By Victoria Tester
La Luz de La Esperanza Palomas Outreach, operating inside the border town of Palomas on Buenaventura street for the past seven years, is collecting food donations to spread joy in Palomas during this Christmas holiday season.
We especially hope for the essential non-perishable ingredients for the traditional Christmas tamales and for posole: masa harina (flour for tamales), dried corn husks, lard or shortening, canned hominy, garlic, and whole or powdered mild or medium red chile.
We also need empty piñatas, which are traditionally filled with candy and broken open by the children on Christmas Eve, and we need bags of candy to fill them.
The Palomas Outreach works closely, without discrimination, with a large number of families with proven need, and we find that need athis winter mong families in Palomas during Mexico’s humanitarian crisis remains dire.
During the 2010 summer, with New Mexico’s and El Paso’s generous donations, the work of the Palomas Outreach made a real difference in the lives of suffering families in Palomas, as we operated a summer lunch program for 1,000-1,500 children, continued our daily meal program for seniors and the disabled, distributed thousands of pounds of food weekly to destitute families with no other resources during these hard times in Mexico, and extended the Palomas Child Education Project.
But winter food donations are now at a low. Please do come forward to share non-perishable food in whatever way you can this holiday season. Over 350 Palomas families of demonstrated need are registered with the Outreach.
Where to Drop Off Donations
The Palomas Outreach bright red barrels are at both Food Baskets in Silver City and Bayard, and at Snappy Mart on Pine in Deming, and also at Diaz Farms, or call 575-536-9726 to schedule pickup of a larger non-perishable food donation.
Larger donations of non-perishable food can also be dropped off for the Palomas Outreach at Diaz Farms in Deming.
La Luz de la Esperanza Palomas Outreach, founded and directed by Esperanza Lozoya, operates under the umbrella of the Andrew Sanchez Youth Center in Columbus, New Mexico, whose director Guadalupe Otero, Lozoya’s sister, won a 2003 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award. The Andrew Sanchez Youth Center is named for Lozoya and Otero’s father, an inspired Mexican-American social worker whose ideas and example profoundly influenced his daughters’ lives
(The author is a U.S. coordinator for the Palomas Outreach. For more information about the holiday food drive or if you would like to help, call her at 575-536-9726, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org,. Checks or other monetary donations may be made out to: La Luz de La Esperanza, P.O. Box 38, Columbus, NM 88029)