The annual posadas leading up to Christmas day have begun all across Mexico, and of course here in Rocky Point. Traditionally, within the Catholic community the nightly posadas (from about Dec. 16 – 24) represent the journey of Mary and Joseph as they sought shelter on Christmas Eve, and were turned away from inns before finally being offered a place in a manger. In neighborhoods across Mexico, and particularly in the South, neighbors pick one local home for the nightly “posada” where the journey will end and the festivities begin – replete with piñatas and bags of candy for children. Posadas are now also synonymous with Christmas parties as friends, colleagues, and groups come together to celebrate the holiday season.
At the José Dávalos Home for the Elderly, also commonly known as “Casa Hogar”, posadas began early this year and by Dec. 15th they were already on their fourth fiesta. Sister Trinidad Rado, originally from the state of Jalisco and who has been working at the home for three years, tells us the Casa Hogar has graciously welcomed different groups who each selected to put on a daily “lunch” posada for the “abuelitos” (grandparents) at the home. Casa Hogar Board President Rubén Rodriguez Rico explains this year they decided to move the posada celebrations to midday as by early evening many of the abuelitos have already retired. Each posada is sponsored by a different group, organization, or even handful of amigas and includes meals for all of the Casa Hogar residents as well as other festive details, including entertainment. Sister Trinidad detailed during this first week of posadas they had already received the “payasitas” (a clown group), a visit from the DIF, as well as a group of young students.
I visited Casa Hogar on Dec. 15 as part of the posada turkey dinner put on by First Mexican Investments, sponsored by Rodger and Jeanette Clifton. The Cliftons, long-time Rocky Point residents and good friends, were key in the construction of what is now an ample kitchen and dining room area at Casa Hogar. I remember the first few years when I visited the home the “dining room” was set up in the hall near the entrance. The extended dining room/kitchen now provides a great space for posadas, and opens up onto a sunny patio where, Sister Trinidad explained, their gardener Flor has done a great job in maintaining landscaping in the courtyard.
Casa Hogar, located at the corner of Ave. Hidalgo & Blvd. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez about two blocks down from the train tracks, has capacity for up to 20 abuelitos. The home is open for visitors from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, and Sister Trinidad tells us everyone is welcome to stop in to see the home and meet the abuelitos. Currently, there are 18 full-time residents at the home and 3 “day residents” who come to the home each day for meals and activities. Among the residents, there are three from Durango, as well as two from Sinaloa, and another individual from the Golfo area. Casa Hogar is run by the enthusiastic direction of Sisters Trinidad Rado, Maria Cornejo, and Gloria Palacios and currently has an additional staff of four: Alfredo who helps with cleaning and lifting residents, Mari who tends to cleaning and daily washing of all bedding, Zaide who is in the kitchen and Flor the gardener. The Sisters are part of a Congregation out of Guanajuato, founded in 1886, that works with 32 homes and orphanages across the country. Each Sister is generally sent to work in a home for a period of 3 years, though Trinidad tells us she is already beginning her second three-year period and is looking forward to staying in the area.
Sister Trinidad tells us they are grateful for all donations that come into the Casa Hogar, whether they be financial contributions or in kind, and indicates the most important needs at this time are:
• General cleaning items (bleach, floor soap, laundry detergent, etc.)
• Bathroom hand soap and shampoo
• Adult diapers and wipes
• Cereal (such as Corn Flakes)
• Financial donations
For years Casa Hogar had an established Board, though currently this principally consists of Rubén Rodriguez Rico and his wife Clarisa, who also own the Tips establishment in town. Rubén tells us he is grateful for the numerous supporters that have helped Casa Hogar over the years, and recently from fundraising activities including the Rocky Point Rally and the Christmas dance recital put on by the local dance school Danzaré. Average monthly expenses at the home range from $60,000 to $80,000 pesos (higher in the summer months), which is always a challenge to meet. Rubén invites anyone interested to consider donating funds to Casa Hogar by bringing donations directly to the home, or to contact him at 638-112-0846 for bank information in order to deposit directly into the Home’s account at Bancomer. Another option for check donations is to make checks out to Las Conchas CRC and specify at the bottom it is for Casa Hogar; Mexican checks may be made out to Patronato Pro Asilo de Ancianos.