Archive for November, 2008



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White cross

Chapel in a cemetary in Bernal

Walking home last night, we stopped in the jardin. It’s decorated in white lights and Christmas scenes. Every seat was taken and the night seemed friendly, almost celebratory. Friday night tends to raise energy levels while people parade around the square. But I think the lights created the festive mood.

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Atotonilco Series :: 03


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I’m thankful for…



I’m grateful for the American language students who volunteer their afternoons at Buen Pastor. Each afternoon, they spend two hours helping the girls with their homework. 


It’s given the girls role models and made a world of difference in their grades as they’re invested in them now. It’s also channeled their excess energy Saloninto homework and positive relationships with these students who care about them. Overall, there’s a spirit of cooperation that fosters direction, hope, friendship, and pride. For this, I am thankful.

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3 kinds of violence

Maria with her books doing homework

Yesterday was International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  F and I had planned to go to Buen Pastor to drop off some baby clothes and pay the madres and girls a visit.

On the way to the bus station, on the Road of Devastation, we witnessed a girl fight.  As we approached two women, they broke into a fight, pulling hair and hissing at one another.  The men with shovels put their shovels down to watch.  The men in the bulldozers stopped as well.  I noticed they were all laughing.  Women fighting amuses them.  I wondered why that is?  Why is it when men fight, everyone takes it seriously?  When women fight, it’s funny.  I asked F what his opinion was, and he said that men often kill each other.  Unsatisfied with that answer, I still haven’t been able to come up with my own.

We spent a lot of time at Buen Pastor.  I’m continually impressed with all the work the madres do.  The girls are thriving.  The women in the shelter look healthy, safe, and happy.  Madre Lourdes looks tired.  She took me aside and told me that it was International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I told her I knew.  She told me that one day, she’s going to carefully plan her words and tell the government that constantly sending more girls and women to the convent without any support for them or for the madres who take care of them is a form of violence.  

On the busride home, I listened to the driver telling his passenger-friend a story.  The driver use to drive a taxi.  One night, around one or two in the morning, he saw a man beating a woman.  As she laid on the ground, he kicked her.  The driver pulled up in front of the couple and turned his brights on which caused the abuser to flee.  He then got out and tried to help the woman into the cab.  Moments later, the attacker was pointing a gun at him and telling him not to interfere.  Given very little choice, the driver left.  However, he returned moments later to see if the woman was ok, and the couple was walking and holding hands as if nothing had occured. As if this wasn’t disturbing enough, the driver and his passenger-friend had a good laugh. Mujeres.

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Atotonilco Series :: 02

Atotonilco on a sunny day

Click here for Atotonilco on a sunny day in black & white.

IREE, a school for deaf children in SMA, risks closure. This short, informational video talks about the school and the students. I especially appreciate how many of the mothers attend school with their children to volunteer and that the school has become a second home for the children.

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Atotonilco Series :: 01


Click here for Atotonilco exterior in color.

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