CAMP GOLDEN GATE A PARADOX OF THE PAST AND THE FUTURE - PART 1
Every story has a beginning and an epiphany. My life story is a paradox of the story of Camp Golden Gate.
It all began in 1988, when I was six years old and saw the map of the world for the first time in my life as I was walking with my mom to my classroom for my first day of school. For me, this old photocopy of the map of the world placed in the hallway of my school was a masterpiece; I did not know what it was but somehow I understood its value and importance...
- Mami, what is this?
- Is the map of the world. Let’s go, you will be late to class.
(My eyes opened wide open and a smile of bliss shined the musty air. My mother tried to pull my hand to continue our way to the classroom. I stood there firmly.)
- What is map?
- Ahhh, well, is a picture or drawing of the place where we and all of the people around the world live. There are many countries in the world, with people that have different cultures, languages and beliefs.
- So, there is a bigger place than where we live?
- Of course, we are just like a grain of corn in the cornfields.
- That’s it! I want to travel the world.
- Oh my son, we are too poor for those luxuries.
(My face appeared to be puzzled for a few seconds, then, with brightness in my eyes, I focused with determination on the map of the world; like if I was having an internal conversation with it.)
- Mami, one day, I will travel the world. I must. I must do it.
- Oh my boy, one can only dream. Let’s carry on.
This became a milestone in my life that has echoed throughout my travels to over 35 countries. At that moment of my early childhood I understood that my internal curiosity desired and believed in the freedom to explore, not to limit my potential by external obstacles. As I grew up, my passion for learning about other cultures let me realize that the key to evolve as a person was to educate myself and develop my own point of view. I learned English, pushed myself academically and always kept myself focused on one objective: Understanding and living to the fullest the big world I live in.
My name is Jose Lomeli and I am a Mexican-American. I was born in a humble environment, in the central part of Mexico, but grew up most of my life in Northern California, USA. Now, at the age of 34, I find myself living in Sofia and running a Startup, Camp Golden Gate – The first International American Summer Camp at the Black Sea.
I founded this startup in conjunction with my friend and now business partner, Vladimir Lalov, a Bulgarian who also lived, studied, and worked in different courtiers and shares my passion for education. We are on this together because, even though our life stories might be different, our set of beliefs and values for a better world are the same. We both strongly believe that education is a core mechanism for economic and social development…