Girls' camp in Jambelí (Ecuador), March 15-22, 2015.
After a long search, we finally found a place to have the summer camp with the girls from Guayaquil. We went to the province of St. Helena to a tiny village called Jambelí and right on the border with the neighboring town, Monte Verde, there was our small hotel Sagoatoa, which we had heard so much about as a possible place to hold the camp. We went to see it and… it was the chosen place for the event. It is a place with a private beach and is equipped with cabins, dining room, kitchen, chapel and space to play, in addition to the beach. We have to say that we are very grateful to the owners, Eduardo and Guadalupe, for providing us with the place and everything we needed to go ahead with the camp. We would like to take advantage of this moment to ask the Virgin Mary to bless them and to always accompany them in every moment of their lives.
On March 13th, the first group of monitors and two sisters set out, in order to get situated, to train the monitors and to look for some places to go on hikes.
On the 15th the rest of the campers arrived, 69 in total, and all that once had been only ideas, hypotheses and words became a reality.
For starters, the first thing we did was to test the water from the beach. Then we had the first meeting in which we explained how the camp functions, and since our stomachs spoke more than our mouths, we went to eat.
It was a very intense week; it seemed that the day was lacking hours. Games, chores, workshops, marches, bathing on the beach, sports, meetings, prayer, mass, desserts, night games, camp fires, songs... We didn't have time to do everything.
The motto was 'In search of the footsteps of the faith'. We wanted the camp to revolve around the faith and how it had come to America. Every day we tried to give a brief history of the advancement of the faith. The first day we concentrated on the Caribbean Islands, which were the first to receive the missionaries that had arrived from Europe and from there we went to different countries in which they went spreading the faith.
We had the opportunity to do a rosary of torches along the beach. Many girls received many special graces from the Virgin Mary during this moment.
Another day we went to a nearby shrine, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. This shrine is in a town called El Palmar, on top of a hill. To get there we walked along the entire length of the beach, crossing a stretch of water with the aid of a rope. We arrived at the village and now we only had to climb up the hill. There were a few stairs that gave us the opportunity to have a healthy exercise with the advantage of offering it for a personal intention.We spent the entire day there, we ate, we played games, had meetings by teams, we joined the Way of the Cross, in the sanctuary that they had, at three in the afternoon and we ended with Mass at 4:15. On the way back, it was high tide, so we could not return through the beach, so we had to walk on the road making the trip a little longer. But as the girls screamed: "if we have to walk… It’s ok” so we walked until we reached the camp, around 7 p.m. But God gave us a beautiful sunset with colors in the sky that left us with our mouths opened, praising the Creator.
El último día, tuvimos las entradas al Hogar, momento emocionante; repartimos los premios y regresamos ya a Guayaquil, después de la comida, con el estómago y el corazón llenos, cada uno, de aquello que le sacia.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, our Queen and our Mother! Bless our Camp! For Christ, for the Virgin Mary! More, more and more!