Our third annual camp hosted 30 girls from 5 communities, four in the State of Puebla and one in the State of Tlaxcala. We were honored to have Laura Dogu, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy; Ken Yamashita, Peace Corps Regional Director of the Americas, Caribbean, and the Pacific; Daniel Evans, Director of Peace Corps Mexico; Alberto Carrimiñana Alonso, INAOE’s General Director; and Daniela Migoya, SEMARNAT Delegada attend and provide inspirational words to the girls at the Inauguration.

It is always amazing to see the transformation that occurs in each girl within a week. The shy and timid girls coming out of their shell, and the teamwork that develops between the girls emcompasses every to aspect of the day from daily workshops to getting ready in the morning.

Every year, Camp Mariposas grows and incorporates new activities. This year we introduced the negativity box and the positivity board. One goal of the Camp is that the girls leave the camp with a better sense of self worth and confidence. For that reason, we wanted positive thoughts and feelings to be largely on display throughout every single day. The positivity board hung in the front room and displayed the positive observations and feelings of the week. Although we strive to create a positive environment we understand that at times one can feel unhappy, therefore we created a box where all the negative thoughts could be written down. At the end of the week, as a symbolic gesture of removing the negative from our lives, we burnt all the negative message while chanting “¡si se puede!”

We also took what is a seemingly fun Disney movie and incorporated it into a learning activity for the day themed “Self-discovery and Self-esteem.” For the evening activity we watched Frozen! Afterwards, the girls were split into groups and given a question that related to the themes of the week. These questions included, “Would you sacrifice yourself to fit in with society? Have you done it like Elsa did?” and “What kinds of bullying did Prince Hans implement throughout the movie and who were his victims?” We then discussed the answers to these questions as a larger group and each girl presented their answers with great thought and conviction.

Last year, we introduced swim classes into the Camp. This year we continued this activity and next year we plan to expand it to at least 2 sessions. Many of the girls had never swam before or even been in a body of water. The certified swim teacher taught eased them into the pool through basic steps such as kicking, putting your face in the water and even just walking back and forth in the pool. This was a highlight of the week and removed a fear for many of the girls.

This class of 30 was very inquisitive, opinionated and extremely motivated. There were many in the room that aspire to be doctors, lawyers and scientist. Watch out world here comes a new flutter of Mariposas!!

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