Coming Together, Changing Lives in Carapongo, Peru
During 2017, AT&T’s long-standing culture of service and volunteerism has been highly visible across the nation with employees coming together to support communities affected by disasters and in need in Houston, Texas, Puerto Rico, California and many other regions. As an AT&T employee, and National President for HACEMOS, our company’s Latino focused employee resource group, I recently had the opportunity to serve alongside my colleagues from more than a dozen countries in a transformative project showing that our company’s spirt of service is also truly global.
Through the AT&T DirecTV Latin America employee volunteer program, named Piedra, Papel, Tijera, I joined dozens of colleagues from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the USA to help Peruvian families in Carapongo rebuild their homes following devastating floods earlier this year. Our service project included collaboration from other corporations and helped rebuild homes for 10 affected families.
The work to rebuild was challenging. The labor was hard. The days were hot and arid. The dust was blowing constantly. But, finding motivation was easy. The positive energy of my colleagues – working side-by-side in service to others – and the gratitude of the families seeing their homes restored helped power our group through even through the toughest movements.
One particularly exhausting day, my team and I were painting a house when we noticed a young girl walking through the job site. We stopped and asked her name. Her name was Sofia. She then told us it was her house we were working on and her eyes lit up with the vision on hope. From then on, anytime we needed inspiration, we would yell, “This is for Sofia!” And Sofia’s is just one story from Carapongo.
When all 10 homes were rebuilt, and our project complete, we witnessed tears of joy shed by the families returning to their homes. Through our teamwork, we came to realize that, although we were there to help change the lives of those we served, they ultimately changed ours. We came with the goal of bringing hope, security, and love to a community devastated by poverty and flooding. We left with the feeling of joy of giving selflessly – and so much more.
I am grateful to work for a company that encourages volunteerism and service – both here in the U.S. and across the globe. This is what matters. This is #LifeAtATT.