Shopping for New Old Clothes–August, 2014

Shoppers patiently waited in line for the Gran Bazar to open.

Shoppers patiently waited for the Gran Bazar to open.

How far would you walk for some new clothes that weren’t exactly new? Some families walked for several kilometers to attend the Friends of Cozumel Gran Bazar last week. They arrived early and stood in line in the hot sun, hoping to get first choice of the bargain-priced goods.

The Bazar was like a giant yard sale where families found used clothing, shoes and household items—as well as a few new items that had been donated to the cause. It’s all needed by families in the neighborhoods far from the tourist zone. (Click on the photos for larger images.)

VIda Abundante teens helped earn money to support their church.

Vida Abundante teens helped earn money to support their church.

Peso, by peso, the proceeds were gathered to help support projects such as the Vida Abundante church land purchase. Teen church members set up their own table to sell jewelry they’d made. They gained experience in learning to display and sell items, as well as making change. The proceeds will be their own contribution to the land purchase.

Gran Bazar proceeds will also help support future initiatives of Friends of Cozumel such as the ongoing school supplies/backpack project and a proposed plan to provide scholarships for students hoping to continue their education after high school.

The Bazar is a tremendous amount of work for volunteers, but it’s not just about raising money. Being able to help someone find a pair of shoes or a shirt when they have only a few coins to spend is a joy. And many of the gently used items are of good quality. Those donations will have new life—being worn until it is passed down to another family member who may eventually pass it on to a neighbor. It’s recycling at its very best.

This girl found a previously-loved turtle friend at the Bazar.

This girl found a previously-loved turtle friend at the Bazar.

 

Crowded conditions didn't dissuade shoppers.

Crowded conditions didn’t dissuade shoppers.

 

People need shoes. Can you donate new or gently used shoes to FOC?

People need shoes. Can you donate new or gently used shoes to FOC?

 

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