By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
This year has been such a learning curve year for the Tepehua Community Center. After crashing into all our programs like Mariachis in a china shop, we served the people. We have learned there is a distinct difference between doing the job and doing the job well. The small infractions that were found against the Tepehua Team by officialdom all made sense. We are glad they came.
Literally “raising the roof at Tepehua”, workers are keeping to schedule. There will be a boveda (brick) ceiling on one side (photo) that will house the gymnasium and other activities. The dental side will have a flat brick/plastered ceiling as requested by the Health Department.
We have had dentists visit the center with regard to ‘working’ as volunteers in the coming year, which is why this writer has always believed in the “build it and they will come” theory. That happened with the Medical clinic; we built it and Doctors came to lend a hand.
Starting off 2018 with a clean slate, and much wiser than when we started, it promises to be a very good year. The people in the Health Department couldn’t have been more helpful, and this writer was very impressed with their courtesy. Tepehua visits to La Barca, Government Health base for Jalisco, for further instruction, is still in our future but very much appreciated.
Our Medical Side is becoming more sophisticated. Our resident Doctor is new, young with an abundance of idealism. Dr. Carlos Rodriguez, our resident Doctor, who has been with us since we opened, unfortunately had a stroke in Nicaragua, his home country, so 2018 will see a change of management on that side too. Change is good, especially when it passes into young enthusiastic, idealistic hands, who remember the reason they dreamed of being a Doctor.
The Tepehua Team wish Dr. Carlos a speedy recovery. We miss his compassion and the way he cared for the people. He came to Mexico twenty plus years ago, escaping Civil War in his own country, where he was a field doctor. He never stopped caring for the people.
Opening the Gymnasium next year is an exciting program. So much therapy happens in exercise rooms, it becomes a place of intimacy and challenge. Knowledge is shared unconsciously, and bonds are formed. The word ‘gymnasium’ is Latin for the Greek word ‘gymnastic school’, which in turn was derived from ‘gymnos’ meaning ‘naked’. The Greeks trained naked as a compliment to the Gods, usually oiling their bodies, and training outside in arenas. Gymnastics for the Greeks was part of Education and Medicine. Men of letters also attended and held disputations concerning politics.
Helping a woman gain independence through knowledge and become who she was meant to be is like watching a flower slowly open it´s bud. The amazement of a child who learns something new...and it is all because of the people who care. Strangers reaching out to strangers.
The Tepehua Team would like to thank all the volunteers and the donors and sponsors for the incredible change you have brought to a little part of the world, our world in Mexico.
A better world because you were in it.
Enjoy 2018 in good health, enjoy a peace you deserve for doing your part.
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.