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18 Reynolds St.
East Norwalk, CT

Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

Simply Smiles blog

Follow our blog and read insights from Simply Smiles staff, volunteers and other individuals whose lives are affected by our work!

Silver Lake in Oaxaca 2013: Blog #5

Timothy Nurnberger

Our Thursday began like most others; hard work in the hot sun. After breakfast, we split up into groups to work on a variety of tasks including laying brick for the new second floor of our bodega and painting the recently finished outside wall of our compound. Before lunch our group left the others and went for a walk around our neighborhood, hanging up posters and delivering invitations for our community dinner on Friday. It was great to see more of the people who live around us! When we returned to the Center of Operations, we cooked a lunch of pasta salad and continued working until 3:00 when we loaded everybody (including our friends from Santa Maria) into two vans and drove to the park. While we set up the picnic at the park, Aluté left in the Casa Hogar bus to pick up our friends in the dump. When the dumplings arrived, we split up into teams and played a giant game of soccer with everyone from the youngest kids in the dump to Luciano, the first president of the dump community. It was so fun to play with everyone - even though they were much better than us! We also played frisbee, basketball, and some people drew pictures. Edith from the dump fed everyone with her delicious sandwiches along with chips and gatorade. Everyone had a fantastic time! In fact, we stayed right up until the park closed for the night.


After bringing the dumplings back to the dump, we returned to Casa Hogar to see all the friends we had made there. Everyone was so excited to see each other again and we had a great time playing tag, football, and basketball. Kristen and Nacho played guitar and sang while everybody watched.


Prior to the trip Sarah had prepared some books in brail for the blind children at Casa Hogar. She was able to present the 3 books she prepared to Ester. Ester loved the books and counted the pages with so much joy. We (Sarah and Allyson) helped Ester put the books into her backpack. It was a touching moment and even with a language barrier, Sarah was able to communicate with Ester and see the rewards of her efforts.



By the time we were leaving Casa Hogar we were all muy consado (tired). BUT, we got our second wind and  through Kelly a Oaxacan prom because she is missing her own at home. We took prom pictures at the Center of Operations, crowned Prom King and Queen, and did a spotlight dance - followed by showers with the hose to conserve water and a mini pajama party. Our friends from the jungle and Martin told us we were loco  - we probably looked it.


Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been so great can’t believe it’s the last day! See you all soon... PS I, along with some of the other girls, got a dread!!! hahaha so fun! Gotta go work.




When you pick me up can you please bring pants and stuff? I forgot to pack some sepratly for Camp Hazen. I hope you read this.

  • Allyson


To Charlie’s Family,

Charlie started working, but he says hi, and he will see you soon.

- His group 2 Friends