An Inspirational Experience

August 2003

You know things are right and are meant to be when everyone pitches in and works together in harmony. Unfortunately, as we all know, that is rarely the way life happens, but on this particular trip to Akumal it did. On this trip all the pieces fell together and it was truly magical and inspirational.

Allow me to back up just a moment and introduce myself. I am Lydia Pontius, a freelance producer and Web manager with my own company Just Imagine, Inc.. I have been coming to the Riviera Maya since 1998 and I have had the great pleasure of working with Centro Ecologico Akumal, CEA, and a new organization, VIDAS,, Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos (International Veterinarians Dedicated to Animal Health). On my most recent trip to the Riviera Maya I spent time working with both organizations. The trip started without a hitch, my plane arrived on time, I sailed through Immigrations and Customs, and I got the "green light" and I was off!

The first week of my trip I witnessed determination and team work at its finest. VIDAS' team of volunteers and veterinarians pitched in and set up intake areas. Much like MASH units, waiting rooms, surgery rooms and recovery rooms were set up in empty school rooms, hotel rooms, or wherever they were needed. The veterinarians worked tirelessly trying do as many surgeries as possible and by the end of the 10 days, 306 spays and neuterings had been done on homeless and needy animals in these clinics. In addition, there were numerous other animals helped.

The compassion and outreach were not ;however, limited to the animals from Chemuyil to Playa del Carmen but they also touched the people in the communities. I am sure many young lives have been touched and inspired by their contact with these clinics. In the future, there is talk of using these clinics to also educate the locals with videos and other educational materials since many who came to the clinics dropped off their pets, but refused to leave until their animals had recovered and they could take them home.

In closing, I would like to thank all the people I worked with for their hard work, dedication and for inspiring me and reminding me what the human spirit is capable of. These are the things we need to focus our energies and beliefs on. Together, with common goals, we really can make a difference!

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