ACTIVITIES OF VIVIR JOVEN 2009
Presented by Juan Manuel Perez Martinez, Director of Vivir Joven, A.C.
(translated by Morgan Zo-Callahan)
We would like to thank all those who have generously supported our institute, both morally and financially. This has enabled us to carry on with our activities and to grow into 2010. We would not be able to serve our less fortunate brothers and sisters without your help. Our goal is to empower those who come to us become independent and strong as well as learn and benefit from being in a community where we help and learn from each other. We are partners with you in the effort to improve the lives of the most needy in our region of Veracruz, Mexico. We deeply appreciate any financial support you might send us and assure you that we will do our very best to use any donations wisely, as well as compassionately. We particularly want to thank West Coast Companions for its ongoing annual donation to our organization.
We have prioritized our services. We have shut our offices due to the worldwide economic crisis, but continue all the activities planned for this year in Orizaba, Veracruz & in the mountains of Zogolica, Veracruz. We have activities at schools & church centers & go out to meet the people directly where they live.
l. Service to Parents & Families in the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel
Every Friday from 4:00 to 4:30 & every Saturday from 10 to 11:30, we teach a group of parents about healthy family life & human rights. We’ve done this for six years. The parents go to the cathedral for catechism and we add our workshops about the values of family life and how to communicate well within the family. We encourage the families to know their human rights and to realize the value of organizing around what means the most to these families.
We’ve seen positive results: more harmony in the families we come to know, more education for children through high school years.
The parents & volunteers help us in the collection of food and basic domestic supplies, as well as sweaters and jackets for the cold season. Our collections go to Casa Hogar Franciscano, which distributes what we’ve collected to those in most need.
We’ve continued to provide school supplies.
2. Workshops of Desarrollo Humano (Human Growth & Personal Development) in Mariano Escobedo, Veracruz and in the Chapel of Chicola
Acknowledging our work in the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel, we’ve been invited to give workshops for 60 mothers of families on the last Saturday of every month from 5:00 to 7:30 in Mariano Escobedo. Most of the fathers of these families are in the United States. At our workshops, we teach, support and encourage these mothers who want to grow both as individuals and as parents.
At 7:30, we go to the Chapel of Chicola to give workshops to 50 couples who are preparing for First Communion or Confirmation at the church. Our workshops include such themes as Self Esteem, Communication, Solidarity, Human Rights, Community Organizing.
3. Supplying Roofing Materials (Lamina) for Poor Families in Rafael Delgado, Veracruz, Zongolica Mountains
This year we been able to help indigenous families with 50% discounted roofing materials in the mountains of Zongolica. We’ve teamed with the government of the state of Veracruz to make this discount possible. This is particularly important during the rainy & cold season, which begins in November. This program continues to grow. Zinc laminas are 3.06 meters long and 90 centimeters wide. We’ve provided 50 families with packages of 10 laminas each for the rainy season of 2009.
4. Organizing Workshops for Teens in the City of Tequila in the Zongolica Mountains
in August of 2009, we’ve been working with 16
university students who originally came from this area to serve the
Tequila, which is very poor in several areas: economic, labor,
health, living conditions & human rights.
Entire families from Tequila have left for the city of Orizaba for small jobs; some families go for short times to the city to collect clothes, shoes or money to care for their children; some bring crafts/small items into the city to sell. Many adult men try their luck in the United States, very often leaving their families to fend for themselves as they find it difficult to send money back to Tequila to help their families economically.
There is little work in Tequila and the salaries are very low. Unfortunately, this particular mountainous land is not very good for growing crops.
We are giving workshops and talks on an ongoing basis. We, along with the group of 16 university students, are enthused to be serving the indigenous people of Tequila.
Our goals are:
a. to create in 2010 a civil association committed to community organizing
b. To create economic projects where families can organize more efficiently their production of products such as crafts, clothes, sandals, etc.
c. To continue with the surveys, which we are doing, to stay sensitive to the most pressing needs of the community.
d. To continue to identify leaders in the community to implement projects of community organizing which meet needs & economic improvement.
5. Counseling at Centro Luz Marina
Centro Luz Marina is a center, which principally serves indigenous women who have been abused. Its director is a nun from Spain. We provide a professional counselor once a week to support this principal work and also to counsel the relatively small number of men who come to the center for therapeutic help. Usually the counseling is offered for a 4 to 6 month period.
Vivir Joven is grateful for your financial assistance. For more information please contact Juan Manuel Perez Martinez: . (phone: 272 1313734)
Tax-free donations may also be
made through WCCI, an
organization of former Jesuits. Checks, which should indicate
that they are intended for the work of Vivir Joven, may be sent to Dave
Van Etten, the treasurer of WCCI at 702 Cree Drive, San Jose, CA, 95123.