"So very motivated volunteers come, but the first day they don't know what to say, they don't know how to act, they try to help, but even they freeze up," Daniels told CNA.
But the students laugh and tell jokes, and eventually, relationships are formed.
"They have an incredible time. They float, row, do group dynamics, take up the surfboard. They have demonstrated that they can do a lot, they have overcome many difficulties related to their condition," Daniels said.
She explained that the problem is rooted in discrimination and the lack of proper integration.
"They were born struggling with frustration, they were born already disadvantaged," she said of the students. "It was really hard getting support from the businesses. Why don't we see girls with Down syndrome promoting products in advertising? Because the beauty of our students is an atypical beauty and no one wants it on their front page."
"Chile is a country that creates handicaps," she reflected, adding that trends to de-value family, school and the Church also cause problems for the disabled.
Daniels recommended that people draw closer to God: "to give love you have to be with the Creator of love…When you have love, you have to give it, you have to give it shape, make it real."
Claudio Morales, another director, added that the volunteers are "the big winners" of Waves of Hope.
"Children with Down syndrome capture your heart in an incredible way," he said. "I believe that all the volunteers have a changed way of looking at life."
The article was originally published on CNA Feb. 7, 2017.