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Away from Puerto Peñasco’s sandy beaches, and in an area unseen by many visitors, San Rafael is a neighborhood on the outskirts of Puerto Peñasco, located about 15 minutes from the center of town. The Christian Community Center there has been in operation for over a year and a half. This Center, which was begun by Living Stones Ministry (a 501(3) organization) , provides several programs to the community including: lunch 5 days a week, gardening and composting, English classes, activities for kids, sewing projects, micro-enterprises where the ladies make rugs, hats, bags, and purses out of recycled plastic grocery bags (Manos de Dios, who can often be found at the Mermaid’s Markets), salsa made in their own kitchen, a Segunda (thrift-store), as well as a pet “ministry” that provides free shots and spay and neutering clinics.
Deb Turner, who is a volunteer with the San Rafael Christian Community Center, shares a bit more about one of their programs “Cosecha de Dios”.
Alejada de la zona turística de Puerto Peñasco, San Rafael es una colonia en las afueras de la ciudad, ubicada a unos 15 minutos del centro. El Centro Comunitario Cristiana de San Rafael ha estado en operación durante más de un año y medio. Este Centro, que fue iniciado por el Ministerio Living Stones (una organización sin fines de lucro, registrada en los Estados Unidos) ofrece varios programas para la comunidad: el almuerzo 5 días a la semana, jardinería y el compostaje, clases de inglés, actividades para niños, proyectos de costura, micro-empresa en la cual varias mujeres tejan alfombras, sombreros, bolsos, y carteras hechas con bolsas de plástico reciclado (Manos de Dios, que a menudo se pueden encontrar en los Mercados de la Sirena), salsa hecha en su propia cocina, una Segunda, así como un “ministerio” para mascotas que proporciona clínicas gratuitas de vacunas y esterilización para mascotas. El Centro se encuentra en Calle 64 y Benito Juárez, Col. San Rafael.
Contributor Deb Turner
Photos courtesy of San Rafael Christian Community Center
This month, I want to tell you about our food program – Cosecha de Dios (Harvest of God). Cosecha is solely supported by donations, sponsors, and volunteers. This program is so essential to the community. In case you did not know, the school system has split sessions so our team assures that the kids going to and returning from school are fed when they arrive. It is all about scheduling!! Eneida, Irma and their team coordinate the schedules to make sure it all happens. This may be the only meal for some people.
Julio Valenzuela of Don Julio’s and Mare Blu graciously donates protein to us each and every week. To date, this is the only restaurant/business that provides us with chicken, beef, etc. Honestly, we could use more since we feed about 100 people per day. A group of fish vendors in the Malecón , spearheaded by Victor, provide donations of fish. Super California Market, just a few blocks from the Center, provides us with vegetables and fruits daily. If the produce is too ripe for consumption, it goes directly to the composting bins. All edible produce is directed to our kitchen, managed by Irma, for meals. When there is a surplus, Eneida Gaspar, Director of Activities, distributes dispense bags to the people after lunch.
Each week Eneida and Irma plan the menu based on the available food on hand and they are very creative. We do have some expats that regularly drop off donations of beans, rice, staples, cash and even hot dogs and buns for one meal each week! We also do not use disposable plates, forks, plastic utensils or cups. A church graciously donated plastic bowls, plates, glasses and silverware. After each lunch, volunteers collect all the plates, etc. and wash them and clean the kitchen.
How can you help? What is YOUR gift: cooking, serving, working with kids, arts and crafts, gardening, sewing, teaching English, animals, organizing, sports, or otherwise? You can always stop by the Center and visit Monday-Friday, 9-5 and see for yourself. Lunch is generally served around 1:00 p.m.
Living Stones Ministry is a 501(3) non-profit so donations from the U.S. are tax deductible.
For additional information, please contact:
Deb Turner Director of Acquisitions
Karen Higgins International Director