No sooner had we finished with our mission back in April than we were planning our next one for October of this year.
We knew that we had a lot of time to collect clothes, buy more school and medical supplies, food, and more but we wanted to make something special this time.
We came up with the idea of bags with the names of every kid that we were going to visit on it, so they’d have the chance to receive something personalized, for them only. And we were also going to decorate these bags with the kids themselves during our visit. It was such a fun activity to share with them.
Besides the bags, we had two more projects in mind. Building a garden for Fabricio’s school and painting Juana’s school.
The idea of the garden came from Fede Gervasoni (Filo) a guide and cook from the field staff. He said one day, why don’t we bring a few seeds to the school for the kids to start growing their own vegetables? and we were now all of the sudden planning a 750 square feet garden.
It’s amazing how ideas can grow when people think and work together.
Back in September we had visited Bernardino Rivadavia’s school and talked to Fabricio about this idea, he loved it and he said he was going to mention this to the parents to make sure everyone was on board and willing to take care of this garden once it was done.
Fede and Tata, another guy from the field staff (if you have had the pleasure to have him as your field assistant once, you know Tata is the funniest guy on the field), they both took the lead in this project from beginning to end.
Tata wrote the shopping list, Fede bought everything and the truck was fully loaded and ready to roll on the morning of October 24th.
We got to the schools around ready to start with this project which at that moment was a big challenge for everybody.
It took two days of hard work, the field staff, us from the office, the teacher, a few parents, everyone helped to make this possible.
Not all of us have the same skills but each one of us played a big part in this project, either building the garden, bringing cold drinks to the ones working, making lunch, cleaning up the place, even the kids helped by planting the seeds, they were so excited!
During those two days, we realized how important for the people of this town was that we were there, not only working on the garden but sharing a good time with them.
They made big lunches for us, they were there helping us and hanging out, getting to know each other.
These people, neighbors, the teacher, the cook and the kids are incredible human beings and if you look at the way they live, you might think that they have so little but after 10 min of talking with them, you’ll come to realize that they have so much to offer. They’re generous with each other, humble, caring and hardworking people and we have more to learn from them that we can even imagine.
After the garden was done, I walked inside and Fede was there, proudly admiring the work done,he gave me a big hug and said “we did it!”
Looking at the garden and everyone that had worked so hard to build it I realized that the garden was not only helping the people from the school and the town but also to each one of us.
You are part of something like this and you end up feeling like you’re the one who has been given a gift.
The fact that more and more people are getting voluntarily involved in this wonderful act of helping others continues to show me that we’re in the right path and we have to keep putting this effort to every mission, we have to take more time to get to know these people, these kids, we need to pay attention to what we can do to help them and in this way, working as a team, I have no doubt that we will be able to achieve greater goals.
There is still a lot of work to do, the education system keeps forgetting that these schools exist. The teaches are in a constant fight for their students’ rights. If it wasn’t for the dedication of these educators, more than one school would’ve been closed for having only a few students attending.
Instead of trying to find out why these kids can’t get to the schools, which is usually for the lack of transportation, bad roads, long distances and very low resources, schools are being closed and these kids’ opportunity to study and succeed in life is being taken away from them; kids that thanks to the everyday effort of the teachers and parents are able to finish elementary school but they don’t get to go to highschool for the same reasons expressed above.
The consequences of this are many. Without the possibility of going to school, or having the support that one would expect from the parents -which in this case some parents were also in this same situation one day and probably didn’t get to finish their studies for the same reasons- young people can make decisions that will compromise their futures, like becoming a teen parent or thinking that there is nothing more than that for them and settle for.
Thanks to all the help we got from hunters, our families and friends, we were able to do more than we had expected for this year and there is still so much to do.
You can be involved in many ways. If you’re traveling to Argentina, you can participate bringing children and youth clothing that will be donated, your help will be a great blessing to those in need.
Giving liberally to Soaring Argentina is also a way to strengthen the impact in both education and medical support. Your gift can be given in the U.S. and is a tax-deductible expense.
We are very close to achieving our initial goal of $25000 to send the first shipping container full of medical equipment to Argentina and our next project is looking for sponsors for 12 children who have shown desire to continue their studies but they can’t for the reasons I’ve explained before. Thanks to this program we’ll be able to give these kids a chance of not only finish high school but also to encourage them to maybe one day even pursue a college degree that will build a brighter future for them and hopefully for their community.
Will you join us and help Argentina soar to new heights?
Please contact us for more info, we welcome everybody that wants to be part of our team!
Volunteer at Soaring Argentina.
At the beginning, Soaring Argentina was just a desire to help these remote communities. Now we know that Soaring Argentina is made up of great people who also gives love, care and not only material resources.
It’s very moving for me to think about how Soaring Argentina started, a couple of years ago. Everything started just with the mere desire to help and somehow, give back to the communities who live close by the areas we hunt. When we started, we didn’t know very well how the idea was going to develop. What we did know was that the whole Pointer Outfitters team was ready to get involved and help. Soon we realized that that willingness to get involved and help was also coming from our hunters. It didn’t take long for them to realize that Pointer Outfitters is not just a mere hunting “trip” it’s the kindness of its people, the service, the camaraderie, the hospitality.
Our last mission was a very special one in many ways. Little by little, we have come to realize that the real purpose of Soaring is not just to give material resources, things which are of utmost importance, of course, but to spend quality time with the kids, teachers, and parents from the schools we help. We also want to get the community involved in this, as we did with the veggie garden we built in October. We built it from scratch and without even knowing it, we were helping a bigger project, which is allowing the community to have running potable water and stop depending on the truck that delivers water on monthly basis. The garden is going to play a vital role, and you can read more about how the garden will aid the process. Even though this tremendous task hasn't been finished, what we have achieved so far was thanks to Lori. She played a big role in this. She followed up with this tirelessly until she got an answer from people in the government and hopefully that construction will be done before the end of the year.
Soaring Argentina is made up of great people, and something I really enjoy is to see how different ideas come from the members of the team according to their personalities. The girls at the office did a great job with “the bags project”. They came up with this idea of having small bags sewn and then we personalized them painting their names. The final stage of the process was to allow the kids to decorate the bags with paint and stencils, make them colorful and bright and something they would be proud of. This was part of our plan to spend quality time with them.
The field staff was another chapter in this mission. The way they got involved in this was admirable. They learned about the garden, how to build it, the tools they needed and they work very, very hard. But at the same time they were laughing, and joking, listening to music, drinking mate, etc, having a great time! We also thought it was a good idea to make the parents of the students part of this, painting and building the garden. In exchange, they prepared for us a lavish, delicious lunch we shared. Unforgettable!
When you visit places like this, which are so far away from us in terms of location and also in terms of ways of life, the first reaction is to try to help them, give them things, help them have a better life. However, it doesn’t take long to realize that we are also receiving and learning…And this is what takes me back to the times when Soaring was starting. Little by little our wishes and desires for these people have become true and they are tangible now. Each donation becomes a smiling face, a name, a story. We are bonding with these kids, teachers, and parents.
On that lunch parents cooked for us, Wayne Graham gave a speech. I think about his words now. He talked about generosity and how giving away and helping always gives more in return. And I can tell you, this is certainly true. We came back with our souls and hearts full of hugs, cute little eyes, talks, and the energy to come back and keep this going.
I’m sure this is just the beginning for Soaring Argentina.
Silvia Martin del Campo
The October mission was a team effort, just as all the past missions have been. Everybody worked hard at different stages and aspects of the process. However, in the last mission, different skills were needed since one of the projects involved building a garden from scratch in an area where feral pigs and other rodents abound.
As soon as we arrived at the school that was going to have a new garden, The Bernardino Rivadavia School, a few members of the field staff left the truck and started to work on that project. Another group (including me and some of the girls from the office) drove a little bit more to the school that was about to be painted. Once we got there we gave the kids' backpacks with their names on it, full of school supplies and clothes according to their ages and sizes that we'd previously selected when we were getting everything ready for that week. The children were not only happy for the things we bought for them but also they were excited to see us again, they remembered our faces from prior missions and that, definitely, filled our hearts.
Once at Florentino Ameguino School, some of us shared the morning with the kids, painting, drawing, hearing their stories and their day to day experiences. While we did that, I was amazed by the rest of the group, the field assistants in the twinkling of an eye organized everything to start painting. One was on the roof, a couple more painting the outside walls, some of them were painting the inside of the school.... Everybody was doing something and besides the hot weather and the wind, they continued without stopping a minute until the school was ready and looked brand new.
After we were done with the school, we drove to the Bernardino Rivadavia School, and once again I couldn't believe my eyes: the guides and field assistants were working with a commitment that I've rarely seen in my life. In just a couple of hours, the garden was taking shape. The guys that painted the school fastly joined them with the garden and they all kept working until sundown. They put their soul into that project and I could see in their faces the happiness that working together made them feel.
That was my point before starting this report. Building a garden from scratch requires a lot of skills that all of us might not have, such as using a chainsaw, putting up the posts that held the structure together, welding different parts to build a door, among several others. The field staff, these guys that have probably been your field assistants, your guides or chefs at the field when you were hunting, were the ones who worked so so hard and made up such a productive team that I was amazed. And I wanted to highlight this effort because they took the matter into their own hands and were very resourceful since we got there and worked nonstop until the garden was finished.
A week before “the office girls” went to the office at the crack of dawn to start organizing everything. We had been collecting donations and buying supplies for more than 10 months and we had to do all sorts of things. Classifying the clothes according to ages and sizes was the most important task, to know what to give to each school and kid. I remember a pair of purple crocs, you know, the shoes. They were very cute, and I remember looking at them and thinking, oh, whoever gets them is going to be happy. I was right.
The Soaring Argentina mission that was scheduled for October had long been expected for us, the office staff. Besides those 3 days of outreach to the schools, there was a lot of “behind the scenes” planning and working, and creating, and brainstorming. I was going to take part on day 1 when we were going to paint one school and build a garden in another one.
A week before that, Cici, Lori, Vicky, Cami, Marian and I (I will call us “the office girls” from now on) went to the office at the crack of dawn to start organizing everything. I mean, we had been collecting donations and buying supplies for more than 10 months and we had to do all sorts of things. Classifying the clothes according to ages and sizes was the most important task, to know what to give to each school and kid. I remember a pair of purple crocs, you know, the shoes. They were very cute, and I remember looking at them and thinking, oh, whoever gets them is going to be happy. I was right.
Then, we, the office girls, went on to sort the school supplies. Someone had donated a bag full of mechanical pencils. Honestly, they didn’t catch my attention. I have had one every year I went to school and to me they were just “normal”. Well, on the day of the mission we gave the kids the bags with the school supplies and guess what? They were fascinated with the mechanical pencils. Absolutely amazed. They had never seen one, nor used it. Their faces, you should’ve seen them. Curious eyes trying to figure out how to use them. I was not expecting this. But it was at this moment when I realized how happy we were making them, with something so small. We had taken some printouts. Drawing books to color and some simple math activities. The kids were very excited and they wanted us, the office girls, to sit with them and help them with the math exercises and with the coloring. They didn’t need any help, they just wanted our company. Let’s think about this for a minute. They live in the middle of nowhere, where the closest city is 50 minutes away by car through a gravel road, and they or their families probably have no cars. The closest neighbor can be 5 km away, walking distance. Nobody “drives by” their places…What I mean is that they don’t see anybody else besides their families, classmates and school teacher for long periods of time. They were truly excited to see us, they wanted to share every story with us. They told me about how they hunt animals and how they ride their bikes and what games they play during holidays.
Besides the clothes and the school supplies, we were taking bags with snacks for each kid. Inside there were mainly cookies and juice. It was thought as a treat. You can imagine that these kids and their families do not go to the supermarket weekly, they do not get to choose the sweet things they want for dessert. So we thought, let’s buy some sweet things for them, as treats. They ended up being their breakfast that day. The teacher takes the breakfast for the kids every day but thatshe had had some personal issues, was late for school and therefore, the kids were there waiting for her, and by had not had any breakfast. The snacks made them very happy.
I could keep writing about this for many pages, but I just want to wrap this short report with what one of the teachers said “Thanks for coming, you make us feel we’re not alone, we haven’t been forgotten”
A new day has just begun. Children were waiting for us since early in the morning. They prepared a welcome sign which was on the wall, draws and paper flowers they did by they own. Their welcome was very emotional.
A new day has just begun and we are ready to leave. At 7 AM the team left from Jesus Maria, a good-hearted man, and his wife are coming with us: Dario and Gladis are parents of Carla, with her students from the sewing untailoring course made the backpacks for the kids. Their pickup truck was full of thing he collected by his own for this kid he heard about.
We arrived at Olegario Rodriguez School. Was very emotional to see that children were waiting for us since early in the morning.No one visits them or takes presents specially made for them. They were so grateful that they prepared a welcome sign which was on the wall, draws and paper flowers they did by they own.
As we came into the school with the donations, Wayne showed them at the America’s continent map the long way to them. It really worth. After this introduction every one on the team got a backpack to give to the children, calling them by their name, just to see their faces getting the presents filled my heart.
Lori, David and I had a good time, full of smiley faces at school painting and personalizing everyone’s backpacks
Before we left they lowered the flag and allowed us to share this moment with them.
We depart to Fabricio’s school to continue with the orchard, it was almost done, everyone worked really hard, we helped to plant some herbs and seeds. We were surprised, the orchard looked better than we thought.
Proud for the teamwork we had lunch at Mario's house where we left clothing donations for the entire community. Mario's family was waiting for us with a delicious grilled pig and salad.
After lunch, Wayne and Mario gave a thanking speech to everyone. After this with our hearts full of love we go back home, thinking about those little smiling faces and happy hearts of having received not only beautiful presents but also sharing our time, joy and teamwork with them.
Hope to see you all soon!
The so expected October's Soaring Argentina day is raising. Anxious to meet the Pointer team at the office, left home very early making sure my three children were warm and comfortable. I never thought how important was what we were about to do...
Even though the effort to get everything ready started some days ago we were very excited, finally, we were about to start the so expected October’s Soaring Argentina Mission.We were about to visit two schools today.
At 6 AM the whole team was ready to pack the donations: (school supplies, snacks, first aids kits, clothes, bag pack for every child with each child's name printed in the front, etc). into the pickup truck, and as soon as everything was ready, we depart to la Loma Lodge. Wayne and two new pals ( John and Josh) were as anxious as we, waiting for us and ready to help.
We shared the Argentinian drink “mate” in the way while talking about new Ideas for Soaring
Two hours and a half after we left Jesus Maria, and after driving through a very rough road we arrived at Fabricio’s school. It was too different from what I'm used to see every day when taking my kids to school. Believe me that the long way up to there really worth It was so proud to see the children and Fabricio (their teacher) raising the Argentinian flag...
After greeting everyone, children received a backpack with clothes for each one depending on their size and some school supplies and a snack bag, in this moment nothing was better than looking at their smiling faces, they were happy for receiving some chocolates and juices; some of them wanted to save it for later, cause there are no shops near, neither money to get more candies.
The team started to carry the needed materials to the school backyard in order to begin the garden construction. We were all anxious to help.
Field assistants, drivers, cookers, and some parents joined in this mission, which will not only benefit the children at this school but to the whole community. It's a very rough area, with its lands full of salt, that makes this project special because now they can grow their own vegetables and it will help also to get potable water for drink.
Pablo, Wayne, our special guests John and Josh, field assistants, and the rest of the office team depart to Florentino Ameguino's school where children were very excited about our visit.
As soon as we arrived there, Pablo, the school teacher and I got a brush to paint the front school windows and door, men of the team were anxious to start painting the classroom and kitchen so they started working very hard and some parents joined to them. The teacher told us the last time the school received help for painting was 14 years ago!!! "There's no money for us, or our children" said the teacher with tears in her eyes.
It was near the noon, and the sun was really hot, so we gave a Soaring Argentina hat to every child, now they are part of the working team!
That day everyone worked by shifts: painting the rooms, windows and doors, and the best of all: painting the backpacks with the children, drawing and resolving crosswords we brought for them.
The school looked different once they finished painting… Looks like new!!! But this is something we can't do without your help.
After this, we went back to Fabricio’s school to help the guys who were working hard on the garden construction. As a way to say thank you, parents were waiting for us to lunch.
Fabricio, Pablo, Wayne Lori and Gaby gave a thanking speech encouraging to the community and thanking for the reception.
The food was delicious, but we had to keep on working in the garden construction. Even though we didn't finish that day there was still a lot to do the next day.The sun was going down and we decided to leave. Almost done but tomorrow we will continue.
Tired but proud we started the way back home, thankful for everything we have that seems so usual for us, but unknown for many children.
It was a beautiful sunny morning when we started our way to this very -for every single one of us that has ever been there- special place. This time, we had a special guest helping us; Daniel, Lori’s dad. Daniel is a kind and peaceful man who smiles 24/7 and makes everyone laugh all the time, so we were really pleased to have him around.
We first went to the office in Jesus Maria to pick some things up we had been receiving for the kids such as school supplies, clothes, etc., from the hunters we had the pleasure to meet during the past few months.
In this opportunity, we had an specific mission; to make the once given by the government computers that no-one ever installed work for the kids to use and learn.
After we left the office, we went straight to Villa del Totoral town to meet the rest of the Pointer team that had asked to participate that day.
We first went to the local health centre since that place is a pick up point for all the people that live in the surrounding areas. There, we left several bags with food such as rice, pasta, tomato sauce in cans, polenta, milk, etc., as well as toilet paper and other items for health care.
After a quick talk with the woman in charge, we headed to the school we were going to visit in the first place, Fabricio's school.
Let me tell you a little bit of this one of a kind teacher.
Fabricio is teacher, director, and a great example for the kids that attend to that school.
He is from Quilino, which is located an hour away from the school through a gravel road. He starts his day really early in the morning and on his way to the school he picks some students up on his pickup truck. He takes them to the school, gives them the class of the day and then drops them off at their houses. School also includes breakfast and lunch, prepared by the cook.
He’s not only the teacher, but also the mentor and grown up that most of these kids look up to. He teaches every topic taught at any school and everything little kids need to keep their innocence and happiness alive. He simply loves those kids as if they were his own children.
When we got there, Daniel prepared everything to make the computers for the kids work as they should. While Lori’s dad was working on that, Federico, Tata, David, Gaby and the rest of the team from Pointer, took all the food and health care products we brought to that school close by the kitchen area so then Fabrizio could organize everything to divide into equal parts to later on give it to the local families.
Fabricio arrived and gave us a big smile to welcome us, just as he does every time we go there.
A while ago, Lori and Fabricio talked about the running water they have in that area, without knowing if that water was safe or not for the kids to drink. Apparently, the government had once half-built a tank for this school so they could have clean water available, but as I mentioned before, they half built it, so Lori took the bull by the horns and took a sample of this water to analyze it and see if it was potable or not.
After a couple of calls Lori made and emails to the people from the government, it turns out that the water is good for the kids so the construction for the tank is hopefully going to be finished before end of this year!
Long story short, thanks to all the people that have been part of this amazing project, we can now say that the kids from these schools can start seeing the progress and that the world has a lot more to offer.
We are still working on the computers for the kids and on the construction for the drinking water, but it was really good to know that we are almost there, that we have started the process to bring this kids what they really deserve.
Help us help others!
On April 21st we started our morning very early in Jesus Maria, we met up at the office with Juan and Vicky to load the truck with all the donations we had ready to take to the schools and we drove to Plaza Real Lodge where we also picked Wayne and Dale up.
We visited 5 schools that day, 3 of them we had also visited last year in November.
Again we brought a lot of schools supplies to leave at the schools and to give to each kid, also a first aid kit to the schools we were visiting for the first time, and a lot of clothes we collected from hunters, our team and people that heard about our mission and wanted to help.
It was so great to see some teachers again and to meet new ones. All of them have some incredible life stories, proof of their selfless dedication to educating and their devotion to these kids.
We had the pleasure to meet Alberto and Monica, two teachers that drive so many miles to get to the schools each day. Alberto, to teach to 5 students, and Monica to only 2.
This last school where Monica teaches, there are only 2 students, a brother, and a sister. They’re not the only students in that school but they’re also the only kids in the area. It’s such a remote location that there are no other families at least 20 miles round.
We also had the chance to visit Fabricio’s school again, we met him last year. He was still struggling with a water issue. They have running water at the school but it was never tested for bacteria or contaminants, so he can’t risk giving it to his students.
We’re currently working on getting that water analyzed by a laboratory to see if it’s safe to drink it or not.
We got to these schools with the help of Mario a neighbor and now a very good friend of us; he guided the way and also introduced us to more people.
Thanks to that we got the chance to meet a mom that sends her kids to a high school where they go on Monday and stay until Friday, they spend the weekend at home and then back to school. This is the only way they have to finish their studies due to it’s impossible for them to travel every day.
The lack of public transportation makes it very hard for a lot of parents to send their kids to high school to continue with their studies.
We spoke with this mom and tried to find out how much it costs per year per kid to go to that school so we can come up with a number and hopefully in a close future we can start with our sponsoring program, which is one of our main goals.
I think we made a few steps on this last mission that got us closer to our future goals. It was such a good day and I'm so happy to be part of a team that won't accept this reality the way it is. It won't be quick, it won't be easy but I know we already started to make a difference in these kids' life and I'm proud of that.
This wouldn't have been possible without the help we received from all our guests, our team, families, and friends.
On behalf of these kids, teachers, and families, thank you to everyone that made it possible.
Your generosity and commitment are invaluable to us, Pointer Outfitters and Soaring Argentina.
Pointer Outfitters, Argentina
Some of our field assistants were aware that an impoverished family in one of the fields were we hunt needed help and they did not wait. They went ahead and helped them. Check the full story and the pictures in this report.
On the third week of May, five field assistants from Pointer Outfitters team decided to donate some of their personal income to purchase food for one impoverished family in the area where we go hunting. We’d like to share with all of you these pictures from this latest mission. The most amazing thing is that now Soaring is being spread and is not only coming up with ideas from the general managers involved in Soaring Argentina. It's also happening with everybody working at the company, bringing new ideas and trying to help. We hope this continues and we have the feeling that something amazing will happen and we'll get to see improvements in the areas we're helping.
In November 2016 we had three days of outreach to the schools. In that occasion, we gave the schools, teachers and students supplies and we spent time with them in their daily activities. The mission did not finish there, we decided to keep ties with the schools we had help and come back again while trying to reach new schools as well.
So the mission on the 20th of April was very special for different reasons. First, we were going back to one school we had visited last November, Adelina Romero de Juarez. But the plan this time was different. We were going to paint the building, besides from giving them more supplies. What’s special about this is that the idea came from one of our field assistants. He came up with the idea and planned the logistics for the day. Personally speaking, this makes a whole difference in the story; they are not just helping because they are part of the company, but they are helping and coming up with ideas because they feel involved and committed to this good cause.
So we left the company headquarters at 8 am. On the way to the school we stopped to say hi to different neighbours in the area, who were happy to see us around. This friendliness and warmth surprised Dale, a kind man from the USA who had come to help us. Wayne, another friend from the USA, was not very impressed. He already feels like a local and enjoys having some mate (our typical tea) with the neighbours. When we got to the school, we started the work. There were brushes for everybody. The team was divided among those who painted and those who helped clean and organize the school stuff.
Marina is the teacher in this school. She has just been teaching there for a year and it’s her first teaching job. There are 10 students in this school, from K-6. She has about 12 kilometers to get to school everyday; so far so good. But the roads are gravel roads, and there are no buses or public transport she can rely on. She doesn’t have a car either, so what is left is to take a taxi every day to go to school. This is very expensive for her, and of course, she doesn’t get much help to pay this expense. I was very happy to meet her. Marina, to me, she is an example of vocation and hard work. She could have stayed in the town, doing any other job, but instead she chose to be a teacher, in a rural school, which implies teaching 7 different levels in the same classroom and to 10 kids at the same time. These kids, of course, do not have the same level of cognitive development, kids in kindergarten request more time and detailed explanations than those in 6th grade. But Marina can handle this. She says it is stressing, but when you see how she talks and deals with the kids you understand it. The students are like her kids, she’s a teacher and a mother. And she’s also the future for these kids. She knows that what she teaches to them will play a vital role in their future. Hopefully, they will get some kind of secondary education, but not all of them will.
At about 2pm we had finished painting the building and we were ready to share some choripan, sausage on bread, our typical street food, or go-to meal whenever you need a filling but quick and mess free lunch. Choripanes were shared among all the company staff, the teacher, the cook, some parents who had joined us to help and some students, too. It was a really nice meal where we exchanged our opinions and feelings. Marina, the teacher, was very moved. She said that the parents and students were saving money for other things they school needed, such as bigger boards, but painting the school was unaffordable for them; and as you might imagine, not a priority at all when there were so many other urgent needs.
The day before painting the school, parents had helped the teacher move the furniture around. After painting, we helped clean and put the furniture in some of the classrooms back in their place. At this point, I was beaming. Marina’s classroom showed her dedication to teaching in every detail. Posters covering all the walls, learning stations, drawings and decorations. You could tell she loved her job and we could tell everything looked much nicer with freshly painted walls. That was going to have an impact in the kids motivation for learning, that’s for sure.
I want to make a special comment on this post. Dale was a man for the US who had come to Argentina to hunt last year and he came again to join us in our missions. His dedicated help surprised us all. Since he stepped out of the car and got a brush, he did not stop doing all sorts of things; painting, cleaning, moving things around, etc. He worked very quietly, did not even take breaks and accepted our mates (local drink) with gratitude and confidence. (mates can be a bit weird the first time you have them.)
After we left the school, we made our way to a very special place, another area where we had been helping last year in one of our missions. We wanted to find Mario, another generous local who had welcomed us and cooked a special meal for us when we were there the year before. Pablo and Wayne wanted to say hi to him, drink some mate, talk about the current social situation in the area and identify other schools that might need help.
Stay tuned and read about the visit to Mario's place in the second part of this post!
In April 2017, we will again go to Argentina to serve in the schools. Dale Williams, a Dallas business owner will be coming to help. We welcome others to join us.
YOU can be a part of local missions in Argentina in April. We will arrive April 19th and work though April 22nd. Could you join us???
Wayne Graham here. I serve on the board of Soaring Argentina, a Texas-based non-profit organization serving the rural Northern Cordoba Province. We are working to open new educational opportunities and provide medical resources to this very impoverished this area.
Soaring Argentina, exists to improve the education and medical environments in the Cordoba Province of Argentina. Through gifts of hunters and other supporters, our social programs directly benefit the children and youth of Argentina, as well as all who are in need of medical attention.
Over the next months, dozens of hunt groups will be heading to South America to experience the adventure of hunting with Pointer Wingshooting. These hunters will enjoy great food, great concierge service and the warm culture of Argentina. However, many of these hunters will have something else on their minds as well.
Many of the hunters heading to Cordoba are making plans to bring an extra bag or two filled with youth or children sized clothing to donate to Soaring Argentina’s efforts. Some will be bring schoool supplies such as colored pencils and notebooks. Others will be making a financial donation to help us help others.
In November 2017, my wife Laura, and I spent time in 8 schools in this rural area, along with Pablo and his wife Silvia and their 3 children. In the four days we visited schools we were joined by the office staff and field staff of Pointer Wingshooting. Together we delivered truckloads of clothing and school supplies. We spent time talking with teachers, parents and students about specific educational needs of the school and the future of the students. We learned a great deal about the struggles and life in the country.
Currently, the norm for rural villages is students who finished elementary grades in their local school do not continue their education. If we can encourage elementary students to continue in their education by moving to a nearby town, the usual pattern of poverty can be broken; leading to possibilities of a better future.
With each visit we have made to these schools, we are able to see these children begin to comprehend the reality of a larger world; it being more than the mud homes, goats they tend and carrying drinking water to their homes.
Will you join me? Will you help us help others through Soaring Argentina. Come with us!!
On October 17th, while Gary and Jordan were finishing their morning hunt, we picked their wives up, Kimber and Kiera, from the lodge and took them to the field where we all met and went to visit the first school.
The group have had donated some money that we invested in school supplies to help rural schools in the north of Cordoba; they requested if they could come with us to deliver this donation and we happily agreed.
We visited a couple of schools that day, it was noon and the kids were having lunch or getting ready to leave soon to their houses.
Jose de San Martin School was our first stop; a little school remotely located 20 to 30 min far from the main road. There we met Rosa, a local teacher in charge of 5 little students from the area, aged between 2 and 5 years old. They were surprised and a quite shy at the beginning, but it didn’t take long until we were all laughing, reading books and finding our home countries at the globe they had on the table.
We gave them some color pencils, a notebook to draw in, along with other schools supplies to take home. This school has one classroom, one storage room and a little kitchen with a table where the kids have breakfast every morning. It was great to meet Rosa and the kids, they were all very happy to see us as well as we were for being there.
We said goodbye with a lot of hugs and kisses and we drove another 10 min to the next school.
We got to Fray Luis Beltran School, where we met Maria Ester. This was a bigger school with a couple of classrooms, a dining room and a kitchen. There were 8 kids, aged between 5 and 11 years old; they were having lunch the moment we walked in. We got to speak with the cook and she told us they get their frozen meals once a month from PAICor (a government organization that provides food to schools where the kids have limited resources).
After our little tour and talk with the kids and the two women in charge, we gave them also school supplies to take home and Gary brought some treats from the van for the kids to eat after lunch.
We said goodbye and headed back to the field for lunch and, while waiting for our food to be ready, we talked with Gary, Kimber, Jordan and Kiera about the schools and thanked them for taking the time to be part of this, we all agreed that sometimes we don’t realize how much we have or how easily we are able to get the things that we want until you get to see this other reality.
These kids living in remote places with no access to a personal computer, video games, phones, tablets, like any other kid we see today, they are full of happiness still, with smiles on their faces, trying their best to do well in school and to outdo themselves every day.
They might don’t even know what is to be a high school student, or a college student, or what is to get a good job that will allow them to pursuit their dreams, and they’re still too young to even worry about that, but we truly believe that with our help, a lot of kids will be more and more close to achieve these goals.
Our mission is to improve the quality of education for elementary children and to supply rural schools and hospitals with equipment and supplies which are desperately needed,so we’re extremely thankful to count on the help of hunters and non-hunters that visited Argentina during this year.
This was an experience that filled my heart in with joy and it was great to share it with Gary, Kimber, Jordan and Kiera, they are all amazing people that I certainly hope to see again soon!
I can’t wait to visit more schools and hospitals in our mission next week!
Pointer Outfitters Argentina
We want to show you pictures from a visit to one of the schools in the area we are working known as “Ceferino Namuncura”. Adriana, the teacher and representative of the institution, received us warmly. In this effort, we were joined by Martin (head guide from Cordoba), Cindy (marketing and communication), Carlos “Gallo” (logistic and scout from Cordoba) and “Chelo” (video and photo).
Our first goal was to contribute to the construction of the gym floor at the school. Additionally, we desired to identify twelve USA sponsors who would assist 12 children when they finish their primary studies. This support will help them to move to the city and attend high school.
We are going to report all the progress we have been seeing here. If you want to stay in touch with this project and assist in any way, please contact us through this link. We are offering a free trip to those who collaborate with our social program. JOIN US NOW!
Pablo Aguilo (Director)
We were hunting doves with Wayne, a minister from a Dallas Baptist church, and all his friends some days ago. The second day while I was scouting for doves I stopped at School “9 de Julio” to talk with some of the neighbors about some doves fields in northern Cordoba. The school is located in the hills area, about 10 miles down the gravel road from road number 9.
The land owners in this area have an average of about 200 acres each. They had a special request for us. They needed a gate, a wooden post and some help for the school. We thought it would be a good way to help them, and for that reason we invited Mr. Oscar, a gaucho from the area, to join us for lunch the following day.
Yes, you guessed it. Wayne and his friends were happy to meet Oscar and talked to him, with some help from translators. Wayne knew what was going on in a minute, and had a great idea. He said: “We will help the school”. On the third day, on the way to our hunting field, we showed Lisle, Jim, Sam, Barry and John the school named 9 de julio. We explained the situation to them, and they all agreed that it would be very nice to help them with a donation. So, everyone put in around $100 bucks, and we had a budget to help.
Our guests finished hunting on a Sunday, but because Wayne had been invited to stay 2 more days with me we agreed to go together on the following Monday to help Oscar and the neighbors at the school. (Please check the pictures below)
We bought pencils, rubbers, colors, papers, all kind of materials for studying. We also bought different elements for cleaning, tons of toilet paper, soap, and other needed items. We bought a nice soccer ball and some shirts for the kids, and of course we bought the wooden gate and the post.
On Monday Oscar was waiting for us with some parents and we all enjoyed setting the gate and giving the kids the ball and Real Madrid Shirts. We also played soccer all together and enjoyed camaraderie.
It was nice to have a big asado (lunch) all together. We share a dream. Wayne was both surprised and satisfied with the experience, but said he would have preferred to work harder and give more to the school. He told me of his plan. He would love to come and do a few days hunting in combination with three days of hard work helping one small community have some of their needs met. The idea sounds good, and we believe we are already headed in the right direction.
We stopped at a second school. We gave away a Real Madrid Soccer shirt to one of the kids as a gift for his merit and efforts toward success. This was very important. We had made a promise months before that we would return and honor the one who had worked the hardest. Two days later we received a letter from the teacher, Rosa, saying thank you for giving the kids a great day, and for supporting them. That was a very nice feeling. When you do something for someone that really needs it, not expecting anything in return, there is a unique, good feeling. Actions like this help us be better persons.
The best part of this experience was how our Pointer team helped. They took their free day to join us and help. They were so happy at the end of the day. They said it would be great to do it more often. We are happy to share this experience with you.
We hope you have enjoyed it. We hope you will be the next one.
We are offering a free hunting trip to anyone who will join us in these efforts.
For more information about this offer and our missions, please contact Wayne Graham, a key supporter in helping with this local mission. You may contact him at any time for further information.