Without struggle, there is no progress

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If you’ve ever vacationed in the Caribbean, or any Third-World country, you know that on the other side of your wristband-gated all-inclusive resort, life can be a struggle. Daily struggles are commonplace for a disproportionate number of local citizens and, among the residents, there’s another subsection of  individuals who struggle beyond what is imaginable for most.

Yesterday, the participants of WestJet’s Hero Holiday were introduced to the five families for whom we have the privilege of building homes. Their lives are an exercise in graceful perseverance; they are real-life examples of courage and determination. We were also introduced to Pastor Garcia – an individual whose inspirational story of involvement with the community of Arroyo Seco will make you want to go out and be your own agent of change.

As a previous WestJet Hero Holiday participant, I have returned to the Dominican Republic filled with anxiety and excitement. I am excited to see the families that we built homes for previously and want to reconnect with some of the friends that I have made. However, because I didn’t know how emotional a reintroduction to the communities would be for me, this excitement was mixed with anxiety.

I am happy to report that this anxiety was misplaced. Stepping back into The Dominican Republic has been a truly joyous occasion. The community has embraced us with as much warmth and affection as they did previously. The grace and kindness displayed here is something I never want to forget. As I look at the houses we have built before and the ones we are in the process of building, I feel an enormous amount of pride working for WestJet, the amazing company that brought us here.

So, to my fellow WestJetters who are dedicating time away from their families and who have made sacrifices to be here, you are all true heroes. To the WestJetters back home, it’s hard to describe how truly transformative this experience is, but anytime you have the opportunity to be involved in change that enhances humankind, I hope you will stand up and be counted.

When it comes to making the world a better place, your dreams and goals are never too big or too ambitious. 



Veron Marsh, Guest Service Ambassador, Vancouver


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 7th, 2013