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« Friends on the march »



With Jesus, in Marcellin Champagnat’s way

10/05/2011: Mexico

The « Campamento Nacional de Escalada Azul » (Summer Camp) took place in the « Parque Acuático Villagasca » of the city of Villagrán, Guanajuato. The participants numbered 280, coming from eight Marist schools: Hidalguense High School, México de Toluca School,  Queretano High School, Pedro Martínez Vázquez School, Marcelino Champagnat School,  Sahuayense High School, and the Schools of Esperanza and Jacona.

On this occasion, our camp was organized around the Centenary of the Mexican  Revolution. Games, topics, dynamics and rallies helped us to reflect on the conditions assured by our homeland for our intellectual, moral, social and economic development. We have to recognize, therefore, what the country has given us so as to be just in its regard and show it by our conduct. We have tried to develop among the participants a love for their country, for the place where they were born and have grown up, the country especially which has seen them excel themselves. The participants have identified with their culture, traditions, language, values, in becoming aware of the reality surrounding them.

From the beginning, joy and harmony were evident. We felt ourselves members of the same family, the Marist Family. Despite the distances and the mentality proper to each town, we marched, driven by a single ideal: to reach the summit.

The camp took shape little by little in a friendly atmosphere, thanks to the 12 teams named after the heros of our revolution. Informal chats, times for song and games, team work, meal times, and even nights without sleep, were elements which recharged our « batteries » for the hard work performed throughout these four days.

One detail which filled us with joy was the presence of the Special Marist Group of Irapuato « Taiyari »; their enthusiasm and craving for life carried us forward; they are an example of force and courage for all. We also underline the presence of some persons who encourage us to carry on our work: Brothers Jimmy and Adán, the teacher Javier from Sahuayense High School, Br. Justino from Hidalguense High School and Br. Rodrigo Espinosa from the Jacona Marist School. Ulises Centeno, co-ordinator of the Youth Ministry of our Province, was also present.

Going by the comments and experiences shared by the children, the work accomplished in each of the towns is very positive, without a doubt. Irma, Chayo, Paulina, Luis Fernando, Jimmy, Fidel, Alfredo, Manolo, Sabás, I thank you very much for the time and work you consecrate to this project close to our hearts.

Likewise, we thank all the teachers who, on the way, have taken part in the pastoral work of  « Friends on the march ». They constitute an important support for our group. I invite them to continue on this track and become more and more involved.

One more, animators, I take note of your work; without your participation, your enthusiasm, your joy and your time, our movement would perish; I encourage you to give the best of yourselves, to demonstrate by your work and your  attitudes that you do honour to the  Marist standard.

And finally, I encourage you to continue your journey; it is difficult, but the satisfactions you will see in each smile, in a word of praise and in a heartfelt thank you from the little ones will let you know your efforts have been rewarded.

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