By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
A MESSAGE FROM MOONIE:
The month of November has seen the incredible compassion people can show for those they have never met. Starting with the Canadian Medical Team, most from London, Ontario, Canada, Rotary Clubs joining forces, and people just teaming up to give help because they could. The team of 25 visited Tepehua first, and saw about 100 patients, using the fine facilities that have just opened for the maternal health unit, a private sector donation with Rotary involvement.
The Tepehua Team helped the Medical Team replace all the confiscated medicine that they brought with them from Canada (which still sits at the Guadalajara Airport...or not, it probably has found another home).
Next stop was the Men’s Rehabilitation Center in Santa Cruz - CREADO. Inmates were about 50 patients. It is a good place to visit if you are looking for a project. The men are trying to straighten out their lives - they work hard at rebuilding the Center, looking for another chance. They could use donations of food. Soriana gives them unsalable veggies as pay for work cleaning store rooms, but they could use some protein. The Tepehua Community Center supplies them with men’s wear and uses some of the men for labour, which they call “service”. Our lives have all been touched by addictions of some sort. It takes courage to change.
At Chapala Prepa School, the number of families and adolescents seen has not been counted, but it was easily around 200. Some of the students, who are Mexico’s future, go to school hungry. If you have ever been in education, volunteer at the schools, help with nutrition. Give your knowledge.
At San Pedro, one of the poorest barrios East of Chapala, the Medical Team saw 204 patients. San Pedro lacks water, and the water they do have is polluted. A group will be taking doctors´ reports to this tiny barrio, and is going to try and help the village help itself. Another very worthy project if you have time to volunteer. Contact Moonie and you will be put in touch with the people who are going to take help to this village. The Tepehua Clinic will help in every way we can.
At the Mescala Prepa the Team saw 387 patients. All these will have to be followed up to make sure they get the help they need.
The Medical team left Tepehua Center’s pharmacy with pharmaceuticals they didn’t use. We will make sure all patients who were given hope by this visit will be given service.
MANY THANKS to the local Doctors who came forward to help the medical team from Canada....it is what THANKS GIVING should be all about:
Dr. Carlos Rodriguez; Dr. Carlos Garcia and his wife Dra. Angelica; Dr. Santiago Hernandez; Dra. Marimar Sainz from Guadalajara; Dr. Lawrence Whitehurst. Dental: Dr. Alfonso and his wife Sylvia; Dra. Marlene; Dr. Geo. Not counting all the volunteers from the local Rotary Club of Ajijic, who helped set up the whole program, and all the volunteer foot soldiers, especially the administrator of the prepa schools of Chapala and Mescala, Lucy Soltelo. Her story will come later.
A special thank you to a remarkable group of people, who, on their dime and their time, came to help the people of Mexico. Thank you Canada, you have opened your hearts as well as your borders.
This is what happens when people come together. We are stronger together and can help those, who because of circumstances beyond their control, need a helping hand up.
Please, stretch out your hand this Christmas season. You will be glad you did.
MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING
Column: Profiling Tepehua
Settled in Mexico 13 years ago. The intention was to retire into the arts as a writer, poet and painter...that didn’t happen. Beneath the smiles of the peoples of Mexico there was such a great need for change, especially for the women and children of the barrios, Moonyeen has dedicated these years to change the face of this little corner of the world. The work done by the volunteers of the Tepehua Community Center is teaching that change is possible anywhere. Moonyeen was portrayed as “Woman of the Year,” also two Paul Harris Rotary awards for the work done at Tepehua. “Life in Mexico is very fulfilling. The Mexican people give so much more to us immigrants than we can possible return.