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July 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 22, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Help With Project Cozumel

from the July, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

If you decide to visit Cozumel, combine some good deeds with your diving. Undercurrent reader Frank Evans (Rochester, MN) is asking fellow divers to help out with Project Cozumel, a volunteer group who travel to Cozumel at their own expense every spring to put concrete roofs on houses for poor families. Divers build in the morning and dive the rest of the day with Blue Angel Dive Shop.

Evans and his wife were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in Cozumel in October 2005 when Hurricane Wilma struck. He spent three days walking into various neighborhoods and surveying the damage. What struck me most was the attitude of the poor people living there, he says. They immediately began to clean their homes and help their neighbors, but their roofs were made of treated cardboard that give no safety from the wind and rain of hurricanes. That inspired him to start Project Cozumel.

Last year, 12 volunteers constructed a roof on one house, then built a bedroom and bathroom for a teenage girl undergoing chemotherapy. Her parents were so happy, they cried the first day we started work, says Evans. Next years project will take place February 16- 23, and Evans needs 20 volunteers to meet the goal of putting roofs on four houses. Work starts at 7:30 a.m. and stops at noon, then Blue Angel takes the divers out on their own afternoon boat. Every volunteer contributes $100 for roofing materials and medicines for local children, and two churches help out with extra supplies. Donations are also accepted, in exchange for gift receipts. For more information, contact Evans at frankevans@charter.net or (507) 287-8184.

Even if youre going to Cozumel some other time, locals can still use your donations. Evans says theres a need for clothing, especially childrenswear. If you have extra room in your luggage, bring down some extra attire and drop it off at the Blue Angel Dive Shop.

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