Since the ASEA® Advancing Life Foundation gathered its first group of dedicated volunteers to offer service to families in the Acambay region of central Mexico in the community of La Rincon, a significant amount of work has continued to help the local people. It’s been five years since that first expedition, and the work of community improvement hasn’t stopped.
The First Year of Service
During the first expedition, the team was able to build four water cisterns, 12 Lorena stoves, and eight chicken coops, while offering English class for 40 single mothers. ASEA Founder Tyler Norton was in attendance on that trip and shared a personal message of inspiration with the people of the community.
Since that time, 120 families and more than 770 people have directly benefited from Advancing Life donations and services. The main road into the community that was only a dirt path five years ago is now paved with concrete. The tin roofs of the community buildings have been upgraded to concrete. Diets lacking vegetables and protein now include eggs, nopal cactus, garden vegetables, chicken, and lamb.
Promoting Community Business and Savings
The community continues to run a savings box program that is open to all. Currently, 15 people participate in the program, electing a president, secretary, and treasurer from among themselves. Advancing Life partner CHOICE Humanitarian provided the toolbox and money-collection bag. We provide the lock, a calculator, and a registry book. With these simple tools, program members manage an important fund.
The group meets weekly and each member makes a monetary contribution at that time. The amount isn’t important, with many contributing only a few pesos at a time. Yet, by combining resources, they can provide loans where the money is needed, determining the terms and conditions on an individual basis. This program is a foundational part of community development that encourages group decision-making and accountability while adding great financial and structural benefits to the village.
Education That’s Made an Impact
In the English classes that ASEA taught on their original expedition, 40 young, single mothers took advantage of the classroom education. Of those women, 12 have since finished high school, six have gone onto university studies, and two have been working at businesses in the city.
One of the women from this community went to Peru in December for the women’s empowerment conference that CHOICE sponsored. She was one of the speakers and shared her story about how she helped develop her community and lift them out of extreme poverty. Because she has seen the effects on her village, she is now an example for other women and empowers them to change their lives.
The Ripple Effect
In addition, two neighboring communities, San Antonio and La Salamanca, have seen the village’s changes and committed to doing the same thing. Now those two communities are following along the same path as La Rincon. Advancing Life Foundation’s presence and dedication to this village has a rippling effect in the region where they visited.
If you would like to aid the Advancing Life Foundation’s efforts and donate to help those in need, please visit advancinglife.org. Your gift goes further in 2020 when you make it a monthly pledge! The foundation’s corporate partner, ASEA, matches all donations given as part of a monthly pledge—so click “Make this a recurring donation” when you give. Every month’s contribution will have double the impact on worthy causes worldwide!