A Miracle in San Miguel de Allende
Something highly unusual is happening. My good friend, Lalo, former waiter at Tacos Don Felix, drove me into some of the poorest colonias in San Miguel de Allende: Olimpo, Santa Rosa, Ejido, and Luis Donaldo Colosio.
Soon, we began handing out staples directly into the hands of the hungry, los hambrientos in their homes. No organization, no administration fees. Sincere eye contact and conversation with the adults. Light-hearted play with the kids. A visit––not just a delivery. I also do a discreeet, informal triage since I am there anyway. I check for mental or mood issues and do my best to keep an eye out for signs of starvation, especially in the young.
A Second Miracle at My Window
Another miracle is brewing at home. The windows of my casa open onto the sidewalk, so, I’m use, to neighbors, sellers, and whom call silent people––those desperate for food.The meek. So now, I’m able to deliver food and triage right through my window!
As head of a homeless veterans program in New Orleans, I was often in direct contact with street people. I’ve also worked with children in the poorest neighborhoods of New Orleans, including the infamous Ninth Ward. These experiences make it easier to discern and interact with the destitute here in San Miguel de Allende.
Ways to Help
We will continue giving out staples in person in the colonias. If you’re local and wish to contribute food, contact me. We accept dry goods such as beans and rice and eggs in cartons. Maybe some semi-healthy treats in containers. When you’re down and out, a surprise treat goes a long way. I’d love to see this grow into many people doing the same independently.
If you'd like to contribute services, you can take part in the deliveries, shopping for goods, driving, or something else, let me know.
If you want to contribute dineros, I've created a super simple PayPal pool called La Madrina, the Godmother; Because Hunger Hurts. Don't need a Pay Pal account. Small fee.
(In Pay Pal, for English, scroll to bottom right of page.)
Every peso goes for food.
Muchas gracias de mi corazón a la tuya. Thank you from my heart to yours.
Because hunger hurts.
San Miguel de Allende,
Another day, a young mother, delirious, possibly catatonic, came to my window to sell flowers. Her face was expressionless and her eyes vacant. She wasn't in some far-off land or in an ad, where the lion’s share of donations goes to administration. I turned to my collection of donated food and gave her a bolsa, bag, with beans and rice. Since she was so depleted, I also gave her a dozen eggs. Her little boy hovered nearby, so I offered a couple of cookies to both of them. She came by today with more flowers and my bag. Her face and eyes had life in them as she smiled shyly and thanked me. She didn’t ask for anything more.
Food, not Pesos
One day, a middle-aged man and an old woman came to my window. He made the sign for I’m hungry. Instead of giving him pesos, I went to my food stash and filled a bag. When I extended it to him, he looked surprised, then disappointed. He wanted pesos. But the old lady glanced up, then smiled as she extended her hands for the provisions. He clearly wanted pesos, not food. So, it’s with that kind of discernment that I offer help.
Victims of Isolation; A New Face of Hunger
A woman with her 14-year-old son came to the window selling donuts. I knew immediately they weren’t street people. The son had a modern haircut and their clothes were not worn. Both of them spoke English since they had recently moved to San Miguel from the States. Soon after arriving isolation began. Now, they are reduced to selling door to door, With no money to pay the water bill, the toilets are not working. She told me they use plastic bags in the bathroom to relieve themselves. But, help is on the way from La Madrina.
In Santa Cruz de la Paz, an adolescent girl plays a violin. She was given the instrument, hand-made by someone locally. In one month's time, without lessons, she was playing musical phrases. The little boy and his puppy did not frolic the whole time we were there––possibly because of hunger or even depression. But, when he saw the beans and rice, he perked up, and his face lit up.