During the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche’s visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 50 members of its crew and members of the local American Legion Post 12 conducted clean-up efforts at a park on Oct. 17. The clean-up included removal of trash, debris and fallen trees caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Lidia, which made landfall less than a week earlier.
“I asked (Capt. Robert Mohr of the USCGC Waesche) if he could spare 10 to 12 volunteers to help with the Hurricane Lidia clean-up effort,” said Post 12 Commander Jesse Cole Rivera. “Twelve hours later he emailed me back that 50-plus crew members of the USCGC Waesche had volunteered to take part in the humanitarian mission I was organizing, and that they would be ready to go almost immediately after arriving in port.”
Rivera coordinated transportation needs for the Coastguardsmen from the ship to the park, and he and his wife, Liliana, put together bags of snacks for the volunteers. Following the clean-up, Post 12 hosted dinner for the Waesche crew at a local Irish pub.
“Waesche’s crew appreciated the opportunity to support a community that frequently hosts U.S. Coast Guard (ships) for port breaks during patrols,” said Mohr to the BanderasNews. “We heard about the impacts from Hurricane Lidia, and the crew was extremely eager to lend a helping hand. I would also like to thank The American Legion and the City of Puerto Vallarta representatives who made us feel very welcome throughout our stay in Puerto Vallarta.”
Mohr and several of the Coastguardsmen gave Legionnaires a tour of the Waesche. Afterward, Rivera organized a game of volleyball between the captain and his crew, as well as with other sailors and Marines stationed at the Mexican Navy’s 12th Naval Zone. “Playing volleyball has become somewhat of a tradition when our ships make port here,” Rivera said. “Our post started the tradition a few months ago, and the folks on the ship and at the base always seem to enjoy it, so we intend to keep that tradition going. But don’t ask me who won!”