Jun 6, 2011

Newsletter May 2011


May started off with the Recyclers all marching in the Labor Day parade in Vallarta. 350 members of the Sindicato marched together to show their pride. They have worked hard to establish rules and safety measures in their working environment. FAD was happy to provide them with t-shirts to wear while marching and working in the dump.

May 6th proved to be a very exciting day. I was surprised with 22 cakes, thanks to my husband! I was blessed with many Birthday cards made by the children and everyone, including all the recyclers working in the dump that day received a piece of cake!

May 7 Winnie and Henry arrived! There is always a whirlwind of activity when she is here! We got a lot accomplished and we look forward to their next visit.

May is also when Teachers are honoured here in Mexico. Our teachers were pleased to receive a jar of candy and a jar of chocolate! Thanks we really appreciate your dedication to the children in the mission.

May 9 we visited another impoverished area in Nayarit. It was overwhelming to see 1500 families squatting and living in the same way that our families along Hope Road do. A lot of these families are without work, their children are not attending school and they are living in homes that will not protect them from the upcoming rain….. you don’t have to look far to find people in need. We told them we would help when and how we can, with no promises. They were very grateful to hear that.

This month is special of course because Mother’s Day fell on May 10th. We had a gathering for all the working Recycling Moms on Tuesday morning. We had cake and pop. All moms received a framed family photo and we raffled off 12 prizes. The children treated us to their version of Twist and Shout in English with their dance moves!

Tuesday evening we celebrated with the Moms at Pastor Hector’s Service. They also received framed photos and raffle prizes. The children also performed a very special song for their moms.

May 12 John Wickersham brought down soccer balls, handmade wooden cars and coloring books and crayons for all the children. Twice a year he gathers donations and shares them.

May 14 was the Club Members annual meeting at Paradise Village and we were there to present our financial statements for 2010 as well as show a video of the past 5 years in the mission.

May 18 we met with the Recyclers, to present information and request information to prepare for the next 5 years of the mission. 250 were in attendance.

May 25 the Committee for the Rights of the Recyclers attended a Medical Training Program at the center. 12 people now have basic first aid training. This program will be provided again in the fall for the Teen Mentor class, and the working moms in the center.

May 28 the teen mentoring class had a reward trip at my home, we had pizza, pop and spent the morning swimming, always incorporating learning lessons into fun experiences. The class that day was about trust.

May 30 we continued with home visits for those who had requested assistance with preparation for the rains.

Of course all the days in between are filled with regular daily activities. We have been gathering information to prepare for School Assistance. Uniforms and shoes have to be ordered. Backpacks and supplies prepared before school starts again in August.

We have 4 University Students volunteering at the mission, assisting with classes and wherever needed, they were very helpful in interviewing for home repair assistance. They are required to do volunteer hours as part of their curriculum. How blessed we are to have them!

We assisted 35 families last month with preparation for the rainy season. This month we will complete that assistance with 49 more families. As June approaches we both welcome and dread the rain. It will be a relief when it starts as it lowers the humidity level, and everything becomes green again. But then we dread it because with it comes the flys, the mosquitoes, the cockroaches, the mud and the constant dampness in their homes. There is really no way to describe what it is like. The intensity of the heat, the difficulty in being comfortable to sleep, and of course nothing is ever dry. For the families in the mission it is just another part of their life. It was certainly an eye opening experience for me, learning the precautions that they take during this time of year to protect themselves from scorpions, snakes and leaking roofs! Please continue to pray for the housing project. Everything is moving ahead, however at a slower pace than we would all like. God willing this will be the last rainy season they have to endure in their shanties along the base of the dump.

There are a new group of squatters growing along this area. We are just getting to know them and trying to figure out how best to have a working relationship with them. Our priority is the families we have known for the past 5 years, we don’t know what is in store for this new group.

We look forward to June. The children will be having their final classes and their windup parties. We will be preparing for school assistance. Father’s Day celebrations, and much more I am sure.

The mission will be closed for the month of JULY as John and I return to Canada. During that time we will be meeting with Winnie and assessing and preparing our plans for the next season.

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