As a child, did you ever skip a flat stone across a pond, and be fascinated by the ripples? Out they go, spreading far and wide, bouncing off whatever they encounter to make new ripples.
Kindnesses are like that; a helping hand encourages someone in need to keep on trying, eventually succeeding! The kindnesses ripple on to whoever may be part of the family circle; encouragement and hope are wonderfully contagious. Lakeside Presbyterian Church (LPC) has a similar approach, spreading ripples of help and hope wherever they can thrive.
La Zapotera now has a Community Center, which was created from an abandoned jail. More than 100 students receive a healthy breakfast there every school day, resulting in greatly improved grades.
In Mezcala, LPC works with Pastor Leonel from the Iglesia Evangelica de Mezcala, providing funds for the food bank, which is used by the mothers to supply breakfast in his church to the children in Mezcala on their way to school.
A few months ago, LPC outreach discovered Lakeside families with children who had never attended school. These kids don’t know how to read or write, and would never have the opportunity to learn without outside help.
LPC hired a teacher and purchased the necessary materials. Teresa Medina has a Master’s Degree in education, and more than 25 years of teaching experience. Her literacy program is now benefiting ten children between the ages of 7 and 13. These youngsters don’t attend any other school because of their families’ lack of financial resources. In addition to their classes, the children are given a healthy breakfast.
It is LPC’s hope that by giving these kids a chance to learn, they’ll have the opportunity one day to have better employment and change their families’ circumstances.
In Mexico, the dropout rate in public schools is high, as many children must work in order for their families to survive. While public schools are free of charge, uniforms and other expenses are required. These costs can prevent the poorest children from attending. More than 90 percent of children in Mexico attend primary school, but only 62 percent attend secondary school (secundaria), and just 45 percent finish high school (preparatoria).
A group of LPC members started a pilot program at the beginning of the school year to provide school uniforms to 25 children in San Antonio whose families lacked resources to buy them. This group is working on establishing a uniform exchange program to provide for growing children and more students needing this assistance.
Always, more will remain to be done, but there is no limit to what can be accomplished as long as the Lakeside community cares about its neighbors.
Amy Friend, Chapala
I love Melaque and have spent much time there the last 15 years.
In November 2018, I took a water sample a couple of blocks north of the bus terminal. Safe swimming is 200 parts of poop per 100 milliliters water. The testing lab in the United States found the sample to be “greater than 2,420.” So I now know that I have been swimming in untreated sewage.
Note that Cuastecomates is nearby and the water there is clear.
From last week’s edition of the Guadalajara Reporter: “Chapala readies for action against excessive noise.”
Does Chapala Regulations Director Francisco Sandoval really understand the magnitude of the job that he is undertaking. Or, will this be another failed attempt at attempting to reverse Mexican culture?
How many articles were published about the municipal Transito, a department that was created specifically to address the out-of-control double parking on the streets of Chapala? For the most part that has been an embarrassment.
Sandoval should consider all the different sources and contributing factors to noise pollution. So far, every article that has been written ignores one constant source of this. And that is the noise emitted from motor vehicles.
Wake up people. Doesn’t anyone else out there realize just how much everyday noise pollution is the result of unnecessary noise from cars, trucks and motos.
To begin with, a majority of motos operate on the streets without any form of muffler. Why? Because the standard equipment has been removed by the owner. Why? To make more noise. In addition, a majority of cars operate with noise multiplying mufflers – also just to make more noise.
And everyone seems to ignore the heavy trucks and semis that operate without mufflers, as well as with their engine and Jake brakes, engaged – all the time. This is a simple one. You just turn the switch off. If the Chapala administration, especially Director Sandoval, doesn’t understand what this piece of equipment is, then get educated.
When you allow the people to set the rules, to establish their own guidelines or no guidelines, what is the realistic outlook for any kind of change?
The administrations of every city and town, past and present, have created the culture they are now trying to change.