mass at six in the afternoon, and was attended also by the boys who were later going to participate in the camp for boys, some family members and people from the village. From very early in the day the girls from more distant communities started arriving. Some had to leave their homes (at one or two o'clock in the morning), mounted on their horses or mules for more than eight hours in order to reach the Parish of San José. They did not want to miss any part of the camp. For all the girls, this was the first time that they were participating in a camp.
We divided the girls into eight teams. The day started with morning prayers by the mast, with the cry: "Who causes so much joy? The Immaculate Conception of Mary. And who is the most beautiul? The Virgin of Cuapa. For Our Lady of the Home, always more and better! ". Then we had breakfast and afterwards did the prayers before the Blessed Sacrament. Many of the girls felt that this was the best time of the day and of the camp. And, once we recharged our batteries before the Lord, we could continue with everything else: cleaning chores, sports, the river, hand crafts...Then we saw a short video on the subject assigned for each day. The most important moment of the day came at six in the afternoon, when we had the celebration of the Eucharist, in which the people of the town also participated. After the mass, we had dinner and, then, the preparation for the "cultural night", in which each team prepared a number to present. The day ended with our saying “Good night” to our Mother.
On January 21 we had a party at the camp: one of the girls was turning 15 years old. It was a very special day, in which all the girls joined together to decorate the dining room, to dress the birthday girl, make up songs, poems and some cultural numbers. Also Mrs. Dania, the wife of the Mayor, brought us ice cream to enjoy in the celebration. Maria Luisa, the birthday girl, was very happy and filled with emotion because she saw all this celebration as a gift from the Virgin Mary and of our Lord Jesus.
On the penultimate day of the camp we went on missions through the village. On previous days, the girls had prepared bracelets with the image of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal to give to the families. It was a great gift to spend some time with the families, pray with them and invite them to the procession which we were going to have that afternoon, in which the Queen of camp would be carried on the shoulders of the people.
The theme of the camp was: "Show us that you are Mother". And, really, the Virgin was present and was with us from the first moment in all the activities. She covered us with her mantle and kept away the rains that were forecasted. According to the forecast it was going to rain all week, but thanks to God and our Mother, it did not rain on any day of camp.
The days spent at the camp have been a beautiful and unforgettable experience for all. "We take to our homes and communities everything we've learned and lived here. I want to share this experience with all the youth of my community, “said one of the girls. Thank you Mother for this opportunity to be with you and your Son. Thank you for everything you have taught us. Give us the strength to follow you and be faithful to you! And as one could read in the t-shirt of the camp: "Give me an army of young people who pray the Rosary, and we will conquer the whole world".