Last Saturday December 6th 2014, more than a thousand people from all across the Dominican Republic turned out to run the Casa de Campo Corre. An event as successful as it was fun, noisy and energetic! But what does it really mean?
The reality lies in the event’s full title; “Casa de Campo Corre por el Hogar del Niño”, or rather “Casa de Campo runs for the Hogar del Niño”. You see the beautiful reality has nothing to do with the race, or the fact that this was the first official marathon to take place within the Casa de Campo resort. The beautiful reality is the passion, love and commitment the Hogar del Niño and indeed the entire Dominican Republic has for the continued development of this country. The Hogar del Niño, just like the Fundación MIR and countless other charities, is committed to change through education.
And so when the whistle blew and the tide of runners sprinted out across the starting line, I saw a symbolic wave of change, a wave that charged out as a tsunami and will continue to ripple out across the entire Dominican Republic, carrying the simple message; “change through education”. A message that will become a mantra, a mantra that will become a reality.
“Change through education”
Of course this message has been a long time in the making. When Xiomara started helping at a small daycare center in La Romana nearly 40 years ago, she had no idea that it would one day become the Hogar del Niño, not only the Dominican Republic’s largest day care and education center, but also a model for improving and developing education. This remarkable project which today cares for more than 1500 children and has graduated 147, is the life’s work of Xiomara, a legacy she is now passing on to her youngest daughter, Xiomara (Xioma) Menéndez, current president of the Hogar del Niño.
Today however, Xioma is a force for change, a voice screaming “change through education”, a single voice that has become a choir, singing a song that this past Saturday became an anthem.
But most importantly, Xioma Menéndez is not only singing this song “change through education” she is living it, and she is making it a reality.
The beautiful reality
“We are moving forward into education, making it better, thinking more of the way children should be learning now and not in the way we used to learn. We want to be seen as a model in education, but also a center where you have all of your needs taken care of. We’re trying to get the formula right, so other people can do it too. We already have a friend in Puerto Plata opening a daycare center inspired by the Hogar del Niño, so it’s already happening!” Xioma Menéndez told us in a recent interview for CasaLife Magazine.
You see the reality is.. the Hogar del Niño is the largest daycare and education center in the Dominican Republic, but it is also leading the way for other similar institutions. The change is already happening, and it’s happening right here.
Be part of the change, sing the anthem “change through education.”
The Casa de Campo Corre
For those of you who didn’t take part, the Casa de Campo Corre took place last Saturday December 6th and started at the Victory Plaza on the Paseo del Mar in the Marina Casa de Campo.
“Warm-up” activities included a combat class, as well as a performance by a group of children of the Hogar de Niño.
The race then set off and more than 1000 participants took part in routes that led them around the Casa de Campo resort, for a distance of 5km, 10km or 21km.
The following collection of images were taken during the Casa de Campo Corre in Casa de Campo: