Although many call us heroes, we are mere mortals doing what we understand must be done. When we gave ourselves the task of putting all our efforts into rescuing schools in disuse to give them back to the community, we were moved by a high sense of justice, of commitment with our people.
The process has been more than slow. We had to sign dozens of documents, find many more in different government agencies, provide evidence, sworn statements, receipts and manage insurance. And after months and hundreds of calls and emails, we finally get the news that we are going to receive in the next couple of days, the first key of many we are expecting to be granted.
Now, when we see everything so close, tangible, we feel the immense responsibility that all this entails. A school has many classrooms, sports, and green areas to maintain and care for. It's not just opening a lock, a gate, and a door. No! A school is equivalent to opening many doors and filling those spaces with educational, cultural and health programs that motivate and promote community development, the leader and the individual who will enjoy them. It also involves the recruitment of dozens of volunteers willing to give their time and energy so that everything we have proposed can be carried out.
Yes, we are committed to having closed-unused schools to open again for the use and enjoyment of their communities and we work hard to achieve it. But today, just days prior to receiving our first key and crossing the first of those doors, we also feel the coldness of the challenge we are facing. And it is that although we as leaders of community work and dedicate with determination and heart to provide support to our people in need, we also feel fear and doubts, and it is ok to feel them. The secret to overcoming them is to focus on the future of hope that these centers will offer, feeling the embrace of the hundreds who will benefit from their services and offers.
In the end, we are mere mortals who, like everyone else handle fear by focusing on the dreams we want to achieve; where a healthy, empowered and resilient community will be the real heroes of Puerto Rico recovery.