The Navy group take a break from painting to pose with workers from Cudeca . ::SUR
Many US Navy personnel chose to leave their ship duties for a day this week and go out in the local community in order to make a difference. The newly-opened Cudeca shop in Malaga, which sells secondhand merchandise to raise funds for the Cancer Hospice Centre, received volunteers from the US Navy on Wednesday morning. The group worked on painting the third floor of the shop.
The Public Affairs Officer for the US Leyte Gulf, Ensign John Stevens stated, “Every port that we make a stop at, we try to organise something with members of that community. When we pull into a foreign port, we are always amazed by the hospitality of the people and we like to give back to the communities that receive us so well.”
Among the Navy volunteers who helped Cudeca on Wednesday, were a Funds Dispersing Officer, a Cryptological Technician and an Operations Specialist who communicates with aircraft, as many times the ships are attached to an aircraft carrier.
The Navy members were working with three different charities during their time here including Cudeca and the Cruz Roja. There was a group of seven or eight volunteers at each site. The Navy personnel who sign up for the community outreach projects do so on an entirely voluntary basis. The Navy group has carried out various projects in different countries including cleaning out and restoring buildings.
To understand how the Navy connects with organisations, we spoke with US Leyte Gulf’s Chaplain, Andrew Hoyle, who explained that the US consular agent of the area sets them up with local charities. When asked about their time in Malaga, Andrew told SUR, “The people here are very gracious. If we struggle with our Spanish or getting the idea across, everyone is patient and willing to help us.”
The volunteers mentioned how great it is to make connections with locals. When asked what the biggest difference is between the two cultures, the group said the fact that it doesn’t get dark till around 10pm and that people tend to stay out later.