Team 50 spent its first full day in Juchitan today, and what a day it was! We got to see three of our programs here: the Pimpollo Home for Children, the Disabled Home, and Casa Isabel. Here are some photos and an update from each one:
The Pimpollo Home for Children is where Friends of Pimpollo began twelve years ago, and it was great to go back and see some friendly faces. We didn’t see all of them because some of the kids were at school, but we are looking forward to getting a full update and passing that information and some new photos on to our child sponsors. Thanks to you, these kids are doing great!
We did see the little babies, though, and a few former Pimpollas who currently work part-time at Pimpollo or live their with their children. John was especially pleased to see Sara and Ellie, who were both raised at Pimpollo and have been very close to John for many years. We also got to meet their children- Diego, Alejandro, and two new babies. Despite the number of kids at school, there were an awful lot of little ones running around, and we had a great time on the swings and walking with them and dancing to the radio. Saludos from Luis Carlos, Guadalupe, Dulce, Issac, Juan de Dios, and all the rest!
After lunch, we went to the Home for the Disabled Children, where Betty takes care of 8 former Pimpollos. This is a relatively new project for us, and seeing it running smoothly and with so much evident love was fantastic. As we drove up, Julie was hiding in the car. We tried to tell the kids that she hadn’t come, but when they peered through the window and saw her, their faces lit up with joy. “Julia, Julia! Mi amiga, Julia!” they called. For the rest of the afternoon, we ate ice cream with them, walked up and down the porch with them, sang songs with them, and drew pictures with them. It was a lovely afternoon of not worrying about Doing anything in particular. We spent our time just Being with them, and it felt great.
We had dinner at Casa Isabel, with Kristin Lietz, who has been involved with us for many years. Kristin now runs a home for girls in Juchitan, which has grown over the last six years and currently helps 15 girls to go to school, do service, and grow spiritually and emotionally. We saw the three students that Friends of Pimpollo is sponsoring, who are pictured below. We also had dinner with the rest of the girls and heard about what they are doing. Kristin requires each of her girls to participate in a service project, so in addition to studying Human Rights or Nursing or Information Technology, these girls have created and are running a project using day-old bread from the local store. They take the bread to the railroad tracks and throw it up to the immigrants who are riding the train. They also take it to a Center for Migrant Workers and to the hospital to feed people in the waiting room. The girls were very animated about their project, and it’s clear that Casa Isabel is fostering intelligent young people who are willing to give back to their community. We are proud to support them!
As you can see, we had a very busy Tuesday but a very good one. We’ll have more Pimpollo images for you tomorrow after we spend more time there and have dinner with another recent grad, Araceli. Adios for now!