Last updateFri, 29 May 2020 1pm

Organizations work to advance local village

The Rotary Club of Ajijic and Butterflies en Mexico (BeM) are working to uplift the village of Hacienda La Labor, located just four kilometers east of Chapala.

With the majority of the young working males and females living in other towns, the ejido (agrarian community) is now mostly inhabited by the elderly and single family homes with young children. BeM has been working for the last three years on a long-term initiative to build capacity in the areas of health, shelter, literacy, nutrition and economic and community development in the village.

BeM has taken two surveys in Hacienda La Labor during the last three years. The first was a needs assessment that found that shelter/warmth, nutrition, medical care and work skills were most important to village members. The second survey consisted of finding 12 areas of capacity building available locally, that were narrowed down to four: textiles, tutoring, providing childcare and small container gardening.

BeM has initiated various projects in the village: one to teach mothers various working skills. It also installed a barter system with donated goods from Costco to exchange for work in the village done for vouchers, which the local residents now manage. And three times a year, classes of six to eight weeks are given in various skills.

Meanwhile, doctors and dentists have checked the villagers. Free lab tests found a high-rate of cancer, most probably due to arsenic levels in the local wells. A physical therapist brought in to check dexterity levels found that many of the residents need glasses and/or eye care in order to use the skills they are learning. There are also problems with sanitation (open sewage), school attendance and various other problems.

Local businesses as partners that have continued to support Butterflies endeavors are Casa Bonita, Manix Restaurant, Costco, Casi Nueva Bazaar, Que Ganga Bazaar, Terry’s Tianguis, Rotary, Dr. Pinto, Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Leon.

BeM Executive Director Bernadine Janzen has opted to continue working with the village for the next five years.

To continue and fortify the work they are doing, BeM has teamed up with Rotary Club of Ajijic President Carole Wolfe to reach a fundraising goal of $US25,000 in order to apply for matching funds from a Rotary Club World Fund Global Grant. So far about one quarter of the funds have been raised.

The two organizations will hold a Rotary Club of Ajijic membership drive/and adopt-a-village Rotary Global Grant fundraiser Saturday, July 20 at a beautiful home in San Juan Cosala. The event is by invitation only. Call for your invitations and directions: 387-761-0360. Van pick-up is available in Ajijic.

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