Sister Community – Hogar Teresa Toda in the Dominican Republic

Campamento

Every summer, women from St. Edward’s Church travel to Teresa Toda to deliver a summer camp, called Campamento, to a home for very poor girls run by Carmelite nuns in the Dominican Republic.

Shoe Donations & Backpacks Needed for Campamento will return in 2018

The Sisters are asking for clean, sturdy backpacks and two types of shoes (32 pairs in all): all black and all white, no colored decorations, swoosh, stripe, etc; no canvas “Keds” (they should be sturdy to last the school year). The Payless shoes purchased last year worked well. They are about $30 each, but do go on sale. View these examples (click on the word “link” to see the picture):
•White Shoes link or link or link
•Black Shoes link or link
If you purchase shoes, please contact Ann at annnmcguire@gmail.com or add your name to our Online Shoe Sign Up.

2017 Campamento

Join our 15th Annual Mission this year. Support a social justice organization – the Teresa Toda Home, a home for very poor girls in Azua, Dominican Republic – with a summer camp in July, 2017. This trip is for women over 18 and mother-daughter pairs for daughters over 14 years old. We have openings from July 1 through July 9, and July 8 through July 16 for travelers interested in sharing a spiritual experience with young women and girls from another country. The camp theme is “Women of Faith”. We study bible stories, play music, make crafts, perform skits, and do other activities. We pray, exchange stories, share love, and spend time with the girls. Through the activities they learn English, enjoy crafts, and build self-esteem. Each trip is deeply touching and spiritual. Special gifts you may share are Spanish skills, crafting and beading talents, or your professional experience (esp. healthcare, tourism, retail, scientists, government, education, and other industries). If you want to follow the Pope’s lead on social justice, charity, adventure, spiritual experiences, fellowship, growth, and fun answer the call to travel with us this summer or help out from Minnesota. Please contact Ann McGuire at 952-239-3488 or e-mail annnmcguire@gmail.com about details on the trip.

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VBS on the Road to the Dominican Republic

Since 2002 St. Edward’s has supported Teresa Toda, a home for girls who have had very difficult life experiences, by traveling to the Dominican Republic to put on an energetic, dynamic VBS-style “camp” for the girls. Everyone working on the ‘campamento,’ travelers or not, enjoy a different reward from the experience.

“I see now why you return year after year…the smiles and friendships lure you back. The relationships with the girls far outweigh any lessons you would like to show them or teach them. The real lessons learned seem to be that our presence there – the proverbial gift of time and the gifts of our friendship – is needed and valued there the most.” – Deb H.

Why a Summer Camp?

Campamento-web2011-008Carmelite Sisters run this home in Azua, Dominican Republic for 40 very poor girls. During the school year, the girls live at the home, visiting their families monthly to maintain relationships with their birth family and their neighborhood. During the summer, the girls live with their families. The Sisters found that this stay was long for the girls. They would return with many poverty related maladies: malnourishment, skin diseases, sores and lost academic progress they made over the school year. So, the Sisters started “Campamento” to check in with the girls mid-way through summer. They get the health check and nutrition basics, but the Sisters wanted it to be a special annual event for the girls. That’s where we come in!

The primary activity of the ministry is an annual summer camp, or “campamento” in which we do Bible study and reflection, sing, dance, do crafts, tutor in math, explore science, engineering, and health and build community. From the first campamento, our goals have been:

  • To spend time with the girls
  • To create and maintain a lasting friendship
  • To develop the girls’ self esteem
  • To teach the girls English
  • To gain spiritual insight from the Sisters and the girls
  • To take a break from our usual routines, both the girls’ routines and the travelers’.

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Get Involved

Campamentoweb-2011-033This ministry is for all you women called to become closer to God through sharing your gifts with beautiful and poor children in an international setting. The youngest travelers are 14 years old. Travelers younger than 18 require a parent chaperone. We’ve had a wide variety of over 60 travelers so far.

At first you might think, “What can I bring? What should we do? What if I don’t speak Spanish?” But if you come on the trip, you will realize that the girls, and therefore the Sisters, are so happy just to have us there with them year after year. We are welcomed like family, treated like special guests. We bring the camp activities, but the girls share their love, enthusiasm, lives, and their beach with us!

The camp is two weeks long with 10 travelers per week. Most travelers come to one week of the camp. Some women participate to satisfy a sense of adventure. Some participate after a tragedy. One went after 9/11 affected them. Others have come after a family member’s death. Students come to practice Spanish. Parents bring their high schoolers to experience another life together, one that is unimaginable, here in Bloomington Minnesota.

Learn More

Contact Ann McGuire at (952) 914-9123.
For more information, follow St. Edward’s campamento blog.

Campamento-web2011-060Guiding Principles

For all Catholic Sister Parish relationships, our five principles are:

  1. Emphasize relationship over resources
  2. Practice mutuality and equality
  3. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach
  4. Work to change unjust systems and structures
  5. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal, catholic church

 

Read about St. Edward’s support of Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (Our Lady of the Angels), a parish that faces extreme poverty in Jinotega, Nicaragua.