Posts Tagged ‘heritage camps for adoptive families’

Latin American Heritage Camp

Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Registration opens today for Latin American Heritage Camp in Colorado. The dates are June 23-June 26; the setting is a rustic and charming YMCA in the magnificent Rocky Mountains.
We’ve gone several times and each of us enjoyed the experience for different reasons: the kids because, first, every family there looks like ours, and they sense instantly the deep comfort of that; and second, because it’s fun. They’re outdoors! There’s a pool, and a campfire, and one year, a hayride! The older kids hike and zip-line and compare adoption journeys. Everyone eats together and dances and talks and listens and talks some more. We share a bond, we families through adoption. Everybody feels it.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that more than any other workshop or seminar, Heritage Camp informed the way I approach adoptive parenting. In particular: the panel discussions by older adoptees opened my eyes to what it feels like to be a person from Latin America adopted to the US. As the teens and young adults shared their stories, they discussed what worked and what didn’t, what they know now that they wish they could tell their younger selves, and offered suggestions for how we as a community of adoptive parents can learn from the past and move forward. I took notes and heard, and vowed to incorporate the lessons learned into the lives of my family.
It’s never too late to go to Heritage Camp. Maybe this is the year? xoxo


Moguate 2015

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

When we decided to adopt from Guatemala in 2002, I never imagined how profoundly adoption and the country of Guatemala would impact every facet of my family’s lives. Case in point: Two weeks ago, we flew home from Guatemala and drove to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri for the annual gathering of adoptive families with children born in Guatemala, known as MOGUATE. The name blends the abbreviation for Missouri, the home state of founder Cindy Swatek, and the shorthand version of the country we love.

This year was the ninth annual gathering, with more than 100 people attending. The format is casual, with lots of pool time and informal conversation about parenting, family, and travel to Guatemala. Special activities were planned for the teens, who traveled in a happy pack. This year, Dorothy Kilmer gave a fascinating final presentation on the traditions of Quinceanera (which included a crowning) and ALDEA board member Sonya Fultz spoke about the important work ALDEA does to deliver clean water to villages in Guatemala. All proceeds from the raffles and silent auction were donated to ALDEA–nearly $10,000.

My family attended MOGUATE the first time in 2011, when Susan Carter invited me to discuss our adoption story, Mamalita. We returned this year because our kids love being with other adoptive families. As I heard an older teen say, “It’s one place you don’t have to explain anything.” Maybe you can relate.

If you live anywhere near Missouri, check out MOGUATE’s FB page and website for next summer’s confab. And thank you to Cindy and Matt Swatek for creating a place of support for our adoption community. xo

Photo credit: Mark Acker


Culture Camp in Austin, TX

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

For friends in the Austin, Texas area. I’ve never attended Guatemalan Culture Camp there, but have heard good things. The dates are June 15-19, from 9 AM to 3 PM. I know nothing beyond this, but they asked folks to pass the word, and so I am. Here’s a link to their FB page, and an excerpt:

“We’ve got classes in marimba band, Rupert Reyes will once again have the drama class, the marvelous Jane Wells will lead our heritage art classes, we’ll have the meaningful Adoption Journey classes led by a LSW, and cooking/Guatemalan culture classes, as well as time for the littles to do a bit of running & playing, and the really littles have a rest time built in, too.

“We’re also looking for counselors- we prefer Guatemalan born, but are open to others, too. They should be at least college age. High school students are eligible to be volunteer Jr. counselors and earn volunteer hours. We love parent volunteers, too. All must pass police background check.

“Please pass the word.  June 15-19, Austin, TX. 9am-3pm.”