Por Los Niños de Zihua and Covid update
I have lots of good news to share this month! First, our number of cases is down to next to nothing. We are in level yellow on the traffic light system and I expect we will stay there, several states have moved to green but with that, out go the protocols and we don’t want an uptick in cases. Everything is open, a few businesses did not survive like the theatre but people are back to work even if not full time. The over 60 crowds are receiving their 2nd Pfizer vaccination this weekend and they are have started taking registrations for the 50 to 59-year-olds. Mexico is in the top 15 countries for vaccines!
While I was updating the statistics for Mexico for the website, I learned that graduations from University have increased to 26.1% from 12.1, 10 years ago and the number of students graduating from high school is up to 63.5%. On that note, we have 6 students without sponsors, if you want to change lives then welcome aboard it is a very rewarding program, and all for the cost of a latte a day. $35 USD per month goes a long way to changing the future of students, their families, and their communities. Our students are excelling and we are very proud of their accomplishments. Without sponsors, these straight-A students would be trapped in poverty instead they will have meaningful careers in the business world. One of last year’s graduates is now working for IBM and received his first performance raise after only 6 months when the norm is after 12 months. Thank you, Al and Mariane for sponsoring. Without you, this would not have been possible. Al learned English by playing video games and watching movies. Now he is studying Japanese online. That takes motivation! Now they are sponsoring a young architect. Students like him are not the exception we have a young nursing student with straight A’s as well, she works weekends at a clinic, studies nursing during the day and English. Without her sponsors Dean and Ursula, and Cecilia she would be helping her Mom who is a housekeeper, and would never have had the opportunity to study. All of our students are very dedicated to their studies and understand education is their ticket to a better life.
A local volunteer Global Impact Homes Inc. asked for a project to help a deserving family improve their living conditions. We chose a family from Casa Para Ninos. The following video outlines their hard work. Some of you may remember Margarito as the tall young man at the Mega Soriana formerly the Comercial, that helped you load your groceries for tips to help support his family.
The community kitchen is still a going concern with an average of 1300 meals being served to service 12 colonias near Primaria Centenario de la Revolucion. The hard-working volunteers have passed the one-year mark. More of our foreign community have joined in the fun to cook for the masses! April 30, is The Day Of The Children. A special celebration began at the community kitchen with a 100-pound pig as the guest of honor. Although Russell Paulsen of Paulsen Foods says he was hoping they would consider roasting it over a spit, it will be Carnitas. In total, he expects that the number of people who will line up at noon will soar to 400 from the usual 250-300.
During this time, when many communities are struggling to feed themselves, it is even more important to rely on the generosity of people like the grandmothers of British Columbia who regularly provide the meat for the meals. Paulsen along with Andy Smith, a local realtor, and local dentist Dra Judit Diaz paid for half of the cost of the pig.
It takes between 2500-3500 pesos a week to feed this many families, and the money is starting to dry up with individuals who wish to remain nameless, covering the shortfall out of their pocket.
As Paulsen says, there are two ways you can help, “Time or Money.”
We are hoping schools will reopen in August and then the kitchen will move to the school for the students. These are very poor colonias and hungry students can’t learn. Donations are still gratefully accepted at www.porlosninos.com for US donations or firstname.lastname@example.org for Canadian donations *CRA registration pending for tax receipts.
The Sailfest Marathon 2021 was a huge success. Thank you Cindy Dainard for putting it together. We raised 6,320.85 CDN. Thanks, everyone for your participation! Proceeds will go to the Rice and Beans Program.
The Lorenzo Marbut Memorial Library is complete as well as the Nelson Cote Music Room, Nelson is very much alive and well but he planted the seed for the expanded music program to enhance their cultural program. Lorenzo will be smiling down on this project.
We raised the roof on the existing 3 classrooms and the City donated the concrete for the new ceiling/floor so it made sense to close in the last classroom. School resumes for these students in May. They will be thrilled to see the changes made to their existing classrooms, tiled floors, and proper computer desks instead of 2 wooden boards for tables as well as the 3 new classrooms. We likely won’t be doing any further construction projects this year, instead, we will be focusing on the students whose parents can’t help them with school expenses as they normally would. We don’t want to have university or high school dropouts for lack of funds.
Barra Community Park.
Last but not least we did a community park in Barra de Potosi. The neighboring residents donated funds to build a safe place for the local children to play. Most yards are very small and the homes take up all of the space so the children play in the streets. With the increased traffic due to the popularity of the area, it was no longer safe. A very generous family from California loaned us 4 lots to make our park, English Plus teachers volunteered to paint the equipment, layout bricks for the bike path, and local parents came to help. As it was totally volunteer-driven it took longer but we are happy to say it will be opened next week and the keys handed over to the parents.
Spanish classes are really helping our school and all the teachers who work here get through the current tough work situation COVID has brought with it. Our Por Los Ninos students are really loving the online version of classes and it is so much more affordable for them without transportation costs.
Sailfest 2022 Update – Note New Dates February 22 to 28th 2022
Doug and I went to the Acapulco Yacht Club celebration for the 200th anniversary of the Navy last weekend to try and convince more sailors to come to Sailfest. They were very hospitable with cocktail parties and inviting us to go out on the yacht club launch to watch the races. Some days my job is just a little tougher!
As it turns out there is a long weekend the week of Sailfest next year. We felt we might be able to attract more boats if we were closer to Guitarfest. Generally, there are more boats here for Guitarfest than Sailfest, but we are working to change that. Expect changes to our schedule of events. The volunteer party will now be held at the same time as the windup, Sunday the 28th to include more of the Sailors, it will be held at Puerta Paraiso again in Playa Larga.
Zihua will soon be sporting a brand new look, the Malecon is being completely redone from the pier down to the walkway. Space is larger, new lighting and places to sit and enjoy the view, and is a beautiful addition to our already beautiful town.