CultureLink’s settlement services programs organize many activities and events besides providing everyday support to newcomer families. The ultimate goal is to ensure that they feel welcomed and safe and that they transition smoothly into their new life in Canada.
The activities and events are meant to help them connect to their new home country. Outdoor trips and visits to surrounding areas not only bring families closer to their new environment, but they also provide opportunities to bond with others in more relaxed and casual settings, where everyone is having fun.
Saturday, September 18 was one such day! We had an amazing guided hike at the Mono Cliffs Provincial Park through the Parkbus Naturelink program. Our group included children, youth and adults. We started the morning with a warm-up exercise followed by an hour and a half fun-filled bus ride. The hiking of course was the highlight of the day, it included walking and climbing through trails filled with nature, beautiful trees, smells and sounds of the earth, birds and fresh wildflowers. With only our hike guide knowing the tracks and trails, it was an adventure for the rest of us all the way! The bonus was the view of changing Fall colours setting in this time of the year, which enhanced our experience all the more.
Throughout the day, we had the chance to meet each other, have amazing conversations, share stories, traditional food and snacks – all the while celebrating diversity! We laughed, ate and sang. Kids thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the adults -including four CultureLink staff members, those who organized the trip.
Our hike guide Juan Pablo was fantastic, especially at explaining scientific facts, the history and nature of the Mono Cliffs Park and the connection to mother earth. The children were impressed and excited to discover a number of edible plants. Our bus driver was a superwoman who joined us all the way through the hike.
A big THANK YOU to our friends from @parkbus for this amazing opportunity, the free bus ride and our guide. Thanks to you, we were able to provide newcomer families with very special memories of their first months in Canada that will be cherished for a long time to come. This experience has brought them closer to their new home country.
CultureLink’s Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program and Newcomer Youth Centre worked in partnership with Parkbus for this event.