Abuelos de Bucerias is the name given to the local facilites, which have been set up under the Social Services Department (DIF), as a place for the seniors to meet.
How much social activity they enjoy is up to the enthusiasm of their Presidents and their members.
DIF is totally under resourced and unable to provide any financial assistance. They send out people to advise on general matters such as hygiene and the importance of a good diet. This year, 2015, under the new Administration, they also had a mobile clinic attend, giving free mammograms.
Our Abuelos de Bucerias facility is on the Canal road opposite the Charro, just a few blocks inland from the highway, Southern end of Bucerias. It has a spacious, covered meeting area, and land where President Cirino organizes the growing of their own fruit and vegetables. They meet there Monday afternoons and receive a natural homemade juice and a meal paid for by minimum donations of 5 pesos from some and the charity of others.
The following is a summary of an article first published 16 May 2013. For recent updates, please look at the articles in the right hand column.
March 2013: Amigos were asked to help this senior citizen facility – they were not asking for money but for help with food supplies. Of their 140 members, some 50 were in need of assistance as they do not have families locally to support them. At the 06 April 2013 meeting Amigos agreed to help with the philosophy being a hand up, not a hand out, and a committee of 3 was formed, being Marilyn Moxin, husband Jim, and Sue Fornoff. Ruben Ramirez agreed to help with the language problems.
The John Ozzello Memorial Food Bank also agreed to donate food to the facility on a monthly basis for a year, subject to fundraising, on the understanding that the President would get his helpers/recipients to make the food into individual size bags (“despensas”), create and maintain a list of the most needy, and ensure a fair distribution on a rotation basis. Many items were donated or funds raised for their purchase (including a refrigerator, kitchen and garden equipment) by many Amigos and non Amigos.
In the high season 2013 – 2014 craft making sessions (with assistance from “the Moona ladies”) produced items sold at the local Wednesday market, and Mexican cooking demonstrations by the senior ladies brought in funds to assist with medical expenses – Dr Gutierrez gave free consultations. Following upon a paint job and kitchen and toilets makeover by an energetic team from Vida Vacations, the centre also received income from being a venue for parties and other fundraisers. Fundraising 50-50 raffles at the Luna Lounge by Todd Dalke and Frank Lindegger, and with the generous approval of Hugh and Simon, paid for the construction of a large outdoor bread oven, and extensive dental treatment, Dr Adrian donating his time. These raffles will continue in 2014 – 2015 season.
In 2014, members of the Tercera Edad under the direction of President Cirino, subsequently used the balance of the funds raised from the crafts and cooking demonstrations to build a sizeable chicken coop and purchase chicks. Once of adult size their eggs are used to feed the seniors and are also sold. Some hens were killed over the summer months to feed the members who were sick, others will be sold. As of November they had over 1,000 chicks/hens.
On 20 March 2014 Marilyn resigned, effective the 27th, and folowing upon an Executive Committee meeting on 04 April, the committee was dissolved.
In May 2014 a separate charity was created by Marilyn & Jim Moxin, which they have called the Bucerias Tercera Edad AC, although this association is not associated with the Club de la Tercera de Edad , the Bucerias senior community centre. It is intended to help other needy seniors in Bucerias. Due to the confusion of the same name, a new “working title” is awaited for that fundraising group.
Amigos keep in friendly contact with the Bucerias Tercera Edad seniors and President Cirino, and encourage volunteers to assist in any way they can – especially gardening. Donations of gently used clothing, household items and cleaning supplies are always welcome and much appreciated. Fundraisers and other events will continue at this delightful venue.