I first went to Mexico in 1990. I had a horrible time.
I remember coming home and thanking God that I would never have to return. And then I did… again, and again and again.
Fast forward more than 25 years and if you add up all the miles I’ve logged between the US and Mexico, as well as the mileage I’ve traveled in country, I bet I can almost make it to the moon and back.
Somewhere in one of those journeys, my life changed and Mexico stopped being a place I visit and became a place I literally call home.
Put simply, I fell for the country, the art, the architecture, the food and more importantly, the people. It has become my adopted country. That’s why my foundation sponsors a vocational camp teaching kids job skills each year in Oaxaca. It’s why we offer medical clinics in places like San Dionesio Ocotepec and San Pedro Amatlán.
It’s also why, in response to some incredible violence last December 14 in Eloxochitlán, I knew we had to do something. When you are confronted with people being killed, business and homes being burned, cars being destroyed and friends being beat to within an inch of their lives, standing around is not an option.
We raised almost $60,000.00 dollars to help rebuild that community in the Sierra Mazateca, high above Oaxaca City. We’ve helped make every business that was destroyed that day well again. We’ve helped families replace burned out cars, and helped rebuild destroyed homes. In short, we’ve helped rebuild lives for the people that were attacked.
That’s what you do when your friends, indeed your family, experience tragedy, or need help.
And that is why I am coming to you today.
If you’ve ever told a friend you were headed to Mexico, I’m guessing the first thing you heard was “Don’t drink the water!”
What many people do not realize is that for the most part, Mexicans don’t drink the water either. Instead, they buy purified drinking water from the local OXXO or water store. Depending on where you live, the cost for that can vary significantly from just a few pesos, to a couple of bucks each day.
In areas of extreme poverty, if a family cannot afford to buy good clean water, they just abstain or use the local supply and hope for the best, not realizing the potential danger to their kids.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
My foundation each year gives away almost 100 water filters to families in Oaxaca so they can have safe drinking water in their homes. Literally, these filters save lives as children are able to drink all the clean water they need.
This Giving Tuesday, don’t just think about it. Make a real difference in the life of someone in Oaxaca.
Look, you’re reading this because like me, you love Mexico. This Christmas season, why not give back a little to a small corner of not just of My Mexico, but Our Mexico.
If you can help, your gift is totally tax deductible [Our Foundation Tax ID Number is 95-4434963 and we are a 501(c)3 Non Profit] and early next year, a family in Oaxaca will be drinking clean, safe water for the next ten years because of your generosity.
Here’s a link where you can make it happen!