April 3, 2023 | Trelawny, Jamaica | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

It’s her third day in Jamaica and she can’t stop grinning from ear-to-ear thanking God that she and her son made it to the Inter-American Division’s 5th Pathfinder Camporee. The camporee will see nearly 10,000 young people from throughout 51 countries take part in the five-day event in Trelawny, Jamaica, from Apr. 4-8, 2023.

Lucrecia Peña Francisco, 45, from La Vega, Dominican Republic, always dreamed of making it to a multi-national camporee when she was a pathfinder and after she became a master guide. In just the last few months she vowed to ensure that her fifteen-year old son Alualdy Marcell García could have that experience-of-a-lifetime too. “I want him to meet other young people and understand that he’s not the only one learning biblical principles for life, there are hundreds others too,” said Peña.

Lucrecia Peña Francisco hugs her 15-year-old son Alualdy Marcell García as they experience their first Inter-American Division Pathfinder camporee on Apr. 3, a day before the camporee begins in Trelawny, Jamaica. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

To get to the camporee it took her rushing to meet the deadline to register herself and her son with her conference, maneuver visa issues to get her son’s first passport, and raise funds to cover her travel tickets.  “Our pastors really supported us every step of the way and my church stepped in,” she said.

Amid all the arrangements, she moved to another city, ended up leading a pathfinder club with four-members, three of which lived in another town nearby. When children at a nearby school heard there was a club opening at the Adventist Church, they wanted to join. Now there are 34 club members meeting on Tuesdays. Two new members were baptized last Sabbath, she said.  “Now we have more parents also learning about the love of God and they know that their children will learn skills that will help them for the rest of their life,” said Peña. Everything happened so fast, she said. She’s working on raising funds to provide uniforms for the new Pathfinder club members who need them. “God makes it all happen, He sees us through as we work hard to serve Him in every way.”

The Dominican Union set up their camp entrance early on Apr. 3, 2023, to their dozens of tents set up from the six conferences on the island. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

For Alualdy, days before the camporee officially starts has meant many first experiences. First time on a plane, first time in Jamaica, and first time in a place where nearly 10,000 young people will rub shoulders during dozens of events, honor classes and activities. He’s been studying English for weeks so he can speak to others during the camporee. Already,

He’s been making new friends and preparing to take part in the 100-meter dash later this week. “I’ve been training for weeks, getting enough sleep and eating right,” said Alualdy. His best on the 100-meter dash is under 15 seconds. Aluadly is a little shy about his speed but believes he can take the win come the race. If he doesn’t, it’s all a gained experience anyway, “Being part of this entire camporee will be an unforgettable experience I know it,” he said.

Makeshift kitchen at the Dominican Union’s main tent to serve the 320 campers who arrived on the campgrounds in Trelawny, Jamaica, Apr. 1, 2023. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

Alualdy is one of a delegation of 320 from the Dominican Republic, the fourth largest union delegation on the campgrounds. They have been camping since Saturday, sleeping under the Jamaican skies, and eating three hot meals each day, said Miguel Valdez, head chef of the group. Today’s breakfast was peanut butter on bread, oatmeal, and hot chocolate. Lunch was rice and beans and fish. “For supper tonight they will have plantain, salami, vegetables, and juice. It’s all part of the camp experience and they are all happy eating together,” said Valdez.

Dozens delegations are still arriving today, setting up camp and settling in to be part of the opening night on Apr. 4, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Jamaica Time or 7:30 p.m. Miami Time.

To watch the opening ceremony of Inter-America Division’s 5th Pathfinder Camporee, visit webcast.interamerica.org

Top news

Monk’s Cell Escape Room Calls Attention to God’s Message in the Bible
Two New Bible Editions Seek to Underpin Adventist Family Worship
My City, My Mission