Celebrating Volunteerism at El Puente de Esperanza

On May 12, 2011, there was a special event at El Puente de Esperanza, I.A.P.  El Puente provides a home in Querétaro and supports the education of young people from families living in poverty so that they can lead productive lives.  Through its 16 years of operation, El Puente has relied on the assistance of volunteers from Mexico, the U.S., and Europe, to help its young beneficiaries.  The most recent example of their generosity was celebrated on that evening.

The kids at El Puente urgently need improved computers for their school assignments, research, and personal exploration of the world.  Through the use of the Peace Corps Partnership Program web site, Peace Corps Mexico volunteer Charles Goldsmith raised nearly US$4,100 from friends and family in the U.S. to purchase new computers and related equipment.  On May 12, Kathleen (Kitty) Kaping, Deputy Director of Peace Corps Mexico, officially presented a check for the new equipment to Mary Elizabeth Charlot Arellanos, President of the Board of Directors of El Puente.

But the evening was about more than computers.  The event was attended by several local volunteers, which included Mexicans supporters and members of the Board, the Amigos de El Puente (a group of U.S. and European residents of Querétaro who assist El Puente), Peace Corps volunteers, and other friends.  Promoting the culture of volunteerism is the theme of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary this year and the kids at El Puente reflected this idea in their remarks at the event.  Elizabeth Pascual Ventura, Ramona Medina Olvera, and Azucena García Morales, three of the current beneficiaries of El Puente, spoke to the audience about their experiences.  Elizabeth expressed the views of everyone when she said that all of us — the kids of El Puente and volunteers — grow as human beings when we work together for the greater good.

The evening ended with empanadas and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the kids of El Puente.  Everyone associated with El Puente — its young beneficiaries and Mexican and foreign volunteers – welcomed this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the organization over the past 16 years and to look forward to continued success in the future!

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