The Words of the Gehring Family
Castries, St. Lucia -- A Religious Youth Service project is taking place August 7 to 17 in the verdant Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, noted for its green mountains, white sand beaches, and friendly residents. RYS volunteers are staying in a fishing village in Anse-la-Raye just ten miles from the capital city of Castries.
Things are going very well at the RYS project in St. Lucia. We have 33 staff and participants nearly evenly divided between the Caribbean and outside of the Caribbean.
The village council recommended that we provide needed renovations to a historic senior-care center, as well as contribute to the beautification of the community through making renovations to the central park, where a "Peace Garden" will be created.
The number of participants is larger than anticipated, so we have to focus each day on finding enough appropriate work. Yet, the work appears to come to us as we are becoming closer to the people of this small fishing community each day. We have been working in teams throughout the community. This is a largely Roman Catholic island, and we have had a team working several days at the large Roman Catholic church. The priest welcomed participants during a service and invited a staff member from Guyana to share about what we are doing.
This is a music-loving culture, and we are a musically oriented group with participants who love to sing and dance. So, we come together on some level through culture as well as through service and the educational elements of our program. The closeness of the group is unusual and a real plus. There should be good opportunities for follow-up.