Monday, September 24, 2012

New Beginnings at the New Life Shelter (Hogar Nueva Vida)

The new school year started on August  27, 2012 in Mérida, Yucatán where the Erie Diocese of Pennsylvania has nurtured a mission outreach  program for the last 41 years called Misión de Amistad.  The Mission’s shelter for girls, Hogar Nueva Vida, will not only begin a new school year but also welcomes a new director, Patricia Pipkin. Tricia comes from Colorado, where she taught elementary school children in ESL, dual-language and all-English programs, and also is a former volunteer of the Mission of Friendship.  She will replace Marilyn Randolph who started the shelter 16 years ago.

From left to right, back row:  Dolores,  Rosario, Cristi and Fatima. Front row:  Abi and Tricia.
  Missing:  Mary, Mildred, Finita.

Tricia is excited about joining the former team members as, together,  they look to the future and explore new possibilities for growth and learning at the Nueva Vida!

Classes have started in earnest from day one. Homework time is a very important part of the girls’ schedule.  The girls and their tutors faithfully focus on homework and other academic support two hours per day.  There are also  enrichment classes which include:  values, art and music, computer, “magic Wednesdays” (crafts), and sports and games. 

Community building has been the main focus for the girls and staff for the first couple of weeks.   A  community mosaic with each member of the shelter was created. This and other activities have helped the girls  appreciate the uniqueness of each individual and also the need to work together as a group.

The Nueva Vida girls enjoying a  “mango” break
 between chores and homework time.

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