What an honor! The mayor of Saylla called my husband and I up to the stage at a ceremony hosted by Corazon de Dahlia on July 19th, and he named us honorary citizens! At this point, I pretty much feel part Peruvian, so I guess it’s a good fit. In the U.S. paperwork, I am the founder of the organization, but in the Peruvian custom, both the husband and wife are treated as co-founders. I think that’s a fair assessment since Bryan has supported me with this initiative all along. I got up and looked at Bryan. I think he was still translating the Spanish in his mind when I motioned for him to join me. “Me?” he questioned. He put down his camera and joined me on stage. We stood there looking out at the children, some of their parents, the Corazon de Dahlia staff, and our tour group of Californians. The official document was read aloud. We looked at each other and smiled. Then, large, gift-wrapped presents appeared. We each opened them and the crowd went “ooooh” and “ahhhh!” Alpaca wall hangings. How perfect.
I appreciated the sentiment from the mayor. The most powerful thing he said is that Corazon de Dahlia is building human capital that will serve the community far beyond any other type of support. He recognizes that if youth are taught values and guided socially and academically, they will thrive and make the community a better place. This really touched me, because it’s what I believe. Youth are the future. They are absolutely worth investing in.