Our Origin Story
In December 2014, as Bernardino (Chico) Orazco was driving our chairman from the Manzanillo airport, they drove past many men, women and children working in the jalapeño fields. Bernardino explained to our chairman that these people were usually of indigenous descent, from the rather impoverished Mexican States of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero and living in temporary camps under the most abysmal conditions. Deeply concerned for these folks, Chico and his wife, Belen, shared their Christmas bonus with these unfortunates, gifting them food and clothing. However, due to the large number of people, he lamented their effort made very little impact.
When the Chairman sought to know more of their plight, he was taken to a nearby camp. Chico’s assessment was absolutely correct. There were many children being cared for by two elderly women, while their parents - and the older children - labored beneath the hot sun in the fields. For this arduous, back-breaking work, they were paid 150 pesos a day (About $8 USD at the time). Their homes consisted of stretched plastic sheeting between poles for cover. Quite simply, the conditions were most appalling.
When asked what they would like for Christmas. The answer was an immediate, and simple, “beans and rice”. When asked what they would like if they were to have a really nice holiday, their responses were pathetically shocking - "Could we have a Coca Cola"? About this time a third woman joined us. When she learned the nature of the inquiry, she requested blankets . . . as she had just lost her infant to pneumonia.
For the next nine days, nearly 40 people volunteered time and money to help these unfortunate people have a better Christmas than those in the past. Nearly $5,000 was donated by the local American/Canadian community and 375 food gift bags (or dispenses as they are called in Mexico) were distributed to 375 families. Each bag contained a blanket, beans, rice, a three liter bottle of coca cola, sardines, coffee, sugar, Maseca (to make tortillas) and animal cracker cookies.