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Roxana Revolone: A volunteer at heart

We didn’t need to talk for more than 10 minutes to realize that this would be a conversation different from what we’re used to. Each word, each phrase, and memory, expressed with such charm and eloquence, it was possible to sense that, sitting in front of us, there was a story worth telling.

Roxana Revolone, cultural manager, artistic producer, events coordinator, and Salvadoran poet; also, an avid skydiver and mountaineer, who was also part of the volunteers that left their mark in the XIX Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2002.

Roxana Revolone, volunteer in the XIX Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2002.

Having previous experience as a volunteer, besides knowledge in tourism and culture, as well as assistance of VIP groups, Roxana was the person responsible for the bilingual guides that had direct contact with the athletes in the Tourism and Culture Committee.

A bit nostalgic, Roxana says that she heard about the opportunity of being a volunteer in the games at the time through radio and television, the main media outlets of that time.

However, it wasn’t until she received a particular phone call that she decided to join the experience which memory now, 21 years later, brings a smile to her face.

“You don’t hear the calling at first, but I then I received a particular phone call from Uri Romero, who was part of the Organizing Committee team. She knew about my experience, and they needed to bring a few specific profiles for the volunteering, in this case, for the protocol area”, she says.

Revolone, who already had experience in Salvadoran sport, in skydiving and mountaineering specifically, tells us that in some way, she had a feeling about what an event of this size would entail.

“I was called because of my specific professional profile; it was specifically my experience in assisting VIP groups that visited El Salvador. The government from that time called me as a tour guide to assist international visitors that required a particular profile. In that regard, I had the profile to assist certain visits that came within the sports delegations that visited us for those games”, Revolone commented.

“I had that itch (volunteering), there would be a great sports party in the country. They are calling me to help, it’s my field of work, so why shouldn’t I participate?”, Roxana expressed, as the line of thought that led her to decide joining the volunteering team for the games.

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The experience

Once she signed up, Roxana and some other volunteers designed, in the months prior to the games, a training program for tour guides. Roxana commented that the goal was “to assist the international committees as well as give national athletes the chance to join an alternate schedule of tours that would visit touristic routes in El Salvador”.

When the games started, her job became more intense, the responsibilities grew, and her leadership made her a protagonist. Roxana was the responsible for assigning and coordinating the routes of the several tour guides, besides guiding a series of tours herself, as well as understanding the special requirements of some committees.

“We designed a tour circuit in which people could sign up on specific days. People could sign up and get on the bus headed to the Route of the Flowers, Coatepeque, Suchitoto, and each bus had its own tour guide”, Revolone commented.

Roxana also mentioned the cultural interchange that she experienced during the games. She specially recalls, with special care and pride, when the medical and technical team of the Venezuelan delegation required her assistance and guide to Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez’s tour.

“We visited a few places linked to Monseñor Romero’s life and death, and we ended the tour at the Cathedral of San Salvador. It was moving to see the expressions of love and admiration for saint Monseñor Romero”, an emotional Roxana said.

And that emotion was certainly contagious. Roxana, with her words and her way to express herself, made those of us who were listening to travel back in time to 2002, and feel that we were living the volunteering experience of the Central American and Caribbean Games with her.

“Assisting each person during those games was an unparalleled experience to me”, she commented.

After the games

After a short break from those memories that get closer to the present day, Roxana talked about a few of her experiences after the games, and how volunteering allowed her to grow and develop personally and professionally.

“The sports party offers a wide variety of opportunities to bring you closer to a diverse world full of experiences. The Central American and Caribbean Games opened many doors for me and left me wanting to keep collaborating with the sports world of El Salvador. Years later, I became part of the Board of Directors of the Salvadoran Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (FSME, for its initials in Spanish)”, she commented.

Revolone also points out that her previous experience, as well as her experience in the games, allowed her to be a link to the Olympic Committee of El Salvador (COES) when she was part of FSME.

It was after a long trip through memory lane when an emotional Roxana opened up and recognized that the volunteering experience in the games was one of the most meaningful experiences in her life.

When asked how to summarize what she lived, her answer was clear and concise: “an unforgettable experience, it will always be in my memory”.

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