Sunday, December 21, 2008


This isn't a Christmas story but I wanted to call your attention to an article in the New York Times Magazine today, A Payoff Out of Poverty.

One of the charities in San Miguel that Ned and I especially like is called Feed the Hungry. They build kitchens mostly at rural schools and provide free lunches for children who might otherwise be coming to school hungry or maybe not coming to school at all because the family is so impoverished. We strongly feel that getting the next generation a better education will be a key in Mexico's economic future.

I had heard about the program Oportunidades but this article is a good overview of the program and what it is accomplishing. And what is interesting, it is gaining attention around the world for what it is doing....even in New York City.


Anonymous said...

I read with interest the article that included in part propaganda aboutthe program in Mexico called Oportunidades. Sadly while the article would lead you to believe the program operates without corruption - I can tell you from living with many fine families that are (should be) entitled to the 1200 pesos they claim everyone gets, they do not receive anywhere near 600 pesos a month.

Understanding that currently 600 pesos is about $46.00 US and it would be a great help to them - It doesn't make it to the people - they seem to average about 420 pesos every two months or about $16.00 US. per month.

They know they are supposedly to get 1200 per every two months and know they are being robbed of the difference - BUT they are afraid to complain for fear of being put off the program totally. Some are getting VERY rich under the guise of a program to help the poor.

I personally know of many families being denied any money while complying with EVERYTHING they requested (no small task(s)) over a corrupt doctors technicality.

But, this is none of our business being extranjeros - so I will let it go at that.

matt said...

Thanks for this post. Awareness is a large part of the battle that we face in our world.

My wife and I live in Ciudad Juarez, CHI. We are working with a Mexican family that started feeding the poor children of their neighborhood with money from their own pocket. For the past 5 years this family has been able to feed 400 children every school day. This food program has radically changed this community.

Anyhow, thanks for bringing awareness to your readers. We have high hopes for Mexico.

Billie said...

Matt and Anon, I want to thank both of you for adding to this post. There is always more than one side to every story and certainly there are many ways we can help right in our own backyard.
But I am so hopeful that more and more kids get to have a better education.