Canadian Sailors Brighten the Lives of Children While In Mexico

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The only language needed to say thank you to Royal Canadian Navy members was smiles and laughter from the children at an orphanage near Ensenada, Mexico during a recent port visit.

Royal Canadian Ships Brandon and Whitehorse made a port visit that was part of the United States’ Northern Command Humanitarian Assistance Project, which is primarily focused on capacity building in disaster preparedness and health-related projects in Mexico and the Bahamas.

“HMCS Brandon greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with our allies in support of such a worthy project,” said Lieutenant(N) Sean Kelly, HMCS Brandon’s operations officer. “Canadian ships often engage in supporting the communities they visit at home and abroad and we are fortunate to have this opportunity during this port visit.”

HMCS Brandon and HMCS Whitehorse are currently deployed on Operation CARIBBE, which is Canada’s participation in the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Members from the ships’ companies were joined by the crew of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Midgett which donated food, diapers and other day-to-day essentials to the orphanage that was located outside of Ensenada. Afterwards, the USCG sailors and two members from HMCS Brandon departed to deliver nine wheelchairs to homes with disabled children and adults in need of specialized care. Money for the wheelchairs and donations were raised by the Commander of the Third Fleet and assisted by the USCG.

Although given very short notice of this visit, members of the ships’ companies eagerly volunteered their time to help make a small improvement in the lives of some very bright and energetic kids.

“It was remarkable to see how a simple thing such as a selfie brought so much excitement to their faces,” said Leading Seaman Kyle Uhlig. “There are no words to describe what I felt today.”

Sailors got to work quickly and spent the day painting, cleaning, playing and talking with the children. Members of the ships’ companies also participated in two friendly games of soccer and, although they gave it their all, the children easily handed them two humiliating defeats.

“It was a true pleasure to be part of something so worthwhile. I honestly can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend a day in a foreign port,” said Lt (N) Kelly.

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