Sunday, July 24, 2011

Palomas: The short- and the long-term picture

Summer Feeding Program
We have blogged about two organizations meeting the needs of the community of Palomas in Chihuahua, just across the border from Columbus, N.M. These efforts help the entire community, but the focus is on children and youth.

Palomas Outreach
Victoria Tester from Palomas Outreach offers this update about a summer feeding program that we blogged about a couple of weeks ago.
The Palomas Outreach child summer meal program goes into its fifth week today (July 18), thanks to the generosity and hard work of those on the U.S. side of the border that make it possible, and the hard work of Maria Sanchez Smith who is transporting the meals across the border and heading the distribution, aided by the wonderful Palomas Outreach and community volunteers on the Mexico side.

Between 400 and 500 children a day are served. The children are so thrilled to see the lunch truck arrive, where the meals are distributed in the Main Plaza! For many of these children, this is their only daily food.

Palomas Outreach director Esperanza Lozoya and community volunteers report widespread signs of malnutrition in the children. The three attached photographs were take during a child summer meal distribution in June.

The last day for this wonderful summer meal program is July 29th.
Please continue to aid the children of Palomas by supporting the Palomas Outreach monthly family food distributions. In both May and again June, an estimated fifteen pounds of dry and canned food was distributed to over 350 families each. We are still working on amassing food for a hoped-for July distribution. Please talk to your family, your church, your workplace, your community, and help us help the children of Palomas in any way you can. Diaz Farms in Deming takes orders of 100 lbs. of bulk grade beans for 22 dollars a bag to be picked up by Victoria Tester for the Palomas Outreach.
Stay tuned for news of the August 6, 10 to Noon Musical benefit in Bayard at A.I.R. Coffee Co. on behalf of the children of Palomas.
Our deepest thanks for your prayers and all you are doing to aid this work!
Palomas Education Center
Border Partners
Polly Edmunds from Border Partners offers this update on some long-term efforts in Palomas:
Greetings from the border! We want to fill you in on what we've been doing the last months. With your help and support, there are now:
  • TWO improved parks in Palomas
  • Plans for on-going education program coming to fruition
  • Beautiful gardens growing
  • Exciting summer plans
Together, we're creating a model for improving life in communities on the US-Mexico border by promoting cooperative efforts and sharing resources.

Border Partners has always wanted to start offering classes in Palomas. So many people had to quit school or were unable to get the training and skills they need. Now it looks like people in town are taking that dream and running with it! When they heard that Border Partners could help with getting some materials and donated computers, they formed a committee to find teachers and students.

Now town officials have offered to loan us a building to hold classes! It needs some renovations, so we’re seeking funding. But it looks like this will soon be a dream-come-true!

Moving forward in the coming months, we've got on the agenda that we'll
  • organize kids' soccer teams and exercise class,
  • continue Marisol's aerobics classes,
  • make regular visits to the gardens and solar cookers,
  • build another climber at the South Park with the neighborhood women.
Read Border Partners newsletter on a browser.

Here is contact information for you to help. (Unfortunately, the Web sites for both organizations are not working at present).

Border Partners
406 S. Granite St.
Deming, NM 88030
Tel: 575/546-1083

Palomas Outreach
c/o Victoria Tester at 575 536-9726

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