Please help San Pedro Itzicán and the local villages
If you want to know what we do, and where we do it, click on this link to see the History of Poco a Poco...
So many new things are happening, it's difficult to explain it all!
Anita, the most worthy person for a tiny home.
Poco a Poco support the incredible work of Anita Torres Guererro. We are now trying to raise money to create a safe and tiny home for her on some land she purchased in San Pedro Itzicán. Click here to go to the GoFundMe page we have created for this, to learn more and perhaps support this initiative. If you prefer to use another way of donating, just email us so that we can direct your donation accordingly. Thank you so much!
Anita Torres, who we have been working with since 2017, is a dedicated volunteer, and was hired in October 2021 as the Director of the Centros de Desarrollos Comunitarios del H. Ayuntamiento Constitucional de Poncitlán. This means she is busier than ever and now so are the buildings. Local people can now take advantage of different learning and fun activities. So we have also been restarting and expanding our programs too!
Volunteers are always needed to help us! Even better if you speak some Spanish!
Besides the two Government buildings, Anita also runs the Poco a Poco temporary office building where one of the Kids' Kitchens is located with a modest kitchen. The Mezcala and San Pedro buildings have well-equipped kitchens. But it takes a lot of work and food to feed over 700 children, five days a week!
During the COVID outbreak in Mexico most of our programs were cancelled. When factories were shut-down, overnight people were suddenly without work, and without food. Thanks to our amazing donors, we were able to help families by providing food every week to over 1,900 families from mid-March to mid-August 2020. We provided basic despenses (food packages), but they were so welcome and appreciated.
Anita and her wonderful team of youth did the distribution work. Our wonderful Poco a Poco FoodShare Director, Patricia Moran, organized the food delivery, hunted down the best prices and ways to get the food delivered to the community (few trucks would drive out there because the roads were so bad). And we all did everything we could to raise money to pay for food. You can read more about this on our Covid food crisis page. Our grateful thanks to everyone who helped us so much during that difficult time.
In September 2020 we restarted feeding the children, and they lined up for food and took it home to eat. In January 2021, we restarted the Kids' Kitchen in the San Pedro Poco a Poco office, thanks to more support from FoodBank Lakeside. From January through to October 2021, we were feeding over 300 children, five days a week in three locations.
In May 2022, we expanded again, and now run six Kids' Kitchen locations, feeding over 700 children (and 24 volunteers), five days a week! FoodBank Lakeside are paying for most of the food, and we are very grateful for that. But there are many other costs that we still have to cover including the tortillas (which now cost more than 10,000 pesos a month); the cost of getting all the food; and then distributing the cooked food to each location. It takes a lot of hard work and people to prepare and cook food for that many children each week. It's also tough on the truck (couldn't do without it Ravi!), especially since our older truck has now "retired" from service and will be sold for parts. So again we are looking for a second truck.
To keep all these Kids' Kitchen programs function, we are now give small stipends to the women and youth who are doing all the food prep and cooking (starting at 5:00 am, five days a week), otherwise we could not continue providing this essential service.
Thanks to some generous donors, we were able to build shelters in Los Mangoes, La Peña and Mezcala for the Kids' Kitchens.
Jim Starkes taught some of the youth how to make benches for the San Pedro original office. In the new Kids' Kitchens, we needed folding tables and chairs so that they can be stored safely in the lock up sheds at these locations.
One expense that has been rapidly increasing is the cost of medicines that we have been paying for. These are life saving medicines for renal patients.
Tacrolimus is one of the drugs that renal transplant patients need to protect them from rejection of the transplanted kidney. It used to cost 455 pesos a month (around $22 US) per person, but since November 2021, we have been paying more than 1,356 pesos (around $64 US) for 50 tablets. And even at that price, it's difficult to find. The government hospitals used to supply these drugs, but they no longer are able to do so.... it's very worrying because more people will die without this medicine...
Projects: We continue with our ESL classes; literacy classes for adults and youth, tutoring for high school students who are doing on-line high school. We have an amazing program for children with different needs - twice a week in Mezcala and in San Pedro; we have expanded the sewing program; re-started the hairdressing program; and created a new group of students learning jewelry making. In December 2021, the Instituto Internacional CAS students gave a workshop for children, focusing on water and its importance to us all.
Despensas: We continue with despensa distribution to renal patient families with the support of FoodBank Lakeside. Poco a Poco pay for drinking water and purchase 70 large garafons of water each week for our Kids' Kitchens.
We are grateful to Violet Unidad Médico Dental A.C for recently installing modern dental services in the San Pedro Itzicán office and providing dental services free of charge. We hope to find more dentists who will assist. Think about it. Unclean or rotting teeth and unhealthy dental practices, all would affect other organs of the body - including the kidneys... so this is really important. Of course we always need donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste! Many families, if they have toothbrushes, have to share them...
We want to find a doctor to come regularly to San Pedro Itzicán to see patients. (Anita does not have the time to drive people to Chapala to see the doctor at the Tepehua Community Center (though we very much appreciate that collaboration.) We will have to pay for these services, but they are vital to the community (San Pedro Itzicán has a population of around 7,000 people...) and no government medical services. People there cannot afford private doctors in Poncitlán or elsewhere.
And after more than a year of negotiations, and much legal support, (thank you Lissa's Legacy for that), we purchased a small piece of land in San Pedro Itzicán to be the future community center for the town. So when we have the time and funds we will start clearing the land, backfilling it (and putting in a large water storage tank and septic tank), and then fencing the property. Then we can move the San Pedro Kids' Kitchen there and gradually start building the community center that will really belong to the community for their use.
You may ask - why are we helping Anita and this San Pedro area? Watch this video from July 2021 to understand and learn more ...