It was the beginning of a new chapter and my friends and I had no idea what was to come. Four teens from Mexico were invited to attend BBYO International Convention 2018 in Orlando, Florida. Immediately we all accepted, very excited, but we had no idea what we were daring to do or what was waiting for us. A new journey started, not just for us but for the Mexican Jewish community. We tried to figure out what BBYO was about and what was even happening at International Convention, but it wasn’t until we arrived in Florida that we realized you cannot even imagine the amazing movement you are joining until you live it from the inside.
IC was one of the best weeks of our lives. From Global Ambassadors Week through IC, we were welcomed with open arms by host families as well as by the global BBYO community, staffs, and delegates. During the flight to Orlando, we were wondering whether we were going to feel alone among people we had never seen before. However, we felt at home, with our brothers and sister from all around the globe and creating strong bonds of friendship that we know will last a lifetime.
IC was crazy! Thousands of people gathered with a shared purpose and identity that unites us. The teen Jewish leaders at this convention are determined to change the world. We were amazed about every single aspect of the convention and BBYO itself. From the great speakers and performers to the decoration of the whole convention space and precise organization. The plenaries, programming, sightseeing, dances, services, and more were all inspiring moments to rise, to enjoy, to change and to treasure in memory forever. We described it all as “The nights we felt alive, with the people who changed our lives.”
Since then, BBYO Mexico started to write its own story. As our staff worked hard to open a space for BBYO within our community, we did not lose contact with our BBYO friends from around the world. We started implementing global BBYO initiatives in our community after IC to keep the momentum going. We’ve had huge success with executing J-Serve, participating in BBYO calls with leaders from around the world, opening our BBYO chapter officially and expanding it, and so much more.
BBYO Mexico’s delegation tripled with 12 delegates and 2 staff members. Our delegation is leaving IC 2019 with plenty of new experiences, adventures, lessons to share, friendships to maintain, a great desire to make a change, many plans to develop, but most of all, we are creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Simon is an Aleph from BBYO Mexico.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
Building an international BBYO region is one of the most stressful albeit, rewarding experiences.
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