Making Friends in the Community
I’ve been coming to our little hideaway in Rocky Point for the last seven years, several times per year. I enjoy feeling as if “we live here” and like to think that we have found the “rhythm” of Rocky Point that The Old Gringo referred to in the April ’23 issue. We have discovered much that this Mexican magical town has to offer in terms of beaches, good restaurants, shopping and overall fun.
Yet, these activities often come under the umbrella of “tourist experiences.” I say that because, even though the wait staff everywhere is wonderful and we know most of them by name, we don’t interact much with the people who are the heart of Rocky Point. Strolling on the Malecon on weekend evenings is about the closest we come to feeling like we’re part of the local scene. We listen to local musicians and marvel at local families who enjoy themselves so simply. They talk, they tease, they laugh a lot, and they dance. Often, we are the only Americans there and we wish we could just meld right in with them, benefiting from that rich, loving culture.
This wish to connect with the local community came closer to reality on our last visit. I have been reading the “Tia Katy’s Corner” columns for years and admired from afar this American woman who has such dedication and love for the children of Puerto Peñasco. When I read that her group, Educarte, is now focusing on special needs children,
“Tia” Kathleen Duncan, the vision and the passion behind Educarte, is a busy woman! When I contacted her, she was planning an international conference right here in Rocky Point for professionals and for parents of children with special needs. Amid all this, she took the time to greet us and explain her most immediate goal: to promote education, coordination and cooperation among special needs service providers.
Unbelievably, the Volunteer Coordinator, Eileen Pacheco, took time out on the last day of the conference to give us a personalized tour (in English) of the modest but modern facility. I was impressed with how proud she was of the work they do. Eileen’s enthusiasm must be contagious! We saw that same energy in everyone else we met during the tour. It’s easy to see that theirs is a labor of love.
When we returned the next day, we learned that the profits from a thrift shop and printing/marketing business operated on the premises help raise funds to support the program. Carolina Pacheco who is the local Director of Educarte explained that, although some families can pay privately for services, many families lack the resources to do so. Therefore, Educarte relies on charitable donations and income from these ‘social enterprise’ businesses to provide services for children regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
That’s where our donations come in! We can all help by donating money to be used for student sponsorships, by bringing things to their thrift store, by shopping at their thrift store, and by using their print shop.
They are located at 281 Blvd. Fremont, in the same block as Bryan’s Sports Bar.
How delightful to make new local friends! We now plan to visit and hope to volunteer with Educarte every time we travel to Puerto Peñasco. At last, it feels as if we are part of the community, it feels as if we are surrounded by love, Mexican-style.
You can make a donation or learn more at www.AmigosEducarte.com.
Your donations to their thrift store can help Educarte change lives.
Donations of furniture and other larger items are especially appreciated!
Physical therapy is one of many professional services offered at Educarte.
Educarte’s program helps children with special needs reach their potential.