What the need is:
Chicxulub is a comisaria of Progreso and receives funding for its programs from Progreso. There is a huge need to assist people suffering from many forms of poverty.
We work on the following premise: to provide food to the families identified, in a respectful manner while ensuring donations are used wisely, with no affiliation to the church or government.
We began November 15, 2005 with our first despensa to 50 families while having a waiting list with over 300 names.
The response from the foreign community has been overwhelming and has helped reach the first goal of providing 50 families with one despensa every month for one year. With this support, the number of families receiving despensas increased by 25 in November 2006.
In the village of Chicxulub, there are about 5000 people. The main industry is fishing. Of course, this work is at the mercy of the weather and between the hurricane and the norte seasons, the port is often closed, so there is no opportunity to go fishing.
We have families who have limited resources to care for their families. We also have elderly people who rely on their children to care for them and help them on a day-to-day basis.
With this background information I set about looking at how I might help alleviate this situation in some small way.
The school age children in the afternoon program suffer from a higher incidence of poverty compared to children in the morning program. In speaking to a teacher at the Andreas Quintana Roo elementary public school, I heard some very sad stories: how children come to school in clothes too small for them and shoes that are falling apart with empty stomachs.
I wondered how these children, the future of the country, can learn when basic needs that we take for granted, are not met.
The idea of a “soup kitchen” came to mind but seemed too labour intensive so I thought of a Food Bank. I tossed the idea around with some people, both local and foreign, and it seemed like a feasible plan.
In the summer of 2005, a respected woman in the local community got together with the health nurse and developed a list identifying 50 families who were at high risk and needed help. This was not an easy thing to do, but they did it and on my return in September 2005 I had the first families for the Food Bank.
Each family was visited and basic information gathered. It was a humbling experience to visit the families in their homes and see how they were coping. It was a further step to reinforce the idea of a Food Bank for the people of Chicxulub.
The staples were chosen, the best prices were sought out and the structure began to take place.