Tuesday, 31 May 2011

La Fuente del Peregrino (The Pilgrim´s Fountain) Opens for the Season

Twelve years ago the Fuente del Peregrino (The Pilgrim´s Fountain) opened its doors for the first time to receive weary fellow pilgrims from all around the world to be served within its walls. Tomorrow, as every year, a team led by Natán de Souza and Ibana Blas will arrive in Ligonde to prepare the house, dust off the furniture, fill up the pantry, ready the kitchen and put all the beds in order and then they will leave it ready for the first group of workers that will arrive on Sunday to begin serving hundreds of people until September.

Natán and Ibana will be accompanied by three volunteers that will help them in this task: but the most important, as Natán said, was the joy and excitement that comes with opening the house. It is opening the doors, so to speak, to the hope of an endless number of stories shared by the pilgrims, by people longing to be cared for, received and eager to know the "camino."

On Sunday, the first work team, led by Rex Winn, will arrive to kick of this year´s hisotry. We hope that as many pilgrims travel along the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) they too will find the true Way.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The LINK made it to Jaén

The Link, an activity that has already been mentioned on the blog, was experienced in Jaén. The Link helps participants better understand the Zero File and experience to a certain extent what the characters experience. 

On May 14th Mar Resa and Gema Alvarez met up with a group of teenagers and young adults to introduce the Zero File to them and to share the Link activity. Together with them were several young people from Málaga who went  as volunteeres to help facilitate the activity.

"The experience was very positive. They really liked the episodes from the series and all the activities and reflection questions that were presented. In fact, some of them asked us to come back to be able to repeat the experience in their own churches. There is no doubt that the Zero File is reaching so many teenagers and young adults in our country and Link is helping us to get to know their hearts more and more." --Gema Alvarez.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Existe Más Mundo Málaga in Portugal

On April 28 and 29 and also May 3 and 4, the promotion and re-launching of Existe Más Mundo took place at the Psychology and Literature departments on the Teatinos Campus in Málaga.

Using the activity "Dejar Huella en el Mundo" (Leave Your Mark on the World) and the promotion of their upcoming trip to the Dawn Refuge from May 19 to 23, the Existe Más Mundo team in Málaga was able to widen its circle of contacts and have some great conversations with students.

The students that received information showed great interest in participating in the various projects that are currently starting up. The first of these projects is the trip to the Dawn Refuge. Another project is a partnership with "Los Ángeles Malagueños de las Noches" (Malaga Night Angels), an association that distributes food daily to some 200 homeless people in the capital city. There are additional projects underway where students can participate including various workshops, and even an ongoing social program on personal values which takes place in one of the classrooms on campus.

The team is very excited because three new girls that they met during these days of promotion that will be joining them on the May 19th trip to the Dawn Refuge. Two of them are studying early childhood education.

It´s a privilege to have open access to university students who are grappling with social issues. The team´s desire is to create a relevant space for the students, to offer opportunities to develop their values and, each day, to become, little by little, more like Jesus.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Zero File at the Manga Comic Hall in Alicante

Archivo Cero (Zero File) continues travelling across the country. Its latest stop was at the Manga Comic Hall in Alicante. This particular engagement was huge in spite of the fact that the event itself didn´t have the greatest turnout. Eva Aldea told us that they were able to promote the series with some 7000 teenagers and young adults to whom they passed out the now well-known Archivo Cero bracelets and their corresponding candies.

Our animated comic series continues to gain success among Hall of Comics attendees. Everyone is enjoying Archivo Cero and the messages in the Archivo Cero Facebook page continue to be very positive.

During this presentation in Alicante, Marc and Eva had the help of the Q university group (Agape Campus´ university ministry in Valencia) who were able to host the tables and assist the many visitors that stopped by.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Edi and Ruben in Haiti

Edi Souto and Ruben Rivera were in Haiti, representing GAiN Spain, to work on the Reconstruction Project of the Ça-Ira Orphanage for 100 orphaned children. The original orphanage was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced the worst natural disaster in its history. The world was left perplexed as it contemplated the devastation that the earthquake caused, an earthquake that left nearly 300,000 death in its wake. 

Leogane is one of the poorest regions in Haiti and the Ça-Ira Orphanage, which is located there, provided a home, care and educational opportunities to one hundred children that had already been orphaned before the disaster. When the earthquake hit, in less than a minute, the children´s home came plummeting down and buried among its rubble five children and two educators that were not able to be saved.

During the first few months, the children had to live in shelters and very small camping tents, and in many cases they slept on the ground. During the rainy season the rain flooded the tents, creating a very serious situation in regard to hygiene. Later, temporary wooden houses were built.

Ruben Rivera continues the story...

"Just as soon as the earthquake hit, Agape started to work through it´s humanitarian aid arm of GAiN by sending help to the people of Haiti in the form of food, camping tents, water filters, medical supplies. While this was all going on, we made the decision to rebuild the Ça-Ira Children´s Home in a country where many orphan children live in the street. If they don´t have a home that will take them in, they can easily fall prey to abuse and violence. The children´s home can offer them protection, education and hope.

In the first phase we will construct a building that will house 100 children. In the second phase, a school will be built that will also be open for other children who live in the area. A later phase of the project is the creation of a job training center for those who finish their studies and also the creation of a medical center. 

After having cleard away the rubble, the construction project got underway, a project in which we hope to offer dignity to these Haitian children. Haiti is consumed with misery but its people are full of strength, honesty, courage and joy.

After all that we have seen and lived in these days, I am struck by the young men I met, like David, Geralson and René who all live in the orphanage that we are rebuilding in the Ça-Ira neighborhood. These young men are genuine and noble. They are men that we would want at our side if we had to lift our own countries out of the rubble of such a brutal earthquake."

Friday, 13 May 2011

E+M Granada at the Dawn Refuge

From April 29 to May 2 the Existe Más Mundo group from Granada went to the Dawn Refuge in Portugal. Our fellow staff Rebekah, Sam and Garrick, together with Pablo and Ina, two students from the University of Granada, set out on their long trip to Portugal to serve and, in this way, to leave their mark in the world. During the weeks prior to the visit, the Granada group collected boxes of cereal at the different departments on campus to take to the children at the Refuge. The students donated close to 50 boxes of cereal all together.

The team that went to the Refuge helped Joel with his yard work and his sports equipment inventories; but the best part was the time that they got to spend with the kids. They played soccer, mime games, video games and some good old-fashioned dancing around. They were also able to accompany the kids on an outing to Penafiel.

The Granada group was wiped out on their way home but everyone agreed that it had been a unique opportunity to help make a difference. They deepened the relationships among the group, they made some new friends and everyone came back asking when they could return again to the Dawn Refuge.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Archivo Cero was in Albacete

The weekend of April 30-May 1 Albacete opened it´s doors for its Hall of Comics and Archivo Cero (the Zero File) didn´t want to miss the opportunity. Once again Marc and Eva introduced this animation comic series that is really reaching adolescents and young adults.

The biggest news of the weekend is that all the kids that passed by the stand made comments about how much they loved the series. Since the Albacete Hall of Comics passed out publicity ahead of time with information about each person or series that would be present at the event, Archivo Cero was mentioned along with its web page. As a result, the majority of the visitors at the stand had already seen the series.

Marc and Eva both are very pleased with the acceptance and the feedback that Archivo Cero is receiving from all the Halls of Comics.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Archivo Cero (File Zero) at MP

Archivo Cero (File Zero) was at MP, Misión Posible (Mission Possible). More than 900 young people from around the country met at this conference called MP and Archivo Cero didn´t miss the opportunity. The objective was to raise up enthusiastic promoters of the series that could pass out bracelets and promote Archivo Cero in their cities and among their friends. The result? 40 young people made a commitment to be promoters of this series that is reaching young people throughout Spain.