Through the generous gift of a donor, 50 children from Santa Ana had a wonderful day at the local zoo. This animal park built into the landscape of a hilly region near the Lake Peten Itza is a simple and wonderful place. Half of the children went on one day and half on another. The groups met at the clinic at 8:00 am for the short drive to the Zoologico Petencita. After walking down a path to the zoo and visiting with the animals, the children spent time swimming and playing keep away in the lake. We found some playground equipment and that was fun! Then there was a drive around Flores and lunch at Pizza Hut. What a treat! Then the kids ended the afternoon with a big soccer game. The children, as always, were very well behaved. I don't think I have ever seen so many smiles!
At the zoo we saw a jaguar, a puma, a grey fox, lots of parrots and tropical birds, crodociles, turtles, some animals that look like wart hogs but are friendly, and deer. I have to admit that I was a bit leary about the fenced spaces which house the wild animals, but all was well.
This type of experience is invaluable for these children! The bathroom in Pizza Hut is likely the nicest one that many of them have ever seen (by far!). My hope is that such experiences will open their eyes to the bigger world and help them to see that more is possible for their lives. Orfe is so wonderful with these children! They are indeed blessed!!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012