Reflections: A Ganar Ciudad Juárez

Our recent participation in the Presentación A Ganar in Ciudad Juárez was a reminder of the importance of Partners’ motto:  Connect.  Serve.  Change Lives.  To view first-hand how the Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera  Norte, its staff, board and the many collaborating institutions and community organizations have Connected to Serve and Change Lives is a strong reminder of all that we can do when we come together to improve our community.  The ability to Connect so many around the same vision of Service continues to be an inspiration to all of us at Partners.  And to listen to the personal stories of the first group of 300 A Ganar alumni was a reminder that lives can change when we Connect to do so.  As one of the young participants explained to me, “Before A Ganar, it was all dark, full of fear and no hope for the future.  Now it is full of light, color and music.”  He was being trained to use a lathe but I suspect he could also be a poet.
For the staff of Partners and myself there was also a very real sense of solidarity and purpose in our visit.  We wanted to be “present and accounted for” and bear witness to your many accomplishments during some of your most difficult times.    As Tasso Lugon, Chairman of our Board, reminds us, “Together we can accomplish so much more for so many more people.”
During the visit I found myself returning to the Dr. Seuss story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”  In this story, the Grinch successfully steals all of the presents, Christmas trees and trimmings that go along with the holiday season.  But the community does not give in and Christmas comes anyway- its citizens organize to protect what is valuable to them.  In the end, the Grinch realizes that he is powerless to stop the celebration, gives up his bitter ways, and re-joins the community.
During the ceremony at the lovely new community museum Rodadora I had the same sensation that I had when I first read this story to my children:  we will not give in to darkness and we will work to protect the goodness in our communities.
That this important first graduation would take place around the time of Semana Santa and Pascua underscores that deep, core belief that we all share about the possibility for re-birth and redemption.
Congratulations to the Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte and to Ciudad Juárez on a job well done!
Steve Vetter
President & CEO

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