” You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, noted 19th century poet, philosopher, and essayist.
For 13 years, Amigos del Magisterio has taken these words to heart with a vision and mission to supply food to the poor of Puerto Vallarta. Today this charity group is more vibrant than ever.
Its focus is the people living in the poorest suburb of Puerto Vallarta, Colonia Magisterio, adjacent to the old garbage dump. Residents survive by sorting through our city’s refuse, finding items to sell for recycling, things they can use, or even something to eat; it is a bare existence. These recyclers travel about 30 kilometers by bus to the dump in El Colorado. The 50 pesos travel cost is money they cannot afford to spend.
Their homes in Magisterio are shack dwellings of tarpaper, cardboard, broken pallets, metal, rags … whatever they can find. There is a small water hose shared by all; and open pit toilets (no sewers) and a bit of electricity are the norm. Sewage always runs into Gardenia Street where children play. It startles the mind to imagine this area following heavy rain.
Few benevolent groups help them. Amigos del Magisterio brings weekly truckloads of packaged beans, rice, texturized soya (a 100% protein product), and lentils, alternately sugar or oil are included. Since November 17, more than 23 metric tonnes of food have been delivered. Recently, many volunteers packed 1,300 food bags containing I kilo each of rice and beans, soya, and lentils. These were given to students at six area schools, reinforcing education as the key to unlocking poverty.
Besides donating food, the members of Amigos del Magisterio donate truckloads of clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, etc.
There is real hope for the future. Children no longer work as recyclers at the dump; they are in school. The number of adult recyclers has decreased from close to two hundred to less than one hundred. The impact of Amigos del Magisterio has extended food delivery to year round charity organizations: Caritas PV, Pasitos de Luz, Corazon de Nina, and La Vina, supplementing their food programs.
Our ongoing corporate sponsor, Frigorizados La Huerta, sends frozen foods (800 kgs bi-weekly) to fill freezers it has donated to our adopted organizations. This marvelous donation is ongoing throughout the year. It has also donated 5 new computers to Corazon de Nina, helping to open the world to those children.
Tacho’s RV Park generously allows the use of their palapa for bagging and packaging goods, drawing dozens of volunteers. Condos la Marina lends their premises for weekly meetings. Muchas gracias!
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, and many financial supporters in Canada and the US. This year, special thanks to Jack Gregory of Classic Caterers Lakewood NJ, for sponsoring a Fundraiser Buffet held last Friday … 182 tickets were sold.
Gracias to Knights of Columbus St. Pierre MB and Donnacona QC, L’Ouvroire Donnacona QC, Camping Petit Lac Haha QC, Club Richelieu Vanier-Laurier Ottawa ON, Aha! Labs Inc. Menlo Park CA, Magi Ladies St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Anchorage AK, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Centro PV, Monzon Brewing Co. Zona Romantica, Bay View Grand Yoga Club, residents of Tacho’s RV Park and Condos la Marina, and families and friends of the organizers. All donate their time and treasure… knowing their donations help the poor of Puerto Vallarta. A heartfelt thank you to all!
“Al ano proximo” and a brighter tomorrow!
Visit our website www.amigosdelmagisterio.com