Lylian de la Vega

Georges HassamOccupation:
Volunteer Environment Committee Organizer
Time in Japan:
1 and a half years

Clean up the World...
The opportunity of coming to Japan from Mexico on a "dependent visa" with my husband who was studying his master' degree, allowed me to avoid getting trapped by a colorless routine. I enjoyed the privilege of having lots of free time and quickly found myself in the middle of many interesting activities while discovering my new home.

I have found Japan to be a truly interesting country, offering me challenging experiences in every sense. From the language barrier that initially seemed impossible to cross, to the incredible difference in the way Japanese people perceive life and my own way of living it.

So I immediately started enrolling in lots of activities to get a feeling for Japan. I took Japanese language courses, tried my best to write some haiku, took a beautiful Calligraphy class, read Japanese literature (in English, so sorry), tried Rei-ki, and met a lot of interesting people on the way.

My home country, Mexico, is also a country full of cultural richness. (though very different from Japan). After soaking myself in different parts of Japanese culture, I thought of generating cultural exchange spaces. I have been trying to share the most typical Mexican traditions with the Japanese community that surrounds me, as a way to give something in return for what I have been given in these intense 18 months of my life in Japan.

This year is the Centenary of the Japanese Migration to Mexico, an event that linked these two countries in a special way and has evolved through time, into political, economic and cultural exchange, shared concern for the vital issue of the environment.

Coming from the heavily polluted Mexico City, I am very aware of environment problems, and feel a deep need to contribute in some way to preventing them from growing even bigger. As the regular cleaning up activities held in Japan by students show, everyone can make a difference when it comes to making a better world to live in.

One of the activities I am currently involved in is the international program Clean Up the World. It is a Non-Governmental organization that holds an environment awareness event once a year, focusing on the garbage problem. Through a cleaning-up activity held at the same time in 110 countries around the world, Clean Up the World gathers around 40 million volunteers who share the same worries and responsible attitude towards the environment problems of our planet Earth.

This year, my husband and I have organized two cleaning up committees. One is to be held in Rensei Junior High School in Akihabara, on Saturday September 20 at 11am, followed by a Mexican Dance Show presented by the group "Corazon de Mexico" (Mexican Heart). The other event, in Tsukuba City, will get together on Sunday September 21 at 10am, and after the cleaning-up, we will have a picnic (bring your own obento) at Kasuga Park to enjoy the beginning of the beautiful autumn season.

I hope to see lots of people with their family and friends helping to create awareness for a better world.

For information call: Lilyan de la Vega or Bernardo Gardu–o at 03-3654-9589 or 0298-531-567.

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