By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
The Tepehua Team wishes the world Health and Peace this 2021, as we spin into the New Year with great expectations. This Author would like to embrace the oncoming year fiercely and demand change, but we must have patience, change will come.
Last year was not all doom and gloom, we had high moments and were able to achieve things using a different tactic that seemed to work. One of the highs was the introduction of the potable water unit that was built at the Tepehua Center with the help of Rotary. Despairing over the deaths from water diseases caused by polluted wells, we took matters into our hands. The local barrios could not afford the bottled water prices of this area, so our Water Unit was built on the promise of a controlled price, so that affordable water was available to all barrios and villages Lakeside, and businesses, restaurants, etc, which would like a better price for their water and at the same time, help the Community Center remain sustainable. We are licensed to sell by the Health department. The Distribution Center is open for visits and sales every Friday and Saturday morning from 10am until Noon, or call Adam at 332-627-1274 for English and Carlos at 333-004-7849 for Spanish. Delivery is possible from Ajijic going East only. Or order your needs at Tepehua Treasures store in Riberas every Wednesday from Noon until 3pm where your order can be delivered for pick-up. The cost per garrafone (5 gallon bottle) is 15 pesos. People get affordable water and a village gets support. How’s that for sharing the wealth?
Sadly, the education for younger kids and those that have no computer resources was put on hold through the year. To replace that, the Tepehua Education unit opened English Classes which have become popular. English language is essential to the service Industries which create a stronger middle-class for the Barrios Lakeside. Although the service industry was forced to close down partly, this service will always be needed in tourist towns such as Chapala/Ajijic. The middle-class in Mexico is getting stronger because education is reaching the masses, a sure indication the future is brighter for so many. The people are demanding and getting their rights, and although the pandemic forced many to their knees, change is inevitable and still happening. We can never be the same but we can be better.
A future project will be to have a public toilet built on the edge of the barrio in Tepehua so that ALL people have access to a toilet rather than to defecate on the land, causing so much of a health risk to all people especially in the rainy season, where human and animal waste eventually end up in the wells through rainwater runoff. Communal Baños will give work to a few people once built, to hand out the toilet paper and keep the toilets up to the local Health Department’s standards.
We will never eradicate poverty, but we can help to bring a little dignity to our less fortunate neighbors, and make the world a better place. The Tepehua Community Center vows this year to keep our free medical consultations open, help for education available, potable water and pharmaceuticals affordable. The support of the public for the Tepehua Treasures Bazaar in Riberas was for Tepehua Center a life line. We managed many things and kept services to the people open; it could have been so much worse. We are not through this by any means. Don’t let down your self protection or that of your brothers not even for a second. Although the vaccine gives hope, it will be awhile before this pandemic loses its grip on the world.
Look forward with hope, but live cautiously. You can make life as you want it, happiness is a state of mind.
For the Tepehua Team!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
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.