Making a difference . . . one family at a time – October 2011

This time of year during “low” season for tourism many families are without work. They struggle to put food on the table and are masters at stretching what limited food they have. Not long ago I visited local friends, a couple who are like grandparents to us yet they are just a few years older. Life is physically more demanding here and the harsh sun/heat takes a toll. The wife of the couple was making their “big” meal of the day . . . boiling water with a cut up radish, onion, cilantro and a small bit of chicken skin for flavor. That’s all they had until next payday, a week later. Yet they felt blessed to have what they did.

We work with many single parent families supporting several children on the minimum wage of ~$7USD per day as well as extended families who may have only one person employed supporting 8-12 children and adults.

Visitors often ask “How can I help?” See the idea below shared by Cindy Trautwein, an island resident with a HUGE heart. Cindy is involved in a number of ministry efforts as well as being a Friends of Cozumel volunteer who helps support families in need. ~~Karen

Allow me to introduce you to an effective way to share your compassion with a family living in Cozumel. They are called despensas, a simple box of food put together by the MEGA store you can order from the Customer Service desk and they will prepare it within a day. Each despensa or box is packed with basic food to support a family of 4 for a week. The store packs the supplies with an itemized list ready for you to pick up for only $20 USD.

Rather than taking a friend out to dinner when you have made acquaintances on Cozumel or if you would like to share some of your resources with others, consider ordering a despensa from the MEGA store and giving a gift to benefit an entire family. The box contains essential items such as rice, beans, tuna, powdered milk, cereal, oatmeal, sugar, salt, oil, masa for making tortillas, pasta, cookies, drink mix, toothpaste and soap.

Families generally aren’t blessed to shop for a week’s supply of groceries, but rather buy as they have cash. You can make a difference with one simple, effective way to impact a family here in Cozumel. If you’d like to help in this way and need assistance identifying families in need or prefer we deliver despensas to families with the greatest need, please contact us via email: or post on the Friends of Cozumel Facebook page. We’re glad to help you make a difference!~~Cindy

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