Uruguay 2012Tara, Marjan and Kristen do: Montevideo San Jos Campamento Artigas Punta del Este Colonia del Sacramento
Montevideo Our Uruguayan Y familia. Omar, Augustn, Tara, Marjan, Kristen, Adrian, Jess.
MontevideoMargarita provided Tara and I with a place to stay while we were in Montevideo. She also provided us with cake 24/7 and gave us the recipe when we left.
Montevideo1)1.3 Million people/3 million cows. They eat a lot of meat!2)Capital of Uruguay.3) Official language is Spanish.3)Average summer temperature 28C which feels like 40C with the humidity. Most places do not have a/c. It was hot!5)We spent the first 5 days in Montevideo exploring the city and the different branches and programs of the ACJ (Asociacin Cristiana de Jvenes).6)We also spent a lot of time BBQ-ing.
MontevideoACJ CentroA 7-story building with 2 pools, a fitness centre, courts, several basketball gyms, a salon, theatre, university, social media department, and administrative offices. The main function of the downtown branch is to provide a recreation facility for people, promote the core values between staff and members, and provide programs such as fitness classes, swimming lessons, day camps and leader courses. There is another location that is considered a part of the Downtown branch from which social programs and created and carried-out.
Montevideo The day-camp centre at the Downtown branch.
MontevideoLa Teja and Piedras BlancasOne of the biggest social issues in Montevideo is people lacking skills to be able to enter the work force, and therefore are left unemployed. La Teja and Piedras Blancas are branches dedicated to helping people acquire skills such as using computers and making resumes. Another issue in Montevideo is that a lot of students are not succeeding past grade 6 (in a 9-grade program), and less are graduating. These two branches offer homework and studying support. Another program that Piedras Blancas runs is a business program in which youth make pencil cases and tote bags to sell. The proceeds go towards the cost of supplies. This program allows the youth to be creative, gain skills and do something positive with their time. These satellite branches are further away from the city centre. For some individuals, access to needs such as seeing a doctor, is limited. At each of these branches there is a doctor, a nurse, a psychologist and a sociologist to help provide basic needs.
Montevideo Las Piedras Blancas Branch
MontevideoACJ PortonesLike the Downtown Branch,Portones is focused onrecreational youthprograms.
MontevideoBBQ PartiesA common gathering spent socializing and eating lots of meat. This party was organized by Jesus and his family to unite the youth involved with the ACJ.
San Jos1)Population: 40, 000 or so.2)Separate from the ACJ Montevideo3)One HFR branch and a Casa4)HFR branch has 1 pool, 1 basketball gym, courts, a fitness centre and an outdoor living area (for classes and BBQs). Programs are similar to Montevideo; There are fitness classes, swimming lessons, day camps and leader courses.
San Jos HFR Facility
San JosOutdoor Yoga
San JosOutdoor Pool
San JosLa CasitaSocial programs are for children and youth. They consist ofhomework and studying help, providing breakfast and after schoolnutritious snacks, a place to shower and brush their teeth (as manyof the children that come to the facility do not have clean water intheir homes), and an organic garden where youth grow vegetablesand use them to make meals and snacks. There is a childrenscoordinator and a youth coordinator, alongside a psychologist,sociologist and nurse. The main focus of this branch is to empoweryouth and give them the skills to succeed through school, as well asprovide them with basic life needs. The programs are funded by thegovernment, and the Casita facility was funded by Winnipeg. Theywant to purchase the land beside the building to use as an outdooractivity area. It will cost them approximately $8000.00.
San JosLa Casita
San JosThe San Jose Crew
San JosHaving a snack with the kids at the Casita
San JosMany kids who come to the Casita do not have runningwater or clean water in their homes, so they take showersand brush their teeth there.
San JosCarla the CEO of the San Jose ACJ, with Tara andMarjan.
Campamento Artigas-Provide adventure, relaxation and fun for children, youth and adults-20 regular full time staff (maintenance, kitchen, administration anddirection).-The leaders (and leaders in training) run the show in terms of runningactivities and taking care of the campers.-Open 24/7/365-Rental camp-Can hold up to 400 people-Zip-lines, Boating, Canoeing, Swimming, Climbing walls, Parks, Sports,Games, Dances and more.-Very rustic camp. Start a fire to have a hot shower, hammock beds.-Family Camp-Tradition! Soup, Camp fires, Meal time and intros, Night games anddances.
Campamento ArtigasThis was the bus we went on to Camp with the 6 leadersfrom San Jose, 40 kids, 2 drums, a tambourine and amegaphone for singing.
Campamento ArtigasOn our way to camp, a heard of cows decided to comestampeding towards the bus!
Campamento ArtigasOur cabin!
Campamento ArtigasDining hall
Campamento ArtigasWarming up thewater for showers.
Campamento ArtigasThe 3km beach!!
Campamento ArtigasActivities at Camp!
Campamento ArtigasSan Jose groupLeaders wereAwesome!!!
Campamento ArtigasPopi- The camp dog
Campamento Artigas Family Camp! Summer 2012 Mayan Theme
Campamento ArtigasArts and Crafts during family camp
Campamento ArtigasParks and Sports
Punta del EsteAfter the first week, Tara Marjan and I went to the beachtown of Punta del Este to get to know each other.
Punta del Este
Colonia del SacramentoAt the end of our stay at camp, we got to visit the town ofColonia del Sacramento, which was an old Portuguesecolony.
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento
Highlights of the Experience The most important part of the trip for me were seeing how strong the leaders wereboth from Montevideo and from San Jose. It was really amazing to see 15 and 16 year old youthhave the confidence and ability to care for and entertain a huge group of kids for 3-5 days. Theirenthusiasm and level of involvement with the ACJ was rejuvenating and reminded me that I am apart of a great organization. Another very important aspect of the trip was that even thought we were thousands ofkilometers away from home, because we were involved with the ACJ, we felt at home. Adrian,Jesus and Margarita took care of us very well, and took us into their families. Because of them wemade many friends. Margarita felt like a long lost friend to both Tara and I, we would often havelunch together and end up sitting at the table for hours afterwards talking about our lives, etc.The emphasis on the demonstration of core values between staff and members made us feel wewere in a familiar place. It was really interesting to learn about the social programscreated by the ACJ to help individuals transcend through social issues. The coordinators at the Casita suggested that we connect our youth so they can haveexposure to each others cultures. I hope this is something we can possibly launch. Experiencing Uruguays country and culture was amazing. Uruguayans are a livelyand humble people. We got to see 4 different cities and spend time at the beautiful CampArtigas, which was basically a retreat. I was surprised at how safe I felt while I was in Uruguay. Culture shocks- Surprisingly the food was very similar to what we eat here, thelanguage was not a barrier for me either. Some challenges were trying to bare the heat, andwaiting until 9pm (at the earliest!!!) to eat dinner.
A message from Agustin SilvaWe are very proud of our long-standing relationshipwith the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg. Although we arenot able to contribute to the relationship financially, weare eager to contribute in other ways.