Last week I was fortunate enough to visit a really small town in Jalisco, Mexico called Sayula about an hour and a half away from Guadalajara. My purpose for this trip was to visit a relatively new non-profit organization C.H. Mi Pequeña Familia which has been opened for almost 6 years now with the soul purpose of providing protection and a second chance to kids that have been living in very poor and unfortunate conditions. In this visit I realized how much they really do for these wonderful kids that have so much potential in life.
To give you some background on this project, I can say that first of all this non-profit organization was founded by a very close friend of mine with a huge vision Bettzy de la Vara Bustamante in hopes of making a big difference one kid at a time. Her vision is to protect the kids by giving them a “normal yet healthy home” but most importantly work on their inner peace and mentality while educating them on morals and guiding them through spiritually. These kids have gone through so much pain and suffering and she finds it most important to work on their inner growth until they are capable of being placed at a permanent and loving home where they can easily be incorporated in the family.
Late last year, she was given the means to open a second home which was necessary to be able to separate the young kids with the now teens who she started this project with 6 years ago. In these homes, she just receives boys from 3-13 years of age that have been abandoned, abused or beaten. She gives them the opportunity to stay indefinitely since her and her team strive to work on their formation until they are capable of living independently whether it’s with a job profession or some kind of mission in life.
Upon my arrival in Sayula, I realized how small the town really was, you could probably take a tour of the entire town in 10 minutes. But after hearing so many wonderful things about this project I had to go and experience it for myself. Sometimes just hearing about it is not enough and seeing this project up close is exactly what I was there to do. I needed to live it!
I was immediately taken away by the warm welcome I received as soon as those doors opened at the home. All the boys came running to introduce themselves and gave me a hug and kiss hello. That was very sweet! Almost instantaneously, I felt a comfortable and peaceful vibe.
Quickly looking around trying to take it all in and grateful that I was finally able to make this overdue visit. I couldn’t help but realize the vibrant colors, the plants, the cute chapel and the overall cleanliness of the entire place.
After our friendly hellos and being thrilled for seeing her family again, they took me on a house tour. At a quick glance, their living room, T.V. room and dinning area seemed spotless, unlike a typical home full of kids. I noticed a wall full of stamped hands which signifies the hand of every kid that arrives into the home. The small details really catched my eye. The wooden picture frame in the shape of a ferries-wheel displaying photos of the kids. The beautiful leaves that grow on their palm trees, which her brother Ramon creates them into pieces of art that add to the house décor.
Each bedroom with their tidy bunk-beds and organized dressers. Some beds had a cute stuffed animal by their pillow. I couldn’t help but wonder… did my dresser look like this when I was growing up?
All these details play a big part in differentiating themselves with other homes where their living areas may not look as tidy and kid friendly as these.
After the tour, came time for prayer, something that they do everyday with the purpose of awakening that faith and hope that they once had and lost or has never existed within them.
Right after, I followed them to their playground and I was snapping shots like a paparazzi which they didn’t seem to mind. I heard their little voices calling out: “Aunt Lizanna, take a picture of me!”
As in some homes, after a little fun came time for dinner and chores. Each kid followed their weekly chart and helped with the different chores like setting up the table and even helping with food preparation like Luis, shown in the photo above, he wants to be a Chef and loves showing his cooking skills during dinner time.
They were certainly always camera ready.
Homework time seemed painless. Most of the kids only needed guidance at the end. One kid in particular asked me for help with his English homework which honestly I was relived with the fact that it was not math or anything of that sort. I must say that many of these kids were brilliant, I was able to see some of their report cards and they were honor roll quality.
Something I found to be very creative was that depending on the day, they either had movie night where they could pick two snacks from their allowance (given to some from sponsors) or they had game night which typically involved the Wii.
Bettzy and her family continue to amaze me. They have come together with unity, strength and humbleness where everyday LOVE is what drives them and GOD pushes them forward. I thank them for making me feel so very welcomed at their homes and know that I took so much more than just an experience.
With LOVE and HOPE, Lizanna Pompa
P.s. I couldn’t forget about Fiona, their mascot, how cute is she?
To request information on how you can also help this organization or to sponsor a kid, please visit C.H. Mi Pequeña Familia on FaceBook or email Bettzy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can help make a difference!
Sending a quick HELLO to all since I have been MIA lately. Not to worry I am back and ready to begin posting new and delicious recipes, soon!