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Mexico: Lake Chapala Teenagers Paint Murals for Orphanage
Marcia Lavender, a talented artist, shares her gift of painting with children in Mexico. She volunteers at the Love In Action Orphanage located in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico that sees to the well being of approximately 60 children ranging from infants to teenagers.
Recently the children were moved from a small facility with virtually no yard to a much larger piece of property with separate buildings for the ages and sexes plus a nursery and an educational building. On the property there is even a soccer field so now the children can run and play. Half of this facility was donated with the remaining coming from other donors.
The Mexican government does not offer monetary support to the orphanage even though children are placed there by governmental agencies. The Love In Action Orphanage is largely supported by the community and especially the expat community.
Local doctors, teachers, and others with various gifts and a caring heart volunteer as needed. Several families take turns cooking a hot meal for the children on a weekly basis. With so many needs at the orphanage, volunteers are greatly appreciated.
Marcia Lavender, a local artist originally from Iowa, decided to round up several local kids, who were involved with graffiti. To help motivate these boys in using their artistic talent for the betterment of the community, Marcia brought them to the new orphanage facility to decorate a few walls. The three teenage boys are Amaury Mendez Hinojosa, Ulises Ramirez Duran, and Leon Munoz Marquez.
Under Marcia’s direction (and her husband helping with transportation) these boys created some unique and fun drawings, adding color to some of the other wise drab buildings and walls. Using mostly spray paint, their artistic abilities were clearly expressed. The boys worked well together and actually had fun. The Lavenders paid for their time and occasionally they all enjoyed a pizza after several hours of painting. Marcia was able to find donations for the paint and other art supplies. She and her husband, Larry, donated a great deal of their time to this endeavor.
The Love In Action Orphanage has several programs where volunteers can either give personal time with a child or provide financial aid toward educational and other needs. One program is called the Godparent, which is set up for those who want to become “a special person” in the life of a child as well as assisting with financial support. All donations to help run the orphanage are appreciated.
Marcia Lavender continues to volunteer at the orphanage, giving art instruction and occasionally taking some of the older girls shopping. She and her husband also participate in preparing a hot meal once a week for all the children. Some of the children have requested art in their rooms so more decorating will surely continue.
– Elaine Cholas, correspondent for Traveling4Health.com
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The author: Ilene Little
Ilene has written 213 posts to this blog. Ilene Little, CEO of Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR), has written the definitive guide for the medical tourist How to Plan a Successful Medical Tourism Trip featuring live interviews of patients, doctors, facilitators, and caregivers. Tune in each week at noon Eastern Standard Time to the Know Before You Go Radio Show hosted by Ilene Little broadcast on the Overseas Radio Network.
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