Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Incremental Change in Mexico

Posted on behalf of Erin Fitzgerald of Children International.

More than a year has passed since I first met the Ponce family in Guadalajara, Mexico. But I can recall the family’s house, the smell of poverty and the sound of suffering like it was yesterday.

When I visited the Ponces, 18 people lived together in a tiny shack with dirt floors and an open fire to cook food. Several family members were plagued with health problems, which only made it more difficult for them to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter for their children. Ana María was pregnant with her fifth child, and life didn’t seem like it could get much worse.

Since we initially reported their story in our Spring 2007 issue of Journeys magazine, several sponsors and donors have sent generous contributions to help the family. With their assistance, Children International was able to provide the family with new clothing, shoes, food, and more.

Earlier this summer, our communications coordinator in Mexico sent an update on the family. Here’s what we have learned:

  • Ana María, her husband and children are now living with her mother-in-law and father-in-law in a two-bedroom house with a concrete floor – a major improvement over the old shack, which had dirt floors and didn’t keep out the rain.

  • The house doesn’t have potable water, but it does have a cistern to accumulate water during the rainy season.

  • Thanks to a donation from Children International, the family cooks with a small electrical stove, a safer method of preparing food than the open fire they once used.

  • Ana María’s baby, Natalia, is now about 8 months old and appears healthy but hasn’t yet received all her vaccines.

  • Celia, Ana María’s mother-in-law, is better able to control her epilepsy because Children International has provided her with needed medicine.

  • Lupita, Celia’s young daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy, received a wheelchair from the municipal government and is expected to undergo therapy. She looks well and has grown.
Many thanks to the sponsors and donors who have helped provide the Ponces with the basic essentials of life that no one should be without. This family is so poor and uneducated that it’s impossible for special donations and sponsorship support to bring about vast improvements immediately. But with contributions over the long-term, little by little their lives will improve. And hopefully when the Ponce children are grown, they’ll have an easier life than their parents.

1 comment:

evergreen3 said...

Thank you for the update. Fortunately the patriarch allowed some improvements in their dire situation from earlier this year. Perhaps with time additional changes will be possible.