Expatriates in the Lakeside area, as well as the Mexican community in Guadalajara, open their hearts to help provide for the needs of the children housed at the Villa Infantil orphanage in Jocotepec.
These needs are becoming ever greater. In the past five weeks the nuns from the Congregation of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph who run the orphanage received ten more children. Two years ago there were 18 children living in the shelter. Now there are 39.
Father Basil G. Royston of the San Andres English-speaking parish in Ajijic was asked to help out a while back and he and his congregation have adopted the Villa Infantil into their outreach program. San Andres has a weekly food drive with baskets located in the church each Sunday during the 9 a.m. English-language mass.
“We try to even the playing field so that the orphanage has some food in the pantry all the time,” says Father Royston. “And we have been successful to an extent. The larder hasn’t been totally empty since the group started.”
The orphanage also receives help from other sources at lakeside, including Casa Flores B&B in Ajijic, the Axixic Masons lodge, Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, the Lakeside Presbyterian Church and the local Jewish congregation.
The Lunch Bunch, organized by Connie Ondola, works with volunteers to prepare and serve the children midday meals three times a week.
Out of this effort the Birthday Bash group was formed. Each month volunteers bring cake, piñatas and drinks to the shelter and hold a party for children with birthdays that month. The next bash is Saturday, July 16, 1 p.m. at the orphanage.
For more information, see villainfantil.com.mx and VillaInfantilGuadalupeySanJose on Facebook. Contact Royston at (387) 763-0928 if you’d like to help out in any way.