Small, thin hands shoot straight into the sky as water sprays into the air. High-pitched squeals of delight erupt as a dolphin jumps high above the pool of water. Big, brown eyes follow the mammal up and watch as he dives below the surface.
A group of children, ages six to eight, from the Tres Reyes community in Cancun, Mexico are visiting Delphinus – an interactive children’s aquarium. Recently, the public relations manager of Delphinus reached out to Maria Fernanda, Back2Back Cancun staff, and asked if they could connect about a field trip for the children served at the Community Center in Tres Reyes.
Maria Fernanda, along with fellow staff members Emily Riggs and Julie Mowery, went and met with the public relations manager. What he offered would allow the children living in Tres Reyes to leave the only community they’ve ever known and enjoy fun with their friends.
“He offered 120 tickets for three different dates so all of the children served in Tres Reyes could visit the aquarium,” explains Emily Riggs.
In September, children ages six to eight got to go. In October, the children ages nine to eleven went, and the children ages twelve and up attended on the last Friday of November.
As the children filed out of the gate of the Community Center in Tres Reyes and boarded the bus the chatter was loud and animated. But the further out of Tres Reyes they drove and the closer they got to Delphinus – located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun – the quieter it was on the bus.
“Many of the children have never been outside of Tres Reyes,” says Emily. “You could tell when we left the community; their voices got quiet and their eyes took everything in.”
At Delphinus, the children got to take a tour of the inside of the aquarium and also got to touch sea creatures outside, but the big event was getting to signal a dolphin to jump and move through the water.
The younger children who went first have been telling their siblings all about the trip, building anticipation over this new adventure outside of their community. As the younger children remember their field trip and the older children look forward to theirs, they are each learning about the adventure that lies outside of the familiar.