Today, I will tell you a story.
This story is about a young boy, whose name is Jose Javier Herrera Grefa. Why is this boy so special?
Well, it all started earlier in July 2013, when I was in Pacifico de villa with the lovely July group. It was another day of placement in the community and we were just about to have lunch. Daniel walked in with a tall guy, sat down with him at a table, gave him a lunch and was talking to him all lunch. Later on Daniel came over to our table, and said that he saw Jose outside the community centre and invited him in for lunch. Jose was just a curious bystander wondering what these crazy canadians were doing in the community centre.
I met jose briefly that day. I heard his story, that he had just moved to Pacifico a month and a half ago, and was living with his uncle and aunt. After mentioning to Larry (Boss man) that we should invite jose tomorrow for the health campaign, I soon realized he had already thought of doing that.
The next day, we had our health campaign (Check out blog from July 12th). Jose is in one of the pictures BECAUSE, as soon as he arrived that day, he just took in charge. He was responsible for the registration of everyone who came to our event. I joked around with him as much as I could in spanish, and watched as he would inform everyone about the event, and tell them to register, and basically commit to this job he has been given, without even asking any questions. He just made himself a part of what we were doing. And I admired that.
Since that day, Jose joined us everyday. Seeing his lovely smiling face brightened up my day. Within a week he had made relationships with many of us.
His message was simple, give the love you wish you receive.
He interacted with the kids, he interacted with the volunteers and most of all, he had found a sense of belonging in Pacifico. Why do I say that? Well as our relationship grew, I found out that in the past month that he had been in Pacifico, he didn’t enjoy it much because he didn’t know many people. (No one likes to move). I was happy to know that joining SIAs vision gave him a sense of responsibility, and belonging that he had hoped for.
Jose, joined the program Leaders de villa and was a part of hosting an event and doing an amazing presentation on garbage for the community members (In August). He was a committed student of the english classes we held. He also started working with Youth in Action and helping with Daniel. It was that simple.
As other groups came down, we saw jose’s leadership skills rise day by day. He was a part of everything we did. I spent my last month and a half of summer with him everyday, and saw him grow so much.
So, why is jose so special?
Because he proves that life is full of surprises. It is not a surprise to me that he is like a little brother to me and many others who have interacted with him in the past few months.
What I have learned from him is that you should be open to any opportunities that come your way. Treat everyone with respect, love, care and affection. Tell everyone they are beautiful. Commit to the things you truly love. And that love really needs no translation.
“A Loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”