Javier González and Martha Boniila, proprietors of Ajijic’s La Bodega Restaurant, are an example of humanitarian spirit that has blossomed during the economic crisis hitting lakeside as a side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The couple closed shop two months ago. After a couple of weeks spent on maintenance tasks, they decided to reactivate their business as a community soup kitchen to help out villagers who were having trouble putting meals on their tables.
They called their kitchen staff back to work, with son Diego moving back home from Guadalajara to assist in management. The local church helped them locate families in need to be registered in a numbered control system.
Six weeks after opening, La Bodega’s Manitos Ayudando (Helping Hands) program now dishes out nutritious meals to feed up to 700 persons every day. Recipients are required to safe distance and wear face covers while standing in line, and bring their own containers to carry away their “daily bread.”
The project is funded by private donors, with local suppliers providing ingredients at rock bottom prices. It takes 500 pesos to feed each person for an entire month. Donations may be delivered any day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or slipped under La Bodega’s front door at any time.