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No. 44 • January - June 2007 • Page 161
 •  Initiatives

Montevideo (Uruguay) -- Making good use of summer

The Del Mar University Residence will celebrate its fortieth anniversary this October. During the summer months of 2007, the students who frequent the residence have been deeply involved in three activities of “solidarity” with those less fortunate than themselves.

From January 26 to 31, a group of twenty-five young women dedicated themselves to the maintenance and improvement of the facilities of CADI in the Casavalle district, on the outskirts of Montevideo. CADI, which is the Spanish acronym for the Center for the Integral Development of Women, was begun fifteen years ago by university women who take part in the activities of the Del Mar residence. Although renovation work is underway, at present a cargo-container CADI is using as a classroom will have to continue providing its services. The major project for the young women was to provide thermal insulation to keep the room cool during summer and warm in winter. Another project was painting the doors of the rooms and the playground equipment. On the final day a celebration was organized for forty children from the neighborhood.

The Uruguayan community of Pueblo Garzon once had a population of 2,000 but is now down to 600. In its more prosperous days, Garzon had four stores, a pharmacy, six shops, seven blacksmith’s workshops, four hairdressers, and a train that stopped four times a day. Now almost the only source of income is a luxury hotel which tries to attract Argentinean and Brazilian vacationers looking for peace and quiet. But what moved a group of students from Del Mar Residence to spend the first to the fifth of March in Pueblo Garzon was not the need to rest, but the desire to do something for others. The university women gave classes in first aid and dental hygiene, painted the rooms in a school, and offered talks on human virtues.

Salinas, some 25 miles from Montevideo, is one of the numerous seaside resorts on the Uruguayan coast. From March first to the fifth, 25 girls from the Casavalle district, almost all students of CADI, spent a few days in Salinas with people from Del Mar residence. Besides having a good time, they received an intense program of talks on human and Christian formation. They also found time to visit with residents at a home for the aged in the area.

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