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the puzzle that is Rosamaria


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#1 Guest_verchiel_*

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

A little way down the street from me lives Rosamaria, 26 (estimate) and her two daughters, ages 9 and 6, and her son, age 2. They live on a narrow piece of property squeezed between larger homes in which middle-class Mexican families reside. It was once an auto mechanic's shop - Rosamaria and the kids live at the back of the property in what was once the mechanic's shed. Dirt floor in one room (where she has a bed, a small sofa and ropes to hang clothing). No windows. Only a toilet, stove and sink in a side room.

Rosamaria has no family here, only a boyfriend (the father of her son; from an old Ajijic family) who had convinced her to move from Jocotepec to Ajijic because he promised her that they could all live on his parents' compound, but his mother told him that Rosamaria and the little boy could live there, but not the two girls - they'd have to go elsewhere. The boyfriend's mother said she doesn't want another man's children living on her property, especially not girls who will just grow up and have more children.

Rosamaria is from Michoacan, and the girls' father went north many years ago and never sent money and disappeared. She doesn't know where her mother is; her father lives in Jocotepec but he's a drunk. So, Rosamaria couldn't stomach putting her girls in an orphanage - losing her children terrifies her - so the boyfriend found them this hovel. Now they have a contentious relationship because he has grown to resent the little girls. He only occasionally comes by and doesn't support them very well because he doesn't earn a lot of money, but he does work fulltime.

Rosamaria's children are always clean and dressed, the girls attend school each day, she takes them to the development centers to get shots and wellness checks, etc. She is a very good mother. More, the three children are some of the sweetest little ones you'll ever meet, very polite, cheerful and so loving to each other and to their mother ... who is a pretty woman with an almost angelic countenance. She is basically a Mexican country girl who has made some unfortunate choices in her life and who is suffering the stress and depression of their consequences, and she doesn't seem to have much hope.

I know all these details because one night I was out walking my dogs and I saw her sitting on the curb, crying her eyes out in the dark. I walked past and of course I had to ask if she was okay, and after a few minutes she explained that she was afraid. Her boyfriend hadn't been by in 3 days and she'd had no food for 2 days and the kids were hungry, but they were asleep. So I gave her some food. And then I gave her some more a few days later, and asked her how she was, and she told me her story ... and over the next few months of seeing her in total panic, I encouraged her to get a plan together for her life, and I wished her well. I do check in once in awhile but I notice things are growing grim. I can't stand it that a nice woman and her adorable children are nearly starving on my street.

Now, I know that many people will think, "Oh, boy, is she going to work you now!" But, she really hasn't. Rosamaria has a lot of pride and she won't beg. Various people in the neighborhood know what's going on, and they do what they can for her, but I notice that she seems very uncomfortable when they do, sort of embarrassed about her poverty.

She recently told me that what she really needs to do is to get a job as a housekeeper, as she knows how to clean (you wouldn't believe how clean and home-y she keeps that hovel). She can read and write fairly well, but doesn't speak English. (Although I notice that she speaks Spanish with proper grammar.)

But, how will she do this? She has no references. No obvious child care, but perhaps she can work that out with his grandmother. She is extremely shy, speaks no English.

So I ask you, would you hire Rosamaria if she came knocking, or for an interview? Any ideas out there for her?

Thanks for listening.

#2 Mad_Max

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Actually, I would not hire anyone that came knocking on my door.

If references are a key point, and I think they are - and word of mouth, maybe she could apprentice with another housekeeper for a short period - for the purpose of getting a recommendation.

#3 Ferret

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:22 PM

Why don't you give Letitia at Spring Clean a call, explain the situation and find out if she's hiring. She often sends out her crew in two's...one senior and one new trainee. It's worth a try because it's a full time job with benefits if Rosamaria makes the grade.

#4 Trailrunner

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:27 PM

Not quite sure what the puzzle is. . .would I hire her? Probably not unless someone I know highly recommended her. I'm with MadMax on that one. No one comes in my house unless I know them and trust them.

What skills does she have? Does she sew? Does she embroider dish towels that I could buy? How will she take care of her kids while cleaning houses? Maybe you could get her listed on Rony's job site. Maybe you could buy her some seeds and she could grow a little food and some extra to sell.

It's a tough one, these stories are not uncommon in this country. You are to be commended for your compassion. See if you can find out what skills she may have. Maybe she could take in laundry.

#5 Jeanne B

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

Where does Rosamaria live? Ajijic, Chapala, etc.?

#6 Chapala Man

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:11 PM

Where does Rosamaria live? Ajijic, Chapala, etc.?

I take it from Verchiel that she lives in Ajijic. But could be wrong.

#7 Guest_verchiel_*

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:53 PM

Rosamaria lives in Ajijic. She washes her laundry by hand, hangs it out. She tried to do cross-stitch and sold a few pieces, but not enough to live on, and she's not great at it, but she keeps practicing. She has no yard for any seeds, nor much sunlight on the dirt floor in her house.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'll tell her about them and then we'll see what happens.

#8 Sunsetkid

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

common folks. the kid needs a break. some of us have. REMEMBER.

#9 ajhimels

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:09 AM

Compassion Ministries in San Antonio offers free lunch to those in need of a hot meal. It's a wonderful place to have lunch with others and lots of kids. The food is really good and the people are very welcoming. It's on the east side street from Super Lake.

#10 Jeanette

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 07:14 AM


Maybe you could get her listed on Rony's job site.


Sadly, Rony no longer has his job site. Understandably, It became overwhelming for him and he has other businesses to run.

However, you might shoot him a PM and ask his advice. Better yet, drop in at his shop, buy some chocolate and have a chat. That will benefit you (the truffles are delicious), Rony, and hopefully Maria.

#11 purplepatty

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 07:23 AM

Compassion Ministries in San Antonio offers free lunch to those in need of a hot meal. It's a wonderful place to have lunch with others and lots of kids. The food is really good and the people are very welcoming. It's on the east side street from Super Lake.

On Jesus Garcia, 1/2 block below Angelica's and Panino's.

#12 JayBearII

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

If the lady lives in West Ajijic, it may be too far to drag 3 kids to the free lunch place in San Antonio. And, I am not sure if the lunch place is useful for kids in school--do the hours overlap both morning and afternoon school sessions?

Does DIF provide any support to mothers with no income? Has she been there for counseling?

Does the "good" family in Ajijic have enough money to provide some food or milk every week? They are getting off light IMO--they gave the mother a choice worthy of Solomon, so of course she didn't take it--that was their strategy to avoid responsibility, and now I suppose they are praying for God to help this family, as they won't.

#13 bmh

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

The first thing Rosamaria should do is learn about birth control and not have a kid with the next boyfriend.She should also teach her girls as soon as they are old enough about birth control.
It seems to me that the two older kids are old enough to go to school and she should lean on ther grand-parents or family of the youngest to take care of him as she goes to work.
Verchiel you could hire her to do some work for you and then you can recommend her.. You know her we do not.

This getting pregnant to get a man is a really bad cycle and mothers need to work on breaking that cycle wih their girls. I see it everywhere and i is very sad.
I know this girl who is a tai Kwan do national champion, had plans to go to med school and just had a baby, lost out for the Olympic team and the med school. It is happening at all levels and it is a real shame.

There are many women in te same situation as Rosamaria she has to pick up the pieces and go to work to supplement the income from her boyfriend and he has to look for a better job or a job paying more money.She should swear off kids for a while as well.
The woman who cleans my house got the same advice from me last month and her husband got an extra job and she will look for more work too in August as her youngest can go to the Kindergarten then, meanwhile she pays a relative to watch her while she is coming to my house..

#14 Studio del Sol

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

Rosamaria lives in Ajijic. She washes her laundry by hand, hangs it out. She tried to do cross-stitch and sold a few pieces, but not enough to live on, and she's not great at it, but she keeps practicing. She has no yard for any seeds, nor much sunlight on the dirt floor in her house. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'll tell her about them and then we'll see what happens.


I sent you a message.

#15 AWC

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:14 AM

If you can teach her to iron, do it well and quickly that is a weekly service she could offer and pays decently. We are looking for a new person to iron. generally they are set up on a shaded terrace, burrow, iron, rolling clothes rack and spray starch. A large basket should take not quite 4 hours - 12-15 golf shirts, 6 short and 2 long pants, 12-15 women's shirts, 5-8 pair slacks - about $200 pesos a basket.

teach her to iron and find about 4 clients a week that's $800 pesos and works around school and child care.

#16 Sailor

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

If you can teach her to iron, do it well and quickly that is a weekly service she could offer and pays decently. We are looking for a new person to iron. generally they are set up on a shaded terrace, burrow, iron, rolling clothes rack and spray starch. A large basket should take not quite 4 hours - 12-15 golf shirts, 6 short and 2 long pants, 12-15 women's shirts, 5-8 pair slacks - about $200 pesos a basket.

teach her to iron and find about 4 clients a week that's $800 pesos and works around school and child care.

Excellent idea, AWC.

#17 Catinmex

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:58 PM

I'd like someone to come in and do some ironing! I probably don't have 4 hours worth, but maybe 2 per week? And, I live in the centre of Ajijic.

#18 phxfunguy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:53 PM

Sadly, Rony no longer has his job site. Understandably, It became overwhelming for him and he has other businesses to run.

However, you might shoot him a PM and ask his advice. Better yet, drop in at his shop, buy some chocolate and have a chat. That will benefit you (the truffles are delicious), Rony, and hopefully Maria.

He actually still has his jobs website but not his shop. He sells the chocolates out of the consignment shop on Morelos or from his house by phone or email order.

Quoted from his last post when he closed:

I am trying to find a way to continue it on line. So people who need workers can still (at NO CHARGE) contact me (by e-mail : elbelgicano@yahoo.com ) and use my new website, that I will keep using : http://chambasajijic.com
My Belgian chocolates will still be available at the Chapala consignment store, 142 Morelos.

Rony

#19 Jeanette

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:13 PM

My apologies, Phxfunguy. And thanks for setting the record straight!

#20 Trailrunner

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

Sadly, Rony no longer has his job site. Understandably, It became overwhelming for him and he has other businesses to run.

However, you might shoot him a PM and ask his advice. Better yet, drop in at his shop, buy some chocolate and have a chat. That will benefit you (the truffles are delicious), Rony, and hopefully Maria.


. . .

IMHO, the best idea so far is taking in ironing. The other excellent point made by bmh is birth control.

What about that Teach a Woman to Fish program? Is it still operating???




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