Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Helping Out at Home

Last night we went to a very nice event at the Mask Museum. The Mask Museum is a private museum but it is a world class collection of Mexican Masks. The event was a fund raiser for Feed the Hungry. Feed the Hungry is one of the charities here in San Miguel that are supported by the Ex-pat community. Let me tell you a bit about some of them although I probably know more about Feed the Hungry because it is the one that we feel more connected to.

Feed the Hungry provides a nutritious hot meal to more than 3000 children a day. They work with the directors of schools out in the rural areas where children probably are not getting sufficient to eat. With the Director's approval they build a kitchen and hire cooks from the surrounding village. The cooks are paid and provided with social security and medical care. Last night they told us that some of the children walk for 1-1/2 to 2 hours to get to school and they are hungry. The children can go back for as many plates of food as they want and some will go back as many as three times to have their plate refilled. In many of these villages the fathers have gone to the "other side" to find work and the situation is dire for some of these families that are left.

Patronato Pro Ninos provides medical and dental care for children who could not otherwise afford it. My friend Jon is a volunteer with Patronatos and you can read here about some of his experiences.

Lions Club Eye Clinic provides eye examinations and glasses for the needy not just in San Miguel but in the surrounding villages.

Biblioteca Publica de San Miguel provides scholarships for children in the lower grades as well as scholarships for college.

Women in Change provides help to women to find ways to support themselves and also scholarships for young women so that they can continue their education.

Casa Hogar Don Bosco provides a home for boys and girls who have been abandoned or abused.

This isn't all of the charitable organizations here in San Miguel but these are the ones that I know more about or know people who contribute their time. Here you will find a list of these as well as some of the other organizations.

And there are organizations that are not listed, like Casa Linda that goes into a village and lets the village select the most needy family and they then build a small house for the family, kind of like Habitat but on a Mexican scale. And the group that collects old computers, revamps them and puts them in schools with learning software on them for the children.

The ex-pats give not just money but many of them give a lot of time....just a helping hand at home.

No comments: