Care for Kids La Paz Newsletter January, 2010
From the President's Desk
The Face of Angels: Profiles of Children of
South America is a place of extremes. From the lush rainforests and towering
waterfalls in Argentina to the jagged snow-capped spires of the Andes
mountains in Chile. From the fjords of the Magellan Strait and the penguin
colonies in the Falkland Islands to the passionate tango parlours in Buenos
Aires. This exotic and magical region of the world, whether you are sailing
around the magnificent coastline of Cape Horn, exploring the cascading
Iguazu falls in the jungles of Argentina, watching the changing of the guard
in the old section of Lima, Peru, or peering deep into the volcanoes in
Nicaragua, you will never forget this vibrant continent where every location
has a beauty of its own.
The six weeks I was away visiting 10 countries was an incredible journey, a
dream finally realized. I returned to La Paz refreshed and rejuvenated with
over 1100 photos to forever enchant me.
Before I left for the trip, I arranged everything - from the food to the gifts -
for the children's annual Christmas fiesta. Unfortunately, some of the
presents didn't arrive on time because, as a friend explained, "Santa had a
problem ascertaining certain asset acquisitions because of the current global
meltdown of the economy." Translated, one of Santa's helpers didn't follow
through with his commitment to find fifty people to sponsor gifts.
When I returned in January, I was deluged with sad kids who didn't get their
Christmas presents. Luckily, it was the perfect time to buy gifts from stores
whose shelves were still stocked with a good choice of toys and board games
at sale prices. It was a win-win situation for both the kids and the charity.
A big thank you to Miguel Angel Cornejo Sandoval for supplying the
'bolis' (frozen fruit flavoured treat), Betty O'Neill and her friends in California
for buying fifty Christmas gifts for the children, Terry Carpenter and Miguel
Rios (an excellent car mechanic who's relocated to La Paz) for their time and
effort in driving down the gifts, Susu Sanders and friends in La Paz for buying
another fifty, Care for Kids La Paz for buying the rest and finally to all our
volunteers who made the fiesta such a success. I hope you all know how
much you are appreciated. Brandon Chicalgua Romero - 11 years
We also distributed 40 'despensas' (food supplies) filled with oil, beans, rice, Brandon is a young boy with his two feet on the ground.
canned tuna, milk, juice, cookies, sugar, pasta, oatmeal, mayonnaise and He's affectionate, responsible and intelligent. Despite his
flour to all the mothers who help with our breakfast program as well as other circumstances living in a one-room home with his parents
families with very limited incomes. God bless all of you who are touched by and five other siblings without electricity, running water or
our charity. Your support has made a significant impact on Vista Hermosa by sewage, he has an expressive face that shines and
bringing hope to many of our families. transmits happiness. There is no end of love in this family.
Our charity has one more thing to celebrate. As you know, we serve Q: Tell me a little about school. What grade are you in?
breakfast in a breezy open air setting. The tables are set up in the pebbled A: Five.
driveway of one of the homes of the women who has generously offered this
space to us. Good thing it rarely rains here. Q: Did you miss a year? Were you not able to go to school
A few years back, the missionary priests of the order of St. Daniel Comboni A: (From his mother) We were living in Veracruz (a city on
bought a small piece of land with plans to build a multi-purpose building with the Mexican mainland) and we heard from the owner that
a chapel, rooms for catechism classes and a kitchen and eating area for our there was good work in the fields outside of Todos Santos
breakfast program. However, there was never enough money to begin (south of La Paz), that we would live a better life and we'd
construction. When I returned to La Paz, I was surprised to see that the make a good living. He lied to us. They exploited us and
construction had begun. It was even more of a shock when the supervisor treated us like slaves. Everyone in the family had to work,
told me that he thinks the building will be completed in two months! even our kids. If they didn't work, we'd have to leave. A
Seriously, a project of this size to be completed in two months...in La Paz? teacher came to the camp to help the students but
No errors in construction? No collision of angles? The rule of thumb is to take Brandon didn't go to school. We stayed for five years. We
the estimated time and double it. I'm going to triple it. I can hope for two wanted to leave but living in La Paz was too expensive and
months but I'm definitely not betting the farm on this one or am I picking up we had no work. Then an owner of a car wash in La Paz
the phone right now to call the movers. Tune in next newsletter for an where my husband now works came to the camps and
update. offered us work. We wanted the children to go to school
and it was our way out. We lived at his place until we
God bless. found this piece of land two years ago. I'm so grateful to
Barbara have this place.
Q: Brandon, what was that time like for you? What did you
The Face of Angels: Profiles of Children of Vista Hermosa
think of the camps?
Heather and Bill's Caramel Popcorn
A: I didn't like it because they demanded a lot, I had to
How Can You Help? carry tomatoes, and they made me work. If I didn't work,
they would make my parents leave.
Heather and Bill's Caramel Popcorn
Hands down, Q: How are you doing in school?
Heather makes A: Good. I have a 10 in Math, art and phys.ed; 9 in
the best toffee. Spanish; and 8 in natural science. Math is my favourite
She, her subject.
and two children Q: Do you have any idea what you'd like to do when you
arrived in La Paz finish school?
at the beginning A: I want to be an architect, maybe build houses. I like to
of January for a draw. I draw buildings, two-storey houses with pools and I
month's like to imagine I live there. Someone gave me Lego's and I
vacation. used to make towers, animals, big buildings and chimneys.
been teaching a
mutual friend, Q: You work with your dad on the weekends at the car
Bill, how to wash. What do you do there?
make some of A: I wash cars, I vacuum them, and spray perfume inside.
her toffee I like doing this because it's simple work, it's not heavy. I
because his goal get paid, too. My dad shares some of his money with me.
was to raise ( His dad makes 25 pesos or $2.00 US a car and Brandon
money for gets a small portion)
charities by selling it. As the toffee ingredients turned out to be quite
expensive, they decided to switch gears. Heather taught Bill how to make Q: What do you do with the money you make?
caramel popcorn. He enjoyed it so much he filled 100 small baggies for A: I go to the market and buy meat and vegetables to
Heather to give to the breakfast kids on their way to school one morning. The bring home. The rest I give to my mom for school
photo is of Heather with some of the children. Bill wasn't able to make it that expenses for my sisters and me. I bought these tennies
morning but those who know him know how generous a heart he has and but most of the time I use the money for my family.
what a kind individual he is. And if you want some to-die-for toffee, check
out Heather's website at www.heatherstoffee.com. Q: When you aren't going to school and aren't working,
what do you do in your spare time?
How Can You Help? A: I help clean the house, wash dishes, or help with
Please cooking. Sometimes I draw. (From his mother) I have a lot
remember to of pain in my back, so 3-4 times a week Brandon cooks for
use the search the kids. He makes soup, rice and beans.
GoodSearch.com Q: Brandon, do you like to cook? Out of 10, what would
and you give it?
GoodShop.com A: Five.
so that our
charity can earn Q: You have a big responsibility taking care of the house,
money every cooking, and working. If you didn't have to do any of these
time you search things, what would you do?
the internet or A: Rest! And then I'd go downtown and look around. I like
shop on-line. Go to look in the store windows. Then I'd go to the Malecon
to their website (beachside boardwalk) and eat ice-cream or pizza. I've
and select Care been dreaming of pizza since last week. A pizza with ham
for Kids La Paz and sausage. (big smile)
(Dilworth, MN) as your designated charity. It doesn't cost users a thing and
those pennies can really add up! Q: Do you like living here in this community?
A: Yes, because it's not like before. We don't have to pay
bills here for electricity and we can buy things that we
need with the little money we have.
Q: How would you define poverty?
A: When you don't have anything to do, there's no work
Central Comerical Californiano (CCC), a large La Paz supermarket, has a
and you don't have clothing.
points system whereby the points can be traded in for food. The more points
cards used, the more points our charity accumulates, the more food we can
Q: What do you think is the key to get out of poverty?
buy without a cost. Please call me at 125-3980 if you would consider using
A: To work, keep going, education. Education is important
one of our cards.
because you learn to respect other people.
Help spread the word about Care for Kids La Paz. Do you belong to a group
Q: If you were the President of Mexico, what would you
or a school who would like to hear more about us? We'd love to come and
talk about our work. Better yet. Visit us in beautiful La Paz and you can give
A: I'd give the people more food, scholarships and a good
your own presentation.
If you have any children's books in Spanish you'd like to donate, please
Q: What do you think of the breakfast program?
contact me at: email@example.com
A: It's a good thing because it's helping to feed the kids.
Many kids lack food.
There are a number of students with good grades who would like to have a
scholarship. If you would like to share in a special relationship with a student
Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to the readers of this
and their family, please drop me a line for more details at
A: Thanks so much for helping and for the things we are
If you're travelling to La Paz, please keep a little space in your luggage for
books, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pencils and children's vitamins.
Please keep our charity in your prayers! Quick Links...
May your hearts be continually filled with the love and peace of God. Care for Kids La Paz website