As a new member of the Pointer Outfitters team, Soaring Argentina called my attention from the very beginning. Pablo Aguiló was the one that first mentioned what was all about. With a great smile on his face, he told me that the main aim of Soaring Argentina is helping rural schools in the northern area of Cordoba. He also showed me a collection of nice photographs of the mission trips, which are carried out twice a year. The missions consist mainly in bringing supplies to rural schools and medical centers in the North or Cordoba and organizing different activities for the kids. I must say I had never in my life been involved in an organization of the like.
I was really lucky and privileged to start working at Pointer Outfitters just some weeks before the date of the first mission of the year. I had the chance to contribute with my own bit to the huge overall effort of the staff.
As close as the date was, we started to get everything ready. The donations of clothes were separated and put into big boxes and packets with some gifts for the kids were made. Moreover, different sorts of activities were also planned, such as painting a colorful mural in a wall of the school with the help of all the children.
The big day came. We set our alarm clocks very early in the morning, at 4 pm, and we met the field staff in the office to load the big boxes of donations and other elements into the pickups. This gave the start to our journey to San Cayetano School. After driving like 3 hours, we arrived, and Mónica, the teacher, was already waiting for us. The kids were having class lessons but when they saw us, they got really happy and came to say hello.
As soon as we got, we set to work. It was wonderful to see every member of the team doing different tasks! By the way, I had the chance to meet new people, such as the guys that work in the field and Wayne Graham, a very nice man who I talked a lot with while we were both painting the corners of a door. The goal of the day was to finish painting the whole school. At first, I actually thought “God, this is going to be difficult.” But actually, it wasn’t as everybody was committed to do it! We worked a lot of hours until the results were a success: a brand-new school; a nicer place for the kids to study and learn.
The most moving thing of the day was when the kids told us to stop working for a minute since they wanted show us something they’ve done. They read us a poem to thank us for everything we did to help improve the conditions of their school. This was such a beautiful moment! The poem was their own way of saying “thank you” and, as you can imagine, it was really touching.
Muy contento cada día, a la escuela siempre voy.
Tengo muchos amigos tan traviesos como yo.
Con pinceles y pinturas comenzaron a transformar
este agreste paisaje en un bonito lugar
Which translates to:
Every day, very happy to the school I go.
I have friends that are as playful as me.
With brushes and paints, you started to transform
This rough landscape into a beautiful school.
God bless you all.”
And immediately after, Mónica continued with some genuine words. “Thank you very much for everything you have done,” she said, “but mostly, thank you for your time. Nowadays, time is the most valuable and precious thing a man can have. And the fact that you devoted your time to us is priceless.”
At that moment I realized the significance of organizations such as Soaring Argentina to help these remote, isolated communities thrive so that their inhabitants can enjoy a better quality of life. Though we are aware that there is still too much work to do, we firmly believe that every effort counts, and if we all put our own part or bit, great things can be achieved.
Thank you very much Pointer Outfitters for letting me be part of Soaring Argentina. I can’t wait for the next mission of the year!
Soaring Argentina was unknown to me. In the October 2017 mission I could see my wife’s enthusiasm during the preparation on the weeks previous the mission, and even though is good to help, I couldn’t understand why she was so excited about this particular trip. When the mission ended, my three children and I waited anxiously to hear her experience, and between tears, I began to understand the true spirit of Soaring Argentina. When she told us everything she experienced, she fell asleep, and I could see the satisfaction of having fulfilled her goal on her face.
Six months later the next mission arrived, and this time I joined them with the most beautiful gift that God could have given me, the music. The alarm clock rang at 4 am, and we left everything organized at home because our 3 kids couldn’t come with us this time. At 5 am, we met with the pointer team and started loading boxes with supplies, clothes, and many donations into the pickup trucks. We started the trip to Totoral where more people would join us. Drinking ‘mate’ and laughing on the way, I began to see the faces of each of the field and office staff. All of them had the same goal, help these children.
We resume the trip with rain, but none of them lowed their arms.
After two hours of traveling on rough roads, we arrived at the little school Olegario Rodriguez where the teacher and the children were waiting for us.
The team began to work hard, weeding a field where children now can play football. Others team members, instead, painted the outside of the school from the walls to the doors and windows, they embellished the establishment. Others read children's stories. When my turn came, and I stood at the front of the classroom, saw their little faces waiting to make music, then I began to understand the passion and purpose of the Pointer Team, I began to understand this spirit that moved them, began to understand the tears of my wife when she first time came on 2017.
With the kids, we decided to write a song to the school with lyrics and music of their own. It was the first time they would compose a song.
And we achieved the goal! We composed the best song ever because each word came from those pure and sincere hearts. And not only that the school was beautiful, now, they have a song of its own.
Lunchtime came and we could enjoy a delicious Argentinian barbecue. I had the opportunity to bless the food and thank God for being part of this team. As soon as we ended having lunch, the team did not hesitate to go back to work until 6 pm and decided to continue the next day. On the way back I could see exhausted faces, but everyone with the satisfaction of having fulfilled the objective.
Now I really understand the spirit of Soaring Argentina and I’m getting ready for the next mission, and I hope that more and more people will join us because the only way to understand the objective is being part of it.
Volunteer at Soaring Argentina
I had the privilege of joining in on the latest Soaring Argentina missions, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my short time in Argentina. Coming from Tanzania, I am no stranger to the challenges that less fortunate people face, and unfortunately, I am also familiar with many misguided initiatives to address them, but I was very impressed with the commitment and positive impacts of the efforts of the Pointer Outfitters team on their own communities.
The practical help provided is very accurate, restoring facilities that were not available to the children and making sure they have a functional and inspirational place to learn. But even more meaningful is the way in which this help is given. I really liked the no-fuss, hands-on approach taken by the whole team. Seeing 20+ of their own people coming out over 3 days and getting their hands dirty for their cause can only have a powerful and positive impact on these children.
I was very lucky to be able to tag along with them and see the rewards first hand, but it is clear that this is way more than just window dressing, and the happy pictures are the result of a huge amount of work and coordination by the Pointer team. Truly Inspirational!
Everything started when we decided to go farther and get more involved. Each one of us chose one project to develop this time, and at first, I thought "My God! there’s so much to do!" I didn't know what my first step should be.
So I started by thinking about our last mission, and how the children were waiting for us with a welcome poster. It made us feel really loved, and the idea came, what if we made them feel the same way every single day when they arrive at school? That would be great!
Together with the idea, appeared the teamwork. But this time we were supposed to do something different, we just wanted to fill the school with joy. Even though there was so much to do, we all know that music and painting are the best things to let your mind run away from the rough reality. So that’s exactly what we did. We decided to paint a welcome mural, full of values that push them forward and remind them that there’s a group of people that remember them every single day, even if we are not there, we work for them.
Adolfo Joined us this time. He is an Army musician, who besides loving his country also loves music and children. He helped children to recycle different things and built their own instruments, making music from recycle elements, and showing them how to make the most out of everything. The children composed a song thanking Soaring Argentina for bringing them joy, and the most important is that they composed it with their own words and played it with the instruments made for themselves.
That song made me feel we were in the right way. And they felt really proud of it.
After reading some stories, playing music, laugh and have a good time painting they signed the poster with their handprints, actually, we all did! Now we are more involved, and we are pretty sure they'll be waiting for us to come back soon. In the meantime, we’ll keep working for them.
Volunteer at Soaring Argentina
Big Game Sales department
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
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.