We thought that the chocolatadas in San Bernardino and El Pavo would be our last activities for the year but that was before we received a generous donation from Mrs. Taylor with instructions to use it to “help a needy family”. In the desert villages of the Lambayeque Region the word ‘needy’ is a matter of degrees. Nearly all of the families are needy; it’s just that some are poorer than others.
During the chocolatada in San Bernardino we asked Rosa, one of the pronoei directors if she could steer us to a needy family in the village. She told us of the Pinglo Santa Maria family, adding that she occasionally helps them with a bag of rice or article of clothing.
The Pinglo Santa Marias live in a modest adobe house on the edge of the village. Maria Ines and her husband Porfirio have six children: Maria 13, Daisy 12, Maritza 5, Janina 3, Giancarlo 2 and Luis Miguel 6 months, who is sleeping in the bag suspended from the ceiling. Porfirio works in farm fields owned by others. Maria takes care of the house and kids. Based on our walk through the village and discussion with others, the Pinglo Santa Marias probably are the poorest of the poor in San Bernardino.
When we asked Maria what would help her she said food and clothing for the kids, so that is what we returned with today. Maria had taken the baby to a clinic so was not at home when we arrived. Her mother was there watching the kids. Shown on the table is everything from paneton to toilet paper. There are noodles, rice, sugar, tuna, cooking oil, chocolate and candy among other things. Some of the canned and packaged items are probably new to the family, being beyond their financial means. Augmented with food from their garden these items will probably carry them through for the next four weeks.
Each of the six children were given two pairs of shorts and two tops. The family won’t need to buy clothing for the kids for the coming summer months.
Half of the village kids were in that house thirty seconds after we arrived. It was hard to ignore their stares as we gave a toy to each of Maria's three youngest kids. Maritza already had her toy from the chocolatada.
Maribel and I were impressed with the responsibility shown by Maria and Daisy, the two older girls. They took charge of the food, toys and clothing, telling their siblings they couldn’t eat, wear or play with anything until mom came back. We like to see those indications of training and discipline in the home.
It was a good experience in San Bernardino this morning. Lots of happy people including us! Mrs. Taylor, thank you from the Pinglo Santa Maria family, and thank you from Promesa Peru for allowing us to finish our year on a high note.
Happy Holiday Season to Everyone!