One of the best things that happened when I recently returned to Puerto Vallarta for a short holiday visit was hearing about and witnessing some of the tremendous efforts that are still taking place regularly to help keep poor people fed and healthy. New Beginnings Mexico, our Canadian partner organization, is still putting together and distributing despensas (bags of food and cleaning supplies) for about 200 families living in the communities near the old dump. At La Escuelita, the children are given a healthy meal each time they come for educational support. Families and staff connected to Pasitos de Luz are also receiving despensas regularly; plus some physical therapy support is now being provided at that amazing center for children with severe handicapping conditions.
My “beach buddy”, Terry Daniel, and some of her friends have been the food angels for families living and working in Mismaloya since April. Mismaloya is a small fishing village about 20 minutes south of the Old Town area of PV with a beautiful little bay and beach area which normally attracts national and foreign tourists for boat excursions, snorkeling, or a day of relaxation while eating, drinking, and playing in the ocean. When the beaches were closed and all fishing/boating was halted at the beginning of the pandemic, it was devastating for the people living and working in this area. NO TOURISTS meant no income for beach restaurants, whose employees normally survive only on tips. It meant no sales for the many beach vendors who diligently walk the beach area attempting to sell their rugs, blankets, hats, sunglasses, jewelry, and other tourist type trinkets. No boats went out to bring in fresh fish. The zoo and most of the small neighborhood businesses were closed.
Terry and her husband, Lee, who live in Mismaloya full time, saw the issues and the immediate need for food, and jumped in with the help of some friends and generous donors. Since April this group of angels has been giving out despensas (at least one a month) to about 200 families. They include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits purchased from local markets; along with beans, rice, pasta, oil, and other supplies necessary for a healthy diet.
Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation is proud to announce that we have now added our support to this effort. I was able to participate personally in one of their distribution days, and it was heartwarming and fulfilling to see the smiles and hear the continual words of gratitude expressed by the recipients.
Life is far from normal even now for these people in need and likely will not be anytime soon. High Season is very low this year. The tourists are not coming as they have before. PLEASE help us to insure that the families and children in Mismaloya have food during these difficult times by sending a donation right away to CSHF marked to “Project Feed Mismaloya”.