Our activities in 2017 started small and remained so until past mid-year due to ongoing weak finances and because of health and family problems in our small team. For the first seven months of the year, our activities were limited to small relief measures (medication, special mattresses and seat cushions for Tepexpan, repairs to the electric wheelchairs, and support for the student nurse Rocío, who completed her training with distinction).
But then August came with a pleasant surprise — a generous donation from the pro interplast Seligenstadt Foundation [arranged by our old acquaintance and patron, Mr. Kühner] enabled us to provide valuable help to a number of people in the second half of the year. In the Tepexpan hospital, which we have been supporting for many years, we were able to provide various disabled people with urgently needed medication and make grants for a hip prosthesis, dental treatment, and hearing aids for a severely hearing-impaired person, in addition to special mattresses and cushions for bedsores.
As part of our Corre Coyote project, we were able to send fleece fabric for warm winter clothing along with various other materials to the remote Tarahumara Mountains in northern Mexico.
In addition, we procured several manual wheelchairs, commode chairs, special mattresses, and a hearing aid for various applicants and supported an indigenous woman from the Lacandon region who needs to come to the capital several times a year to have her illness treated. Furthermore, we were able to finance a prosthetic leg for a young father.
Most significantly of all, however, was that thanks to this donation we were able to help our special protégé, Omar, the handicapped boy from the village of Mazahua for whom we have been caring for over ten years, by financing new medicines and visits to the doctor and replacing his leg splints, which are no longer suitable for his needs. Our biggest concern since Omar’s return to his village had been that the boy, who is eager to learn and read, could not attend secondary school there because the extremely bumpy dirt road was absolutely impassable with a manual wheelchair. Now, however, we have been able to commission an off-road electric wheelchair for him. It is to be made in a small workshop, the owner of which is an engineer who himself has mobility impairments. It’s completely tailored to Omar’s needs and will enable the seventeen-year-old to move around more freely and hopefully also to catch up on his schooling.
Some of our friends and patrons have sent us donations for the earthquake victims. We used this money in particular for building materials in Morelos and for medical supplies for the Macedonio Benitez Fuentes Hospital in Juchitán, Oaxaca. Until January 2018, it was housed under tarpaulins on the football field, but now they have been able to move to a makeshift hospital, a former cultural center, next to the fire station. Many things are still lacking, from doctors’ gowns to sterile surgical garments, blood sugar test strips, and special mattresses.
Unfortunately, the years have left their mark on us as well, meaning we were forced to cut back a little in recent months. But wrapping up the year 2017 has given us a considerable boost of new energy, for which we and our beneficiaries thank all our kind donors from the bottom of our hearts.