We met Rosario in March 2006 when the mission started. At that time, she and her husband were working in the Puerto Vallarta city dump. She has been with Raul for 20 years. They have 5 children, ranging in age from 4yrs to 25 yrs.
They currently live on the 3rd Stop on “Hope Road”. Their home consists of 3 rooms. One room for Rosario, her husband and 3 youngest daughters. The other room is for her adult daughter and her husband and 6 month old baby. The other is her oldest son and his girlfriend who is currently pregnant.
They share beds, for sleeping and have a common cooking area just outside the entrance to their home.
Large water barrels which hold rain water delivered every 15 days or so provide their water supply. This is used for cooking, bathing and laundry. Drinking water is provided by the mission. Each week Rosario brings a 5 gallon jug to be replaced with fresh drinking water. This ensures that the children will not drink rain water or river water like the adults have been doing for the past 20 years.
The mission wants to make sure that the children do not have the same health concerns that their parents are dealing with in regard to parasites and other gastro/intestinal issues.
Rosario was injured in January 2008 while working in the dump. A needle was disposed of improperly and while going through the trash bags for recyclables her leg was punctured. This led to a very serious infection. Initial treatments did not clear the infection and over the course of 10 months, there were concerns of infection in the bone. She was tested for HIV, TETANUS, and HEPATITIS. Thankfully, she was clear of all of these infections. The mission provided medical assistance through prescription medications, draining of the infection- initially daily, then bi-weekly, then weekly, then monthly until the infection was clear.
She did not work for 10 months. This put a great strain on her family income. The mission assisted with extra food to compensate for that. Her relationship was tested as well, as the burden to provide for the family fell squarely on her husband. Luckily for Rosario she is one of the few women who have a good partner. Raul is a man who genuinely cares for her and the children. He understood the medical challenges and accepted that she could not help provide for the family.
Over the past 4 years, we have helped Rosario’s family in many ways. Her children all receive School Sponsorship to attend the public schools in the village of Majesterio. Her middle daughter attends programs at the community center which include Homework assistance, Dance class and Soccer.
We have seen the health conditions of family members improve over the years. Daughter Paloma is now attending Jr High School and doing well. The mission assists with bus fees for her to travel to and from school. Her opportunities for a career are boundless as she continues to attend and excel.
As she approaches her 15th birthday, we are confident that this is a young lady who will NOT follow in the footsteps of her parents. She will NOT be bearing children while she is still a child herself. Both parents understand the importance of Education and want more for their girls.
Her adult son played on the Men’s Soccer team which the mission sponsored. This helped us make a connection with the males in the mission. This opened the door to support and acceptance from the men.
This family’s life has been improved in many ways, not only with Education and Medical assistance. The mission has also provided physical improvements in their living conditions over the years. They have received beds for proper sleeping conditions, a stove for cooking and most recently a washer for the constant flow of laundry.
Outside their home is a large canopy, which provides much needed shade from the sun, protection from the rains and a space to gather for evening visits. As well it provides shelter for the daily visitors the mission brings out.
In the early years of the mission, daily vitamins for the children and continuation of a daily feeding program has led the children in the mission to better health.
Along the way the mission has built a strong, trusting relationship with Rosario and her family. She knows at anytime she can come and share her needs, challenges and the positive things in her family’s life!
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