Skate Mexico 2017 in Tapachula – Chapter Three (Mexico 2017)

Part 1: Ups and downs

It’s been an emotional week here at Misión México, amongst the usual ups and downs the kids were finally presented with their new skate shoes, and we also said farewell to our little friend Salvador (not his real name for security reasons).  Due to a change in his family’s circumstances Salv has been able to go and live full-time with his sister.

I was quite moved by the palpable emotions on display during the days leading up to him leaving; he shared a room with 2 other boys of roughly the same age, and since they all attended home-school together they pretty much always roamed around the place as a trio, whether they were skating, playing, going to Jiu-Jitsu, or just plain mischief-making.  His departure has obviously upset this little group dynamic and also affected the house as a whole; we were definitely all sad to see him go.

Everyone gathers to say farewell to Salv

We did have a couple of awesome skate sessions on the repaired ramps before Salv set off though:

Setting up a makeshift mini-ramp


A big decision for little C


Getting by with a little help from his friends

 M also has a decision to make

It doesn’t quite got to plan

‘A’ has a bit of a Saturday Night Fever moment

Part 2: New skate shoes

In last week’s blog there was a picture of all the new skate shoes piled up and ready for the big day, here’s a reminder:

Well, the shoe-giving was generally a success, but there was definitely a lesson to be learned in there for both me and the kids!  They were watching a bit of Netflix when I made the announcement that it was time to hand the shoes out, initial complaints about me interrupting their favourite TV show (Supergirl) were quickly replaced with wide-eyed whoops and hoots of excitement as they followed me to where we’d organised the shoes.  I must admit it was a great feeling to pass the shoes out to each smiling face (well, mostly smiling) and to have finally completed the final stage of the Skate Mexico 2017 plan which had begun way back in November 2016.

A little bit of mayhem ensued as the shoes were passed out


My fellow volunteers help to organise the riot


New skate shoes


Wait, what ones did you get?


Little C checks out his Minions


Sick shoes

So what was the lesson learnt?  Well, those who were happy with their shoes pretty much disappeared to put them in their rooms or generally take some time to enjoy them; which meant I was left with 5 kids whose shoes didn’t fit or who didn’t get the colour they wanted.

Kids being kids (and here is the lesson for me) for some reason they didn’t lead in with, “Jon, thanks so much for organising and promoting a crowdfunding campaign over the period of 6 months to raise $3,000, travel all the way from the UK, buy us new skateboards, build us new skate features, and buy 32 pairs of new skate shoes; oh and by the way, sorry to be a pain, but my shoes don’t fit”…no, what I got was 5 angry children who felt hard-done-by that all their friends had new shoes and they didn’t get what they wanted.

On reflection, I was probably being over-sensitive about it all and concentrating too hard on the minority downside, when in actual fact the majority of kids did say thank you and had been happy with their shoes.  Those of you who know me well will probably be having a little laugh right about now at the mention of ‘over-sensitive’, who me? Ha ha.

These guys were definitely happy with their shoes.

Ready to skate

The lesson for the kids?  The same lesson that all kids need to learn I think (and that us adults need reminding of now and again too); a little bit of gratitude goes a long way.


Part 3: A trip to the Pemex Skate Park

So now that the kids are all set up with new boards and new shoes we need to get them practicing as much as possible in preparation for a mini skate competition we’re having next week.  Time to pile into the van and invade one of the local skate parks!  (Although skating in 30-degree heat takes plenty of perseverance!)

1 of 3: L’s new shoes

2 of 3: L’s new shoes

3 of 3: L’s new shoes

1 of 3: stylin’ from little J

2 of 3: stylin’ from little J

3 of 3: stylin’ from little J

1 of 3: ‘A’ enjoying the stoke

2 of 3: ‘A’ enjoying the stoke

3 of 3: ‘A’ enjoying the stoke


1 of 4: ‘S’ rocks to revert

2 of 4: ‘S’ rocks to revert

3 of 4: ‘S’ rocks to revert

4 of 4: ‘S’ rocks to revert

Delmar delivers the shot of the day

Another week gone and just 2 weeks left with Misión MéxicoTune in next week to see how the skate competition goes!

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