Meet Mi Pueblo
“Mi Pueblo” in Spanish means – my nation, my people, or my village. Mi Pueblo is a one-week day camp for adopted or foster children of Latino heritage. For 26 years Mi Pueblo has brought families together from all over the Midwest and beyond to Cleveland Heights, Ohio, typically during the third week of June, for a fun and educational experience to learn about Latino culture.
Mi Pueblo is sponsored by the non-profit adoption family support group, Concern for Children, Inc. The camp provides children ages 6 months to 14 years with a positive and fun environment in which they may learn about the cultural heritage of their birth and can gain pride in both their heritage and themselves. Classes in dance, music, games, crafts, culture and Spanish language all focus upon the traditions of Latin American countries and Latino culture in the US.
In addition, campers are treated to special guests through- out the week. Past years have included presentations of live Latin American animals, Latino artists and immigrants who talk about growing up in their native lands and/or cultures. Latino bands, dance and theater groups, and story tellers, have entertained campers. Our kitchen provides a hot lunch of
Latin American recipes each day. Culminating the week’s activities is a Fiesta celebration on Friday night. Campers, dressed in traditional and modern costumes, present dances and songs they learned during the week. Each year Camp activities focus upon a theme. Recent themes have included “Latin America Through the 20th Century” and “The Nature of Latin America.”
The classes at the Camp are taught by members of the Cleveland Latino community, giving campers positive role models who share their heritage. All other Camp operations are covered by more than 60 volunteers, including parents of the campers anxious to learn about the culture of their children’s birth countries. Over twenty teen and young adult volunteers, many of who were adopted from Latin America also give support. The campers develop a special bond with the teens, seeing young adults who are “just like me.” A special evening for the teen volunteers is held during the week of camp.
The wonderful thing about Mi Pueblo is how amazing it is to see such a beneficial activity blossom forth seemingly from nothing each year for one week, drawing families from all over Ohio and the country who, in just 5-7 days, rekindle or enkindle friendships and immerse children, teens and adults in Latin American culture and an adoptee-family atmosphere.
Information about Mi Pueblo is disseminated through our newsletter, La Prensa de Mi Pueblo, and a copy of our most recent newsletter is available on this website.
Email the Camp Director, Bill Gruber at GruberWL@aol.com
So many people are involved behind the scenes to make the CFC: Mi Pueblo Culture Camp happen.
Meet our dedicated Staff! (Photos by Joe Nowak)
Bill Gruber, Director
Luz Elena Klopp (Spanish)
Our Dedicated Kitchen Staff: Jim, Pat, Tac, Donna, Bill, Marylin, Cathy, Dennis, Tammy Claudia, Reina, Donna, Jim, Meg [not all pictured]
Dance: Monica Olivera
Games: David Dessoffy and Gus Hazelton
Music: Patricia Bussert
Crafts: Mariela Silberberg
Spanish: Luz Elena Klopp
Culture: Lissette Piepenburg
Bill Gruber, Camp Director
Cindy Palus, Operations and Special Events
Ana Burpee, Curriculum Coordinator
Peg LeRoy, HR Coordinator
Liz Dessoffy, Volunteer Coordinator
Laura Watilo Blake, Marketing