“There is a destiny that makes us brothers; None goes his way alone: All that we send into the lives of others Comes back into our own.”
From “A Creed” by Edwin Markham
This simple, yet poignant, excerpt is clearly amplified here in beautiful Puerto Vallarta … so many wonderful charities and volunteers at every turn … special events supporting a myriad of worthy causes, uplifting those who truly need our help. Amigos del Magisterio is a gem among these groups. Beginning 12 years ago with a vision and mission to supply food to the poor at 0% administration costs, Amigos del Magisterio is stronger and more vibrant than ever.
Our focus is on the people of the poorest suburb of Puerto Vallarta, Colonia Magisterio, adjacent to the old garbage dump. Residents survive by sorting through our refuse, finding items to sell for recycling, things they can use or even something to eat; it is a bare existence.
Because the old dump closed four years ago, these recyclers can no longer walk to work, but must travel about 30 kilometers to the new dump in El Colorado, an expense they can ill afford.
Their homes in Magisterio are shack dwellings of tarpaper, cardboard, broken pallets, metal, rags … whatever they have scavenged. A water hose is shared by all; open pit toilets (no sewers) and a bit of electricity is the norm. Sewage and seepage from the old dump run into Gardenia Street where children play. It defies the mind to imagine this area after heavy rain. Many families with children live here as poverty continues to take its toll. The people appear happy with smiling faces greeting our group. Very few benevolent groups help them. Amigos del Magisterio brings weekly truckloads of packaged beans, rice, and texturized soya (a 100% protein product), occasionally oil, sugar, or pasta is included.
The cuisine of the Mexican poor uses a large quantity of oil, everything is fried and cups of hot oil are added to beans. So far this year, 16 metric tonnes of food have been delivered. Volunteers recently packed 1,220 food bags containing I kilo each of rice, beans, sugar, and soya. These were given to students at six area schools, reinforcing education as the key to unlocking poverty.
With 0% administration costs, 100% of all money donated is used to purchase food. The members of Amigos del Magisterio also distribute truckloads of donated clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, etc. There is real hope for the future.
Caritas PV, operating out of the priests’ basement garage at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Centro, makes 70 – 80 lunches for street people every weekday and distributes food bags to the needy who come for help. They also collect used prescription glasses, medical braces, crutches, and leftover prescription medications.
Pasitos de Luz at Casa Connor, a non-profit day care for disabled children, in a recent financial report, listed Amigos del Magisterio as their second largest food donor after Costco. Our ongoing corporate sponsor, Frigorizados La Huerta, sends frozen vegetables and more to fill freezers they have donated to our adopted organizations.
This marvelous donation is ongoing throughout the year.They have also donated 14 computers to a Magisterio school, thus opening the world to the children. Tacho’s RV Park allows us the use of their palapa for bagging and packaging goods, drawing dozens of volunteers helping to lift the poor of PV. Condos la Marina lends their premises for our weekly meetings. Muchas gracias to both of them.
Our Thank You extends to so many who make this endeavor possible: volunteers, truck owners who cover all their truck expenses to make the pick-ups and deliveries, Frigorizados La Huerta, many financial supporters in Canada and the US, and Fruteria Montero, Costco, and Sam’s Club.
Gracias to: Knights of Columbus St. Pierre MB and Donnacona QC, Camping Petit Lac Haha QC, Club Riche- lieu Vanier-Laurier Ottawa ON, Classic Caterers Brick NJ, St. Vincent de Paul Society Lakewood NJ, Magi Ladies St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Anchorage AK, to name a few.
The residents of Tacho’s RV Park and Condos la Marina, Padre Roberto and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Centro, and families and friends of the organizers, all donate their time and treasure… knowing 100% of their donations go to the poor. A heartfelt thank you to all!
“Al año proximo” and a brighter tomorrow!
Visit our website at www.amigosdelmagisterio.com.