Friday, May 7, 2010
We don't give prizes; we give kids a good time. That gift has to be for everybody.
All of the Mexican sport fishermen pitched in. They rigged tackle, baited hooks, and helped the children with their casting.
While at the Fred Hall Show in Del Mar recently, Juan Flores, Martin Banos and Eddie Rodriguez had a Tijuana story to share with me. Stop right there! This is not another doom and gloom story about the perils of Baja. Nope, this was about last year’s celebration of the annual El Día Del Niño (Children's Day). Customarily, kindergartens and elementary schools cancel regular classes and have big parties with piñatas and lots of candy. They play traditional games, like’ Pin the Tail on the Donkey’. But 50 Mexican sport fishermen based out of Tijuana and their families decided the celebration would be a family fishing adventure at Playas de Tijuana.
Last year, the first Llevame a Pescar (‘Take Me Fishing’) was held on April 26, 2009 and was hosted by approximately 100 adults and attended by 80 children. The group’s primary objective was to introduce the Mexican children to a positive and fun fishing experience on the beach.
Juan Flores and his friends dug deep into their own pockets to assure that there were plenty of fishing rods, tackle and bait for any child needing it. Plus, they provided special T-shirts for each participant commemorating the event’s special purpose.
It was a picture perfect day with a few clouds overhead. Ice chests were filled with cold drinks along with tables filled with plenty of food. It was a ‘pot luck’ kind of affair with everyone pitching in with their specialty. This resulted in a friendly competition for who made the best ceviche, which was the only contest of the day.
All of the Mexican sport fishermen pitched in. They rigged tackle, baited hooks, and helped the children with their casting. It was difficult to determine who was having the most fun, the fishermen or the children.
When the kids tired of fishing, they were able to draw pictures of their catch on tables beneath the tents set up for the day. Of course when the children put the rods aside, the adults would snatch them up and try their luck.
Speaking for the 50 Mexican sport fishermen who sponsored the event, Juan Flores said it best, " Recreational angling is not a well recognized activity in Baja. The purpose of the day was not to make the kids compete, but to introduce them to fishing as a sport to be enjoyed. We don't give prizes; we give kids a good time. That gift has to be for everybody. The event showcased how the entire family could enjoy a day at the beach while enjoying some fishing."
This year, they are expecting the event to be bigger and better, and The Second Annual Llevame a Pescar will be held at the same place on May 2nd with a very similar format. There is one primary difference, however; the Ceviche Competition will be official and the winner will be awarded an apron proclaiming his or her ceviche preparation prowess. The ‘Best Ceviche’ contest is open to all. Sounds like a challenge to me. Anyone up for a caravan to Playas de Tijuana? For more information contact Juan Flores, firstname.lastname@example.org 619 246 3627.
Out of curiosity, I searched to see what dominated the Tijuana newspapers that week last year and of course most of the stories were drug related. There was nothing about this ‘feel good’ story of good people donating their time to a good cause. No one can deny that the drug related incidents are real and scary. However there are many local residents who are attempting to make a positive difference in their community and should be recognized for their courageous efforts.