My last semester at Les Roches had finally arrived and I knew that there were large challenges ahead of me, but I would never have been able to predict the most immense challenge would be one that would involve my hometown having to overcome a catastrophic natural disaster.
On September 15, 2014, the biggest hurricane recorded in the history of Baja California Sur, Mexico, had made contact with Cabo San Lucas. Its official name was hurricane Odile. With winds of up to 155 km/h it caused massive amounts of destruction across the state, leaving damages that are estimated to surpass 1.2 billion dollars. This powerful phenomenon not only destroyed countless public and private properties, but also left the whole state without any kind of public services, such as electricity and potable water, for more than a week. Consequently, the aftermath severely impacted the tourism inflow to the state, which is the main sector of income for the inhabitants.
Moments upon hearing the tragic and gut-wrenching news, I had only one thought in mind; my Family. I frantically rushed to try and get into contact with them, and up to this date, I am grateful to God for having been so merciful with my loved ones, for protecting them during this frenzy both during the hurricane and after. Once I stabilized myself, I started to realize that not everyone was as lucky and as fortunate as I. And so, as a compatriot, I couldn’t just sit back and watch how my family, neighbors, friends and my people all struggled to survive and manage to keep their heads above the surface. I felt like I had a duty to my country, and I would see them prevail.
To Mexico with Love!
I’ve always seen how Les Roches has contributed to numerous humanitarian campaigns helping victims across the world. I decided to contact the school reaching for help in order to aid the victims of Odile’s terrible wrath. The department of Students Services, which is in charge of all students affairs, responded with heartwarming and incredible empathy and eagerness, ready and willing to support this cause. Together we started the movement “To Mexico with Love!”. We teamed up with the Student Social Committee and other fellow Mexicans as well and we organized a fundraiser to help spread awareness across the students of Les Roches, informing them of the tragic catastrophe, and asked for them unite as one. I’ve always called Les Roches my home away from home, but after this beautiful and humbling experience, I’ve come to know that it is my family away from family. Les Roches is, and always will be, ready to make a difference.
“To Mexico with Love!” was like no other charity event. We organized a theme day that let the students experience a little cultural flavor of the vibrant Mexican ambience and flavors with some national music, mini cactuses, national candies, special cocktails and, last but not least, a magnificent Mexican lunch, prepared by the ever surprising and stupendously outstanding chef, Nick Anderson. Thanks to the sponsorship of Corona, staff and students enjoyed this little visit to Mexico with a refreshing Mexican beer. Needless to say, the day was a success, and, most importantly, we reached a significant level of contributions that will surely make a change for the better for the countless families in need.
I am so glad to be part of such an extraordinary school that will always support its students with a kind smile and that tries its best to aid anyone in need. Les Roches will never cease to amaze me!
Ricardo Orozco del Pino
Les Roches Jin Jiang, our branch campus in Shanghai, has also joined the cause and organized different fundraising activities to help the victims of the hurricane. Click here to see the photos of their events.
If you want to know more about Los Cabos charitable community or make a contribution, visit the Solmar Foundation website.