Friends of Camila Lopez are remembering the 16-year-old as someone always ready with a smile and passionate about everything she did.

“She was really sweet, she was really nice,” friend Natalie Prieto tells CTV.

“She put her very best effort toward everything.”

Lopez was on vacation with her family in Cancun, Mexico, over the Canada Day weekend.

While out in the water on a kayak on Saturday, she was hit by a Jet Ski.

A 16-year-old from the United Kingdom was arrested and later released by Mexican authorities, who determined the incident to be an accident.

But among friends and supporters of Lopez back in Kitchener, the circumstances of Lopez’s death are a clear afterthought compared to the zest for life the St. Mary’s High School student constantly demonstrated.

“I know Camila and I know she’d want to see me happy,” says Prieto.

Another friend, Manuela Jimenez, says she’ll remember Lopez as someone who enjoyed every activity she did, whether it was singing in their church choir or dancing at a local studio.

“She loved to dance, she really loved to dance. That was her passion,” she says.

“She’s always going to be in my memories. I can never tell her that.”

School officials held a gathering in the St. Mary’s chapel Wednesday afternoon.

“You people rely a lot on social media to support one another. Although that’s a good medium, it certainly doesn’t take the place of people,” said school vice-principal Joan Grundy.

“We felt it was very, very important to come in person today to be supported.”

The school will hold a full memorial service for Lopez in September, when all students are back at school.