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Dance, song, desire to help lead them to Montevideo

MONTEVIDEO -- Living in a winter landscape and taking on the challenge of filling 100,000 sandbags will be among the "firsts'' for many of the young performers coming to Montevideo as part of the "Up with People'' cast.

Preparing the way for their visit are two veterans of "Up with People,'' Aude Goudreault and Shelsea Ochoa. Goudreault is a native of Quebec, Canada, and no stranger to either cold or snow. Ochoa is a California native.

She and her companion got their chance to experience Minnesota nice and winter at the same time. Hosts have taken the two on both snowmobile and cross country outings since their arrival in Montevideo.

Goudreault, a dance instructor, said her aunt was once a cast member with "Up with People.'' It sparked her interest in the non-denominational organization and its message of hope and justice, she said.

Ochoa is an accomplished dancer as well, but her introduction to "Up with People'' was much more circumstantial. She was attending college and yearning for a direction in life that included helping others. By sheer chance, she set her back pack down between classes intending to study and happened upon an "Up with People'' brochure.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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