Sunday, December 04, 2011

Diviértete Teleton

Isabel with one of her "tias" from the Diviertete program

Not all of Isabel's experiences with the Teleton have revolved around therapy. In fact, I think that is one of the characteristics which sets the organization apart. Their interest in the patients goes beyond the physical and encompasses the children's emotional well-being also.

Early this year, Isabel was invited to join a small group of patients who would meet three Saturdays a month for the sole purpose of having fun. Hence the name, "Diviertete!" The young adult volunteers who accompanied the children were all college students studying various majors, including education, psychology and nursing. At no cost to the patients or their families (the Teleton does not charge for services, including therapies) this group of children was able to go kayaking, visit area museums, picnic on the beach, take tennis lessons, ride a fire truck, and roar around the block on motorcycles, among many other outings.

The pictures below were taken by the volunteers and shared with parents via a private Facebook group. I finally figured out how to join and was so happy to see my daughter's smiling face and get a better idea of all the enjoyable moments she had experienced this year! I especially love the group photos which are a beautiful reminder that no matter the shape, size, or physical limitations we are all precious and important in God's sight.

For the record, the televised Teleton surpassed its goal last night. With 21,735,065,277.00 pesos raised - which translates to over 42 million US dollars - the organization will continue to care for special children across the nation and open new centers in the coming months. What a wonderful reason to celebrate!

at Aventuras Amazonas, a walk-through mini-aquarium

boat ride through Iquique's harbor (Isabel last row, left)

kids' movie and popcorn fun

at the Air Force tennis courts

reptile exhibit at the Zofri mall

at the mall for "Dia del Nino"

snack time at the Zofri food court

flying kites on the beach

kayaking at Playa Cavancha

taking turns riding with the "motocicleros"

Isabel looking brave on the back of a bike

volunteers and children of the Diviertete program

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