Today we woke up at 7am and were welcomed by a delicious breakfast of warm, fluffy pancakes. Following breakfast, we hopped on the bus and headed to Centro Tambor to finish up all four of our projects as today was our final day of the Community Action Project. When every last nail was drilled into place and the final drop of paint added to the wall, everyone was able to step back and take in all that we had accomplished. At this point, Sergio and everyone from Infancia Sin Fronteras let us know how pleased they were with our work, that we had forever left a mark on Centro Tambor, and thanked us from the bottom of their hearts. Eventually the time had to come to say goodbye to Centro Tambor and all of the people we had met through the project. After finalizing all of our goodbyes and thanking the people of Infancia Sin Fronteras for allowing us to be a part of this project, we headed back to the hostel. For the rest of the day, we had free time, hung out, and were able to reflect on our work.

I personally worked on building the wall to help prevent the diseases of sick patients from being able to come in contact with the children that attend school at the Infancia sin fronteras. I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with Imani, Becca, Jimmy, and Maria on the wall because I felt that as a group we communicated well and were all very passionate about the work we were doing. Working with this group I feel that I developed as a leader and as a team member.  I believe that I really wanted everyone to be actively engaged in our project and be able to make a difference in their own way. I learned that a really important part of getting through tough moments is just being patient and communicating with those around me and knowing that we’re all in the same boat experiencing the same struggle. Overall I was very proud of my group and the amazing wall that we built. I am proud knowing that the work we did will help to make so many lives better and safer. From this project and experience as a whole I’ve learned that one person can undoubtedly make a difference and that as a whole we are even stonger. WE BUILT A WALL! (Taneha)

I was lucky enough to be able to work on the mural with Jasmin, Karla, Romi, Chasity, Maddie, and Marilyn. Despite some miscommunications on the first day with the people of Infancia Sin Fronteras due to the language barrier and some light rain here and there accompanied by some very hot afternoons in the sun, the seven of us plus Hiu and Ambar were able to create a bright, beautiful mural on the outside wall of the community center. It was such a pleasure to be able to work with everyone on this project, as all of us showed the same passion, committment, and excitement for this mural. Whether it was pouring and mixing paint to create the colors we needed, sketching out our plan on the wall, painting the various designs, or making touch-ups to the wall; every single one of us was willing to take on whatever job we needed to in order to make this mural happen and finish within the deadline. I personally had no experience painting murals going into this project, but was able to learn a lot along the way, both through trial and error and from those who did have prior experience. Being the only group out of the four projects to work outside, my group and I were able to see first-hand, the effect all of the projects were already starting to have on the community. Everyday we worked, a crowd would gather around on the sidewalk and just watch us work, some of them staying for just a few minutes and some of them staying the entire time we worked (8:30 am – 4pm). Various adults commented on how pretty the wall was or how impressed they were with our work, while many of the little kids in the neighborhood stood right next to us as we painted, talking with us, asking questions, or just following us around like little shadows. One little girl in particular stuck with all of us. She showed up in the morning on the very first day, and from then on stayed all day, everyday until we finished this afternoon. Although, a lot of patience and flexibility were both huge reasons why we were able to make our vision come to life, I felt that the inspiration I gathered from kids like Yadara was what drove me to put in my best work and get the mural done. Seeing how happy looking at the mural and helping us paint made Yadara will forever outweigh any road blocks or stressful moments we faced along the way.

Reflecting over the last three days of our Community Action Project, we feel as though we have grown as leaders, both within our individual projects, and especially today as we were in charge of leading the whole group. We had a lot of fun with the group today especially with our attention-getter which went something like, “bum ba da dum dum….dum dum.”  It felt good being leaders on the third and final day of our Community Action Project because we got to inspire everyone to finish strong so that everyone’s hard work was able to show through in the final product of all four of the projects. On the other hand, it was also very inspiring to see the dedication and compassion that each and every individual had shown towards the projects and people of Centro Tambor. Today was a great day to be a leader!