#Dar es Dar #Giving is Giving
I want to share this story, because you never know what your actions can convert into, you never know the magnitude of giving until you experiment. And because we are in April, Earth month, there are many things to do for People, Planet and Prosperity.
It has been 2 months since I swam 22kms Open Water in the Pacific Ocean without a wetsuit. I decided to do it in favor of 4 non-profit organizations Inspira Peru , Arbio Peru , Cure SMA , Chicago Fair Trade as resolution 2023 that I named #strokesforESG . I fundraised a total amount of $8,577, thanks to many people that extended their support to this cause.
My body has almost recovered from those 22kms/14 miles Open Water Ruta Jose Olaya event, finished in 6 hours and 40 mins. I have almost lost my tan too 😊. And I will be very grateful for the rest of my life on how everything aligned for that moment and what happened after that, literally Pay it Forward.
I arrived in Lima, Peru 2 weeks before the Open water event to acclimate my body to the cold temperature which was critical. Even though, February is the hottest month in Lima-Peru, swimming in La Punta – Callao at 7am was the coldest temperature that I experimented swimming (15 C – 59 F). I could feel how the body reacted to it, getting warmer inside to protect my core. Amazing sensation, to experiment what your body is capable of. I swam 2 hours at that temperature as part of the recognition and acclimatization because the finish of the event was in the Punta.
La Punta, reminds me of really good memories of staying at the house of my best friend, when it was exams time at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Her family welcomed me all the time to stay and study. I can’t thank the Currarino Moyano´s family enough for all what they did for me for my studies at the University and also post-graduation.
I must also thank Eduardo Collazos, a great master Peruvian swimmer, who has swum this event: Ruta Jose Olaya 12 times, Triple crown in Open Water and going for the Oceans Seven title. He allowed me to train with him since I arrived in Lima to acclimate and shared with me a lot of swimming tips for the big race with no wetsuit.
During my stay and swimming work out in Lima, I was able to spend time with my father, a big part of the reason for this trip, going with him to his medical appointments and thanks to the hybrid work at Microsoft, I was able to continue working and having customers meetings.
Microsoft Peru, also invited me to introduce myself and the causes that I was supporting, allowing the fundraising, and educating peers about Arbio Peru, their mission and the important to protect the Amazon and its biodiversity there. I also learned more from them and reaffirmed Blossom Inspirations’ commitment to support 1% for the planet and Arbio Peru.
For this swimming journey, I always had a dream: to do it together with my former coach Enrique Urrutia, who trained me for a big part of my life. I really wanted he could be on the boat, guiding, timing, and feeding me (by the way, you cannot touch the boat while eating or drinking, you will be disqualified). I visited him at his place and explained the event and cause to him and his wife and the challenge was accepted: YES!!!!!!
That day of the event on Feb 11th, 2023, I woke up at 3.30am and went on my way to Chorrillos (Playa Pescadores) together with my coach and another friend Carlitos Carcamo, who supported me also from the boat. I really appreciated his generosity, donating his time and unconditional support for these NGOs while taking care of me.
All the stars aligned that day. We were more than 70 participants in the event, but only 9 enthusiastic persons without wetsuit and from there only 2 women. The competition started at 6:00 am. The water was great - not too cold to suffer hypothermia, not too hot to stink by jellyfish, I had my former coach on the boat, with a friend who wouldn’t allow me to stop until the end. In that moment, I knew that the only thing that I needed to do was swim at my own pace, enjoy the moment and the amazing view of the coast of Lima.
There were no issues during the 22 kms/13.4 miles, the water, waves, and the currents were perfect, I ate every hour, the guidance of the boat man and Enrique were critical, I couldn’t complain at all, other than my body started to get tired in mile 11 and the Garmin watch died, but I had my coach to continue encouraging me and be my compass.
At the finish line, waiting for me, my local family and Arbio Peru. I received many calls and text messages from my husband, my girls and family from Chicago and Iowa to celebrate the event.
But the story doesn’t finish here… because the pay it forward has continued. Ricardo Pun, CNN hero 2018 and founder of Inspira Peru, invited me to visit the second shelter that he is building for kids with cancer with the donations of many generous persons. He also has generated an ecosystem to collect caps from water bottles, soft drinks , etc to bring warm water to showers at the shelter of these children and their education while they are in their treatments. Thus, in the Tusan community and Lions Club, we are helping to promote it through small business, our families, and friends.
Two weeks after arrived back in Chicago, the news was announcing the terrible floods in California, mudslides in Peru, etc. (part of the global warming and the impact we are creating to the environment). Many vulnerable people in the suburbs of Lima and other places of Peru (Piura, Chimbote, etc) were affected by the mudslides, including artisans, who work directly with Blossom Inspirations, lost everything, basically the mudslides destroyed and brought away their house. The images of this event were very impactful and the impact of vulnerable communities.
In this painful situation, is when you discover the power of humans, their generosity and detachment. I never thought that a simple swim could have an impact on uniting communities, ecosystems, and support for those most in need, it was Arbio Peru, who launched proactive a post in social media to support the community affected in Cieneguilla by the mudslides. it was great to hear from Inspira Peru, and its donations to give food, shelter and blankets to the impacted artisans and their communities. It's inspiring to see how the artisans have led a common pot to feed their community.
Through Blossom Inspirations, solar panels have been donated directly to the impacted artisans with these mudslides, because we know that traditional electricity will take time to reach the area and it is better to bring them clean energy ASAP to continue having a source of income through their work to overcome and support their families.
These are difficult and complicated times in Peru and many other countries affected by these floods, mudslides, where the Mother Earth demonstrates its power, the consequences of global warming, affecting people of scarce resources mainly who lives and works in vulnerable and rudimentary conditions to improve their life quality and who generates less impact on the environment.
Therefore, it is difficult to say HAPPY EARTH DAY, but a call to action to continue evolving as a society by sharing our actions, learnings, knowledge to be more conscious, empathetic, and how much we can make (individually or collectively) to preserve our planet for a more sustainable future of the next generations.
#sustainabilitymatters #climatecrisis #people #planet #prosperity #quererespoder #launionhacelafuerza