Tuesday October 25, 2011
Animated Don Sergio chatting with Ivan.
We all made it to San Miguel de Allende. Kathleen and I met Mary and Ivan at their home where they were hosting Don Sergio and Elsa. After visiting for a couple of hours we met Consuelo, John, Betsy, Jane and the Vice President of Patronato Por Ninos at their clinic. This organization was started 40 years ago by one woman and has become a primary care facility that works with the Mexican government providing care for children. If they cannot provide the care the patients need (specialty services) they find a way by outsourcing care for their patients. The work involved to get this organization where it is today has been tremendous and the children of the SMA area benefit.
A visit to Patronato Por Ninos.
Afterwards we went to El Mirador: a vista in San Miguel. We ran into Consuelo’s parents who were on a tour and just happened to stop at that same place. In two taxis we went to back to Mary’s for comida (lunch). This was a time we all had a chance to visit with Sergio and Elsa and see how we can continue to help support his humanitarian work.
The group at El Mirador. Left to right: Consuelo (director El Andalon), Betsy (My Mexico Tours), Don Sergio, Elsa, me, Jane, Consuelo's mother, Consuelo's father, Kathleen.
After comida, tres leches cake for Don Sergio and Elsa.
The showing of El Andalon started at 7:15pm. Afterward Consuelo, John, Betsy and I went up on stage for questions and answers while Mary and Ivan added information about Don Sergio and the people he serves. Many wanted to know, “Who is going to continue his work after he’s gone?”, “Who helps him with the schools?”, “Why doesn’t the government help these villages with the schools?”, “Why are there not medical organizations from the US coming to help?” We've all had these questions and there are no easy answers. This maverick humanitarian has the trust of the local people of San Cristóbal because he's answered the call when they need help.
The most important question: “How can we help?”. This is a typical response after seeing the film. Our answers were: buy the DVD (proceeds go to Don Sergio), show it to your friends, donate, and join our team in bringing awareness about his work. (Please contact me here if you are interested in helping Don Sergio in any capacity.)
Finally, Consuelo and John had the pleasure of introducing Don Sergio and Elsa. The audience stood in awe, many were to tell me later, “I felt like I was in the presence of a saint”. They were, and so were we. Sergio, in his humble manner, thanked us, Elsa, and everyone for coming and their support and invited all to San Cristóbal. He said his gift is to help people and his humanitarian work is why he is here on this earth.
We stood in the foyer of the theater answering questions as Mary, Ivan and Don Sergio quietly went home. The theater employees finally had to brush us out the door. We ended up across the street to sit and chat with each other and visited until 11:pm and then slowly walked to our respective hospedajes (lodgings).
Tomorrow Kathleen and I bus it to Mexico City to catch our flight to Tuxtla. Sergio and Elsa will stay in San Miguel and there will be a display at the library of Don Sergio’s textile collection where he will be present and answer any questions.
Today felt like two days in one it was so busy and productive. Mary and Ivan did an incredible job organizing the event and our host Louise made our stay very comfortable. After being here two days I can see why people live here: the climate is cool in the evening and warm during the day, the plants lush, the activities many, the aesthetics of the city impeccable.
Posted by Patricia Ferrer