Vacation to learn and live new experiences in Hogar Santa Monica: "I was anxious to know what the next activity would be"
The arrival of the mid-school holidays in the middle of the school year in times of pandemic has forced the educators and trainers of the Hogar Santa Monica of the Augustinian Recollects in Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil) to organize a vacation that covered all fields of training and human development, while still being fun and offering a break from the normal routine during classroom time.
To do this, all schedules were readjusted, so that the residents could sleep a little more and wake up a little later, without feeling the pressure of the alarm clock that each morning tells them that they need to prepare to go to school.
The first day of vacation began with a prayer and the presentation of holiday activities. The beneficiaries were able to know the new schedule and diverse proposals that included sports, trips, dance classes, Spanish study, cooking, crafts, movies with popcorn ...
There was also more time for formation and to live the spiritual sense of life, knowing better the life of St. Augustine and Mother Mary of St. Joseph Alvarado, founder of the Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus. It also completed the catechetical preparation of baptism and first Eucharist of girls who have freely requested it, since logically these activities are of free choice.
The organizers have focused on it being a fun holiday but with diverse learnings —although different from the ordinary methodology of the school— and focusing on culture, as a space for personal growth and special sensitivity for each person.
That is why there was a very special visit to the Museum of Photography of Fortaleza, where the exhibition "La mirada no ve, la mirada observa" ( The look does not see, the look observes) was exhibited. The beneficiaries learned the importance of going around the world observing things; seeing is a common and ordinary skill of almost everyone, but observing means analyzing, feeling, paying attention and dialoguing, in this case, with the photograph that is presented to us.
There was also a trip to Camocim Beach, a classic tourist enclave of Ceará located 360 kilometers north of Fortaleza. A house was offered in the Diocese of Tianguá to receive the girls and educators. In this Diocese there is a community of Augustinian Recollects and a monastery of Contemplative Augustinian Recollects in Guaraciaba do Norte, and the bishop emeritus is also an Augustinian Recollect, Francisco Javier Hernández, which facilitated and allowed the availability of the place.
Everything for the beneficiaries was a novelty: make such a long trip of more than four hours, be on a very beautiful and almost deserted beach, almost all for themselves, take a boat ride, a pizza night ... And there was even a lunch donated by the owner of the beach restaurant.
It was like a holiday camp– brand new for many of the beneficiaries who had never had the opportunity to do sightseeing and enjoy a type of leisure like this. He left in all memories and experiences of great happiness.
Also within the organization of the holidays participated in the Community Camp of ANSPAZ, other entities that are located in the Uirapuru Spiritual Condominium along with the Santa Monica Home and many more. It served mainly for the socialization, fraternization and interaction of the beneficiaries with other children and adolescents.
There was also time for solidarity, and the beneficiaries participated in the distribution of food to homeless people in Fortaleza. This activity has already been announced on our website for the lessons of empathy and solidarity offered by the beneficiaries.
At the end of the holiday, the Second Pajama Festival was held. For a whole night there was food, dancing, movies and a whole explosion of good energy and joy.
After the period of catechesis, on July 23 seven of the beneficiaries who had requested it received baptism and eleven first communion. On Sunday, August 1st, the closing mass of the holiday programs was celebrated.
In a moment of evaluation, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for the intense month lived:
- "We were very happy all month!".
- "I was always anxious to find out what the next activity would be!"
- "There were very important moments that changed something about me as well, inside."