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Would You Quit Your Job and Drive 11,000 Miles to Meet the Pope? These Parents Did

One family, 11 thousand miles, one epic road trip to see the Pope.

Credit: americaenfamilia.com

Catire Walker and wife Noël Zemborain quit their jobs and loaded their four children into a Volkswagen Kombi van for an 11,000-mile road trip from Argentina to Philadelphia. The family is on their way to see Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in September.

Why did they quit their jobs?

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

The 41-year-old Walker says that he and his wife wanted to enjoy their family, especially now that their children are still growing up. Walker told Fox News Latino: “We are starting to pay attention [to the fact] that time with the whole family is limited. If we don’t grab it when the moment offers it, we’ll miss it.”

If they quit their jobs, how are they paying for their trip?

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

The family of six raised money through IndieGoGo to afford the six-month road trip. The family originally wanted to raise $14,300, but raised less than $5,000. That didn’t stop them from pushing forward with their dream.

 Here they are in Colombia…

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

Guatemala…

Nicaragua…

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

Panama…

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

Costa Rica…

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

And Mexico.

The adventure is more than a road trip to the family.

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

The Catholic family wants to make the trip a family adventure and experience while meeting and connecting with people in the countries they travel through.

It hasn’t been a totally bump-free ride.

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

At one point, one of the children hurt her ankle. They were able to make it to the doctor after 10 days of travel to get her ankle treated.

They’ve been relying on the kindness of strangers.

Credit: América en Familia / Facebook

People along their route have opened their homes offering shelter, food, and mechanical assistance when needed to complete their journey.

The trip has already been so fulfilling that they’ve welcomed someone into their family.

Credit: Facebook / América en Familia

They say their van, dubbed “Francisca,” is now a permanent member of the family. And yes, it’s named after Pope Francis.

What do you think about this family’s journey to see the Pope? mitú wants to know. Tell us in the comments below!

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Sol de Bernardo Has A New Outlook On Education Thanks To Papumba

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Sol de Bernardo Has A New Outlook On Education Thanks To Papumba

If there is one thing the pandemic has proven to be essential, it’s the internet. For Sol de Bernardo, head of content creation at Papumba, access to technology should be “a basic right.”

Adjusting to remote learning was tough for students when lockdowns were implemented around the world last year. The parents of the children also took a toll while trying to balance child care, school, and work at the same time.

“During this pandemic, I am a believer that technology is a great ally for those who could have the connection and technology to continue learning,” de Bernardo told mitú.

Unable to physically interact with friends, many children have spent hours endlessly scrolling and gaming without limits. Apps like Papumba are trying to add meaning to a child’s screen time easing parents’ concerns.

Papumba is an educational gaming app geared for children ages 2-7.

Photo courtesy of Apple

De Bernardo says the app has become “a resource widely used by parents to entertain and educate their children in this time” after seeing a spike in subscriptions.

However, for low-income families in Argentina where Papumba is based, many children are vulnerable to the lack of connectivity.

“There is a big inequality problem [and] it’s not a distant reality,” says de Bernardo.

In Argentina, 75 percent of children from low-income families don’t have access to computers. Out of those that do, 36 percent don’t have internet access.

To accommodate families Papumba often lowers their monthly prices, even offering promo codes but de Bernardo wishes access to tech could be given throughout.

A proud Latina in tech, de Bernardo’s journey was not instantaneous.

Photo courtesy of Apple.

De Bernardo started out as an educator and that background got her interested in the connection between education and technology. This intimate knowledge of the specific issue led her to bridge that gap.

“Privileged” to be working in tech, de Bernardo is encouraging other young girls to take an interest in STEM. Some advice de Bernardo has to offer young girls is to first get access to a computer, network when you can, and be confident.

“It may be difficult to have confidence in a world full of things that aren’t always good for women, but trust yourself, be dedicated, and above all, be resilient and humble,” she says.

While still a young company, de Bernardo hopes to develop more tangible devices for children to use in classrooms like high-tech dolls and books. However, her current focus is on quality education through the app.

De Bernardo wants to push Papumba to include educating children on their emotional wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“We do not talk about emotions enough,” she says. ” We have an activity to recognize emotions where an animated child will form emotions and explains them so the children can understand that there are different emotions and it’s okay to have them.”

When introducing touchy subjects like bullying, de Bernardo finds it important to focus on teaching young children solutions to dilemmas explaining that “the explanation of the problems may not be easy for a 3-year-old to understand.”

Nevertheless, delivering context in a simplistic way is included in such activities. Most recently, the app released a game inspired by the pandemic.

An instant success, the game introduces the imaginary town of ‘Papumba Land,’ where kids can engage in replicated outdoor activities such as: hosting a barbecue, partying with friends, or having a picnic in the park.

Last month, in-person learning returned to Argentina, but de Bernardo hopes that a year online changes the approach in future children’s education.

“I think that technology can help us in this by putting adding a little fun for the child,” she says. “Learning does not have to be [treated] like a mandate where you have to learn something and repeat the year if you fail. There has to be something for the child to want to learn.”

“[Working at] Papumba has helped me understand that you can create something fun for children to enjoy learning and not make it seem like going to school is a nuisance,” she says.

The App Store featured Papumba for Women’s History Month.

READ: Nicole Chapaval Advocates For More Latinas In Tech Through Teaching App Platzi

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The Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions After Supporting Them

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The Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions After Supporting Them

The Catholic church has a long history of ostracizing and demonizing the LGBTQ+ community. Pope Francis seemed to be revolutionizing the Catholic church’s views on the community until saying the church cannot bless same-sex unions.

The Vatican has officially decreed that priests cannot bless same-sex unions.

Seemingly out of nowhere, The Vatican released a statement claiming that priests cannot bless same-sex unions. The announcement further claims that homosexuality is a sin and that God cannot bless sin. Furthermore, the decree from The Vatican determined that sexual orientation is a choice, which is archaic and hurtful thinking.

The Vatican’s claim that sexual orientation is a choice has been debunked.

The decree from The Vatican claims that by blessing same-sex unions, The Vatican would be blessing a “choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered.”

Some try to claim that homosexuality is a choice yet that has been scientifically debunked. There are wide studies that show that genetics are likely at play when it comes to determining someone’s sexual orientation. The “gay gene” has been observed when studying brothers of differing sexual orientations.

The announcement brought up some of The Vatican’s long-discussed hypocrisy.

In 2019, it was reported that The Vatican invested heavily into the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.” The movie follows the life of Elton John and his journey through the music industry while coming to terms with his sexual orientation. The movie shows John struggling to be who he is very early in his career and the damage not having a proper support system could cause.

The Vatican’s decree goes against Pope Francis’ own comments from last year.

Last year, Pope Francis caught the world’s attention when he was caught on camera in a documentary. The pope spoke on same-sex unions and endorsed them.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family,” Pope Francis said in a documentary. “Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to have is a civil union law—that way, they are legally covered. I supported that.”

Some clerics in the Catholic Church are pushing back against the latest decree and saying they will bless same-sex unions.

READ: Pope Francis Says That Women Are Now Allowed to Read Scripture During Mass and People Have Conflicting Emotions

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