Each summer for the past 13 years I’ve traded the mega-city of Mexico City for the Alaska wilderness. I leave Mexico City in May and return refreshed in September. In May flew from Mexico City to Yakutat, Alaska with 18 college students from the lower 48 states and FOCUS staff for a two-week project. Our mission was to construct a playground for the kids in the village. The Rasmuson Foundation in Alaska donated the $370,000 to purchase the playground. The village of Yakutat has been planning this project for two years and scheduled the construction of it around the dates around when I would be in Yakutat with the college students.
The village of Yakutat is the most isolated community in the United States. There are no roads connecting Yakutat to the other parts of the United States or Canada. The closest community in any direction is 195 miles away. The only way to visit Yakutat is to by air or by sea.
On Monday morning we started building the playground on bare dirt. We worked alongside of a team of Americore volunteers, city employees, and employees from the playground company. Each afternoon we stopped to hold a VBS (Kids Club) for the kids in the village.
After 10 days of work the playground opened. The kids in the village had been counting down the days and were so excited.