The wild and beautiful mountains of Chile – parts of the majestic Andes. It is a beautiful country, Chile, and full of friendly people and good YMCAs! I really have come to enjoy the people of Chile.
We met in the beginning of December, all the local YMCAs from Chile with their staff and volunteer leaders together with the leadership of the National YMCA Federation and a very good friend from Argentina YMCA.
Romulo, Oscar and I presented the different aspects of the World YMCA OUR WAY strategy, including Change Agents and World Challenge and One Million Voices. Many people had got a strange impression of the Peace Boat, believing that the World YMCA was going bananas and organizing luxury cruises. We were able to explain that this Peace Boat is a very idealistic organization, more than 30 years old, and they were organizing emergency help to people in need, visiting areas of conflict and basically working for peace among people and nations. Now they were really interested in cooperating with the World YMCA, as the largest and oldest youth organization in the world. They offer accommodation for the global meeting of Change Agents in the summer of 2015, and the price is around US 60 per day per person, including three meals, conference facilities and 4 bed cabins. This is a lower price than most YMCA facilities can offer and therefore helps us to organise the Change Agent programme in a very cost effective way.
Romulo told the conference how the Peace Boat has invited us to use their boat as a social enterprise, to fundraise for the Change Agent Programme. This March, from 21st to 2 of March 2015, there will be a YMCA Peace Cruise in Asia, in collaboration with the YMCAs in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. The YMCA earns 20 % of all income for that cruise, money that will go to fund the Change Agents! You are all welcome to register participation through our man in India: “firstname.lastname@example.org” !
The enthusiasm was great in Vina del Mar, Chile, and we enjoyed very much the good company and the good atmosphere. I certainly am very optimistic when I hear about the good work of YMCAs in Chile and Argentina.
There was always another group of people who wanted to take their photos together, and we enjoyed collecting photos for the family album!
And outside the hotel we enjoyed a sunny day with palms and joyful people outside the very traditional Hotel O’Higgins in Vina del Mar.
The leadership of the National Federation of YMCAs in Chile – good friends from years back. Merry Christmas, Amigos!
On our way back to Santiago we made a stop in Valle Centrale to organize some light refreshments on a warm day.
These are friends from YMCA Iquique. Thank you for your good fellowship!
Our hotel in Vina del Mar, Hotel O’Higgins. Old traditions, originated in Scotland, I believe!
Then we are soon ready to say goodbye to Chile and Latin America after almost 4 weeks of life changing experiences and warm friendship. Romulo goes back to Sao Paulo for some well deserved Christmas and Summer holidays, our Chilean friends go back to Valparaiso and Ingunn and I start the long flight Santiago – Bogota – Paris – Geneva.
Farewell to Santiago!