Yesenia Monroy Chavez (left) and Ynoscabel Reyes Hernandez (center) were absolutely instrumental in the success of our last project in Cuautitlan de Garcia Barragan. Both work for the local government and acted as liaisons with each department. They assisted us with finding a location for our courses to take place and searching for a great caterer for our brigade and Promotores. Since both these remarkable people come from the Nahuatl community, they guided us through the various villages and helped us recruit the best, most motivated Promotores to serve their people. Yesenia and Ynoscabel went far beyond their job descriptions to make our project sustainable. Thank you both from all of us at Tia!
We are proud to welcome Alexandra Harris to our team! Alex has been a long time volunteer for Tia, helping with envelope stuffing, event coordination, and volunteer recruitment, so she was a natural choice for our part time Administrative Assistant. Alex enjoys practicing her Spanish, visiting her cousins in Central Mexico, dancing, camping and playing with her adorable dog, Rex.
Meet the newly elected Ojuelos de Jalisco Municipal Council Representative (similar to County Board of Supervisors in the U.S.) for the District of La Presa and Tia Promotora, Maria del Patrocinio (Left). She stands here beside her mother, who runs the mini-mercado in La Presa. She did not think to run for office; her neighbors nominated her.
Maria is honest, hard working, and knows the issues that face her community. She was quite surprised to be nominated and protested that she had no political experience, but that is exactly why they wanted her.
Maria del Patrocinio is just one of so many people during our trip in December who asked that we thank our donors in the U.S. for all that you have done for them. Maria grabbed Laura’s hand, pressed it hard, and said, “Tell them how much this changes our lives! Tell them for me, please!”
Juana ((left) next to Paty Garibay) stood out to the PMC brigade as a remarkable student in her promotora classes. Though she lives in a small village miles from El Salvador, Juana walked the distance and arrived on time every day to complete her coursework. The doctors instructing her were amazed at her diligence and perseverance, totally committed to mastering each and every skill.
Quite a spitfire, with moist eyes, Juana grabbed the mic near the end of the graduation ceremony so that she could express gratitude on behalf of the promotoras to Tia, PMC and the Municipality.
Here is Juana with Laura, clutching her book, Donde No Hay Doctor (Where there is no Doctor) and her framed diploma. Right after this photo was taken, Juana explained with tears in her eyes how much Tia’s program will to her small village. Villagers had to walk for hours to see a doctor. Juana is so grateful that she now has the skills and materials needed to care for her neighbors. She told Laura to be sure to thank the donors, who she believes cannot possibly know how life-changing their contributions have been.
Juana is right! Even small donations, to cover the cost of first aid supplies, have a tremendous impact on the lives of these poorest of the poor in rural Mexico.
Tia is greatly indebted to these two incredible women, Patricia Garibay (Tia) and Maurilia Huerta Salas. Maurilia is a natural community leader from La Presa. Though Maurilia has no legs and underdeveloped arms, she completed her high school education and some college courses. She served as a Municipal Council Member, representing the communities in the area.
She is a champion for the surrounding villages and pleaded with PMC to bring Tia’s program to her area. She helped coordinate the living arrangements for the brigade and even helped cook the meals. Maurilia has plans to start a microenterprise foundation in her area.