Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Staff Voice - Corona Cocalena

Written by Kristin Cleaveland - GVI Manuel Antonio Staff Member

In mid -November, GVI partnered with a local body boarding organization to set up our very first body boarding competition in El Cocal.  After lots of planning and making sure every detail was correct, Saturday came and we were ready for the competition.  The only question we had: “Were the kids actually going to show up?”  There were mixed feelings, but we went in bright and early anyway (arriving at 6:30 am). We headed into what seemed to be a very quiet community.  We walked to the beach, still worried the day wouldn’t go as planned.  What we saw almost made me cry right then! In the water were about 20 kids, practising for the competition while the rest were eagerly waiting on shore for our instructions.   

Competitors congratulating their friend and opponent
The rest of the day went smoothly and it was obvious how happy the kids were and how much fun they were having.  As round results were announced, winners cheered and got prepped for their next ‘hit’ while others patted them on the back and gave them advice.  It was an amazing sight to see the change in attitude the children had.  The same children who we have trouble dealing with in school and who don’t generally work well with other kids were listening to everything they had to do, complimenting the other contestants, and most of all, enjoying themselves.  I didn’t hear one kid tell someone else they were better than them, which is usually heard about 10 times in a short class period.  The competition was a huge success and I can’t wait to see how the next one compares!

Celebrating after a very successful event