By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
According to the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, exercise provides important support for those in drug/alcohol addiction treatment. A maintained exercise program often translates into maintained abstinence. Creating structure, a sense of accomplishment, and the natural “happy chemicals” exercise releases in the body (Endorphins) improves self esteem.
Marissa Crane B.S wrote “When someone is in recovery for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, he/she may experience a diminished ability to feel pleasure. It is known as ‘anhedonia’, and can contribute to relapse,” which is why a structured program is important.
Addiction to either drugs or alcohol takes away all ambition, life has no structure, nothing to accomplish, the only Happy Chemicals they have is a forced euphoria state of mind. When coming down from the “high”, self esteem and self worth are damaged.
The tragedy with the Tepehua boys of The Hood is that they are leaving their youth on the mean streets of the barrio. The Tepehua Community Center can provide the escape route for these young minds, give them something to wake up for in the morning, create a purpose through sharing unconsciously, a therapy that builds a healthy mind and body.
They were born with broken wings because of poverty or abusive, dysfunctional families. As always, they and the center need help to get this off the ground. The Center is putting the program together and gathering material and information. We could use some help from members of the community who have been in this line of work. We have the room ready, we now need the power of people who care - those with experience in weight training, martial arts coaching and generally dealing with youth in distress.
Because the Tepehua Center has been such a success and accepted so readily and controlled by the people themselves, the Tepehua Team along with another group of people that includes Dr. Todd Stong, Harvey Bernier and others, will be taking the idea to a tiny barrio called La Zapatera. It is on the Lakeside hills of Poncitlan.
The people of this isolated barrio will rehabilitate an abandoned building that the local Government has donated to them for a Community Center. Just like Tepehua, they will start with a soup kitchen, a bazaar and a sewing group.
Tepehua has pledged to supply them with the materials for the bazaar and the sewing room, a Lake Side Church (more information later) will help with the food and kitchen material. They have picked their lead people who have visited Tepehua...an hour and a half drive from La Zapatera...to talk to the Tepehua Team. We will work together. It all starts with a determined group of people.
Just like Tepehua, clean water will come to the people under the guidance of Todd Stong.
“A mighty Oak is a small nut that held its ground”.
Moonyeen King. President of the Board for Tepehua.
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.