The Power of Change
It is incredible to see what a dream, many helping hands, and a lot of sweat can build! Hero Holiday Dominican Republic has had the privilege of seeing many amazing experiences, but perhaps the measurement of it all is in what is left standing after we have finished.In 2006, we came across a man with a dream, and realized that we could help that dream come to pass. When our CEO , Vaden Earle, met Pastor Garcia, it was beside a small square trench with a tent canopy over it, and it was a school, church, clinic, and community centre all in one. As he listened to Garcia tell him about his community’s dream to have a safe and sufficient school for their children, Vaden realized that we could do something to help, and so, in July of 2006, hundreds of teenagers set to work to make a community’s dream come true. Today, we can be proud of what we have accomplished together, as we see the results of our hard work, sunburned shoulders, and many incredible memories! There isn’t a Hero Holiday participant who doesn’t remember how to mix cement by hand, thanks to this amazing project! Today, The Arroyo Seco School has 80 students, and the number continues to grow as each year another class is added. Today, we see a building that is build from bricks and cement, but the foundation of it is embedded in a dream to see a community begin to get lifted out of poverty and be given hope for their future. To all the Hero Holiday participants who helped to make this a reality, we want to thank you and commend you for all your passion and hard work!In 2007, we were introduced to another community with a dream of also seeing their children educated and lifted out of the grip of desperate poverty. As we continued to work on our Arroyo Seco Community School, we also began a second project in Cangrejo, and in true Hero Holiday style, we threw the same passion and fervor into seeing another community being offered the chance to see their children educated and safe. The Cangrejo School project is really unique, as it will also be able to offer unlimited access for physically disabled students, due to the location and construction plan. We are excited to see it come to completion, and as we continue to partner with the community of Cangrejo, we are continuing to grow in our understanding of what it takes to change the future.This summer, as we have finished up Arroyo Seco, and continued to work on Cangrejo, we have added two more projects that we are proud to be a part of…In a small community called Nazareth, an organization called Dominican Advance was able to build an amazing school that is seeing 100+ students getting educated. However, in Dominican Republic, in order for a school to be certified at the highest level, they need to have a fence around their property, so Hero Holiday willingly agreed to partner with them for the manpower to get the job done! Starting this fall, the students attending there will now be receiving an education that is certified with the Dominican Government and that will open doors for them that didn’t exist before this. The project in Nazareth also involved helping to stock a clinic called Danica’s Dream, that has been built by our partners Phil and Donna Williams. The clinic serves this poor community with a doctor and with medication that they would otherwise be unable to access. Danica’s Dream is named after a little girl that Hero Holiday had the privilege of knowing for a few short days in the summer of 2007. However, her young life was taken from a simple and preventable disease, that had she not been in poverty, could have been entirely avoided. Danica’s life gave the inspiration for the clinic, and the building now stands as a testimony to how she impacted all of us.Our second new project this summer has been to help with a housebuild for our friend, Bernard. Bernard has worked with us in Dominican Republic since 2005 as a mason and interpreter, and he is a valued friend of Hero Holiday. Bernard also has a dream that he has been working on: a house to provide temporary shelter for street children and child soldiers. He has been working with orphans and children at risk for the past 5 years, and is now wanting to build a house where he is able to provide a safe place for them as they wait for what is next. Bernard’s project has been MUCH hard work, but MANY incredible memories! As he came to say good bye to our participants, he was at a loss as to how to express to us what it has meant to have this kind of help and assistance with building this house. However, we all understood and could see how thankful he was, because we saw it everyday in his life. As we have worked with him for the past four years, he has shown, time and again, how committed he is to helping the poor and exploited in Dominican Republic and Haiti, and we are proud to have been a part of this project this summer.Each year, Hero Holidy is full of amazing individuals who have realized the power of making a difference and that there is strength in numbers, and it is because of each of them that we were able to finish what we started. There are many opportunities that will come and go in each of our lives, but the opportunity to make a difference should never be overlooked. Thanks so much to all of you who have helped to build the future for these communities. You truly are heroes, and you really have made a difference!