“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” — Anthony Bourdain.
In 2009, flight attendants Laura Alonso and Carla Soto were flying back to Lima, Peru, where they happened to meet Miguel Rodriguez Candia. What has grown from the very first Christmas party at Sagrada Familia has truly touched the world.Over ten years later, Caring Crew has grown through human connection. Two years ago, a group of volunteers were sitting together in the Salon of Valle de Los Angeles. We had flown into Guatemala City that morning. After a long day of getting to know our new team and our home for the week, the volunteers sat together, tired and full of excitement; the students would be coming the next morning. We shared a little about ourselves: our names, where we’re from, friendly and easy ice breakers. What touched me that night was how every one chose to be there because they’d heard about Caring Crew through a friend, coworker, or family member. Our volunteers come from all over the globe, and the power of word-of-mouth is eclipsed by the power of our hearts for the world. From just two flight attendants on a layover has sprung this community, this network, where every one is connected. There’s something beautiful in that.
In my experience, the people who change the world understand the importance of each individual. One person is inspired by another, and inspires someone else, and so a movement is born. A person’s life changes when he or she understands their value. For our Caring Crew team, each smile is a victory, each hug is a life improved. The children we love on have a deeper understanding of their value and potential.
From Peru to Guatemala and Mexico City, to Kenya and Clarkston, GA, and soon to Bogota, Colombia, Caring Crew volunteers have honored the children of this world with dignity and love. --Courtney Christiansen