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Omar’s Family and Friends —20 June 2020

June 21, 2020

Ever since Omar David Garcia Hoyos passed away three years ago, his family and friends have been remembering and celebrating his life with a volunteer day at CUE Haven.  This year we appropriately did it at the start of Volunteering Week in New Zealand.

Friends and family on site today included Omar’s parents, Alba and Omar, his sister Vanessa, his brother Hernan and friends Adel, Alex, Anderson, Annelise, Ash, Ben, Briana, Brittany A, Brittany H, Catherine, Elise, Hilli, Johanna, Jordon, Katherine, Leith, Lisa, Melissa, Olivia, Oscar, Riz, Sonia, Sonny, Tosh, Troi, Tyler,  Yamile and Yvonne

Also joining us to volunteer for the day were our friends Gabi and Mahmoud

People came and went during the course of the morning and afternoon based on their work commitments for the day, but everyone spent at least a couple of hours helping out, visiting Omar’s tree and joining us for lunch or a snack.

The plan for the day was to do some tree planting, track maintenance, socializing and celebrating Omar. Alba also wanted to plant memorial trees for two members of her family near the trees planted for Omar and her mother.

As people arrived, they joined the tree planting or track maintenance groups.  Before the first group headed out to the field, Thomas gave a safety briefing.

The track work planned for the day was to trim vegetation that had grown up along the boardwalk.  The team went to work with shears, loppers and flax cutters.

Over the course of the day as people came and went, different groups worked on trimming and planting.

The result of all their hard work is amazing—the boardwalk is looking tidier than ever.

We aren’t doing much planting this year because it has been challenging to rebook volunteer groups who were scheduled to come during the lockdown.  Today we just planted a small number of specialized trees–nikau, puriri, totara, miro and ferns in several different parts of the property.  As a result, the group moved around over the course of the day with people leaving and joining depending on their schedules.

As more people arrived, Thomas drove them up to the planting site where he provided a safety briefing and planting demo before they joined the group.

Ash’s mother and grandmother also came along for the day to support the very enthusiastic and lively group of volunteers.

The planting team moved to the different planting areas as one area was completed.

In no time, the group managed to plant all of the trees we had for the day.  After the planting, the team joined up with the track team to relax and catch up and have lunch.

As always, it was so nice seeing Omar’s family and friends again and meeting many more wonderful people.  This is such a wonderful way to remember and celebrate Omar’s life and add to the positive energy at CUE Haven.

Many thanks to Vanessa for organising the day and a BIG thank you to all of Omar’s family and friends and to Gabi and Mahmoud for their help and hard work today. You have all made a major contribution to CUE Haven and we continue to be very impressed with your enthusiasm and eagerness to get involved.

We look forward to seeing you all again soon for another fun and productive day.


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