Fifteen minutes before the scheduled time to load the 13,783 items (give or take a few) for the Gran Bazar, the skies opened up and dumped a deluge. Friends of Cozumel volunteers had spent hours, days and months preparing for the twice-yearly yard sale. They were ready to transport dozens of suitcases and plastic crates to where hundreds of people were expected to show up. But when the rain comes, the streets flood and people stay home. And the place where the sale was to take place is an outdoor church with only a partial covering overhead. Uh oh. Problemo.
A few minutes later, the clouds began to move and Maria, a local volunteer, said “Es cambiado. No habrá más lluvia.” It’s changed. There won’t be any more rain.
Despite the puddles, yesterday’s Gran Bazar went off without a hitch at Vida Abundante Church. Some of the donated clothing, shoes and household items were new and some were gently used. Prices were kept low to help families that only have a few pesos to spend. Then proceeds from the bazar are used to support Friends of Cozumel projects, scholarships, and churches serving families with limited resources.
“No matter how many times I do this, it never ceases to amaze me how big the crowd is and how they rush to come in when we open,” said Kristin, a returning volunteer.
While some volunteers helped with sales, crowd control or entertaining the children of shopping parents , others worked with adults to fit them with donated reading glasses. The goal was simply to connect with people who need some of the things we could easily provide.
“I like the diversity of the people we see at the Gran Bazar,” said Larry, a member of the FOC leadership team. “You see people of some means buying a mountain of things for their family and then the next person may be a 70-year old senora who buys a single piece of used clothing that she is very proud to pay a few pesos for. I have total respect for both cases.”
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow