MANZANILLO, Mexico -- Sailors from the future amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5 participated in a community service project at a local orphanage in Manzanillo, Mexico, Jan. 17.
40 volunteers spent the day painting, playing games, doing arts and crafts, learning how to tie knots, and how to use life saving techniques at Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, an orphanage that is home to over 60 children in Manzanillo.
“The trip to the orphanage was really enjoyable, especially because it felt like home,” said Seaman Anangafack Asaah, a native of Cameroon. “To top it all off, to spend time with the kids was very soul touching to me.”
The children were excited and happy to have Portland Sailors there to engage with. After learning and playing games, the children served lunch to the crew and performed several folkloric ballets, which showcase Mexico’s culture and heritage in dance.
“I thought that it was a tremendous opportunity for all participants,” said Lt. Andrea Frazier. “La Casa Hogar is a living and breathing example of holistic healing for its children, but equally for all who enter through its gates.”
The orphanage was founded 22 years ago by Nancy Nystrom and her husband David. The orphanage houses up to 65 kids aging from 3 years old to university age. Children there are permanent residents that come from various situations of abuse, abandonment, and neglect.
“We are very excited to have you,” said Nancy to Portland volunteers. “It’s so wonderful to have representatives from the United States Navy. You love these people and these children.”
Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. She will be commissioned in April in her namesake city of Portland, Ore. and is the third ship to bear this name.
U.S. 3rd Fleet provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and leads naval forces throughout the Pacific theater of operations in coordination with U.S. 7th Fleet to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability.