Even though it was nearly 13 years ago that CSA was born (now a teen!), I think we all feel like we are still constantly learning. Whether it be about how our partner communities in Puerto Plata could begin to harvest more local products, expanding our "Mi Vida en Juego" at risk youth program, or how to make our non profit organization a strong social enterprise, it has been a fabulous, fulfilling ride. The world of community development and partnerships is a rich one, which has brought us to learn volumes and meet so many talented, passionate, generous individuals.
In these 13 years, as one might experience with a teenager, we have had moments of joy and frustration; pure joy and pride when our youth graduated from vocational training and many went on to obtain jobs, or returning to the Cerrito primary school to see how the team proudly uses their water filter when preparing lunches for the children. Frustration when we want to do more and feel limited by resource constraints.
With each day, a letter from a former student to express how their experience change their career path, hearing of the progress of families we've supported or the opportunity for new partnerships ignites the passion we all have to work alongside our community partners.
Most of all, we feel grateful. Grateful to be part of something that gives us all the opportunity to move outside our comfort zone, learn, give of ourselves, harness new resources for our communities and find better ways to achieve our goals.
Thank you all for believing in our work these 13 years and continuing to support us.
We are looking forward to all the upcoming year will bring.
Rigil ,Elizabeth and the CSA team