Casita Linda, A. C.

by Casita Linda, A.C.
Vetted
Current board
Current board

 

 

Left to right:  Lyn, Zoe, Ann Marie, Louise, 

Gregg, Kerry, Don, Kim, Amber

 

From Our President

Casita Linda is shaped by the combined efforts of our incredible, hard working Board of Directors, our Executive Director, all of our selfless volunteers, and of course, our generous donors. We have had significant victories over the last 11 months. The donations we have received have enabled us to not only build houses, but to furnish them with the basic necessities that make each house a home. We have been able to employ two amazing women to conduct our workshops, courtesy of a grant we received from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA.  

Another substantial grant we received was from the San Miguel Community Foundation, which helped us in building two of the homes constructed in 2016. For that, our thanks go to Donna Foundry and her amazing staff for all the assistance they have given us throughout the year.

We are also happy to have formed an Advisory Board comprised of professional people in our community who have a passion for our mission and are happy to share their expertise.

In early 2017, Casita Linda will celebrate the completion of our 100th house for those living in extreme poverty.  We are dedicating this soon-to-be home to an amazing organization, 100 Women Who Care, who recently contributed to Casita Linda the largest donation ever granted to an NGO in San Miguel.

We have hired a new, local architect to design every home to the unique needs of each family, and to ensure more durable, functional and sustainable structures. The architect will work closely with one of our new and very talented Board members, Zoe, who is a local designer, as well as with the architects and builders who are on our newly formed Advisory Board. Costs will increase slightly due to changes and improvements, such as replacing laminate roofs with concrete roofs. All of this is to ensure the ultimate sustainability of each and every home. 

As this festive season approaches, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your generosity and heartfelt contributions toward providing warm shelter, hope, dignity and a better tomorrow to those who are so less fortunate.

Louise

 

Casita Linda Completes It's 93rd House 

The Guerrero Family lived in a house  that they had been taking care of for the Catholic Church on a 5-year contact with the church.  They had to vacate as their 5 yr ageement with the Catholic Church had expired and they would be homeless.

The Guerrera family consists of Carmen age 8, Ariana age 5 and Jorge, age 2.  Ariana has Downs Syndrome. Guadalupe and her husband, Jose has seen to it that Ariana was diagnosed and they know what to expect, as she grows older.  This child will be dependent upon her parents her whole life.

By providing the Guerrera family a home, they have seen the possibilities for a better life ahead.  They are able to take better care of Ariana knowing they have a roof over their heads and can concentrate on health care for Ariana.  Lupe, the mother, and her husband contributed many hours of  manual labor to build this home.  They are good people and are adamant about providing a good life for the children.

93rd home
93rd home
Gala
Gala

 

              Casita Linda Gala:Oh la la! A Night In The French Park 

 

We will be holding our 5th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala, “An Evening in the French Park”, on October 8.  The Gala has       become known as one of the best parties of the year in San Miguel.  It is always a fun night with champagne, hors    d’oeuvres, an open bar, a seated dinner, dancing and lots of surprises.

We are auctioning off fabulous trips to Paris, Tuscany, New York, Napa Valley, and Punta Mita and elegant private dinner parties. All proceeds benefit Casita Linda and its mission to build homes for the poorest of the poor here in our community. Juarez Park is so beautiful at night and we look forward to having all of you join us.

Workshop 1
Workshop 1

 

Casita Linda recently began a program with the Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, a wonderful school for the deaf established under the leadership of John Dougherty. For years, Wayne Helfrich, a longtime patron of Casita Linda, built clever wooden puzzles and sold them at TOSMA, the Saturday organic market, donating all of the proceeds to Casita Linda. Helfrich recently donated his woodworking tools and supplies to the school. The deaf children now learn woodworking skills and make the puzzles. Casita Linda continues to sell the puzzles at TOSMA, and the two organizations share the proceeds. The students also build bed frames to furnish Casita Linda homes.
In addition, Casita Linda has teamed up with two talented community leaders, Magda Perez López and Ilian Barrera, to offer a series of workshops to new Casita Linda homeowners. The participants are studying organic gardening and nutrition, affirming their personal and community values, building self-esteem, and learning ways to address problems of addiction and violence in their families. They have come together to work to improve their community. Empowered, they are now preparing an appeal to the municipal government in hopes of bringing desperately needed running water, electricity, and paved roads to their colonia.

Casita Linda also partners with organizations providing eco-friendly products that work well in these off-grid houses. Each Casita Linda family receives an eco-stove designed purchased from Stove Team International. This program is currently funded by San Miguel’s Unitarian Universalist congregation. In addition, each family receives a solar light, funded in part by One Million Lights. Casita Linda volunteers also provide furnishings, blankets, warm clothes, and other needed supplies for the homes. “We are well on our way to building our 100th house in early 2017,” notes board president Louise Gilliam, “and it is largely due to people like this who make up our wonderful community and to our donors throughout the US, Canada and Europe.”

Workshop 2
Workshop 2
Blanket Babes 1
Blanket Babes 1

Spring has sprung here in San Miguel and Casita Linda families on the waiting list are thankful the cold weather has passed.  The Board of Directors, building crew, and volunteers are moving forward as fast as we can to provide suitable housing for deserving recipients here in our community.  Board member Kim Slote recently wrote a letter to her friends and family that beautifuly describes the new workshops we've implemented for the women of Casita Linda homes and the impact these workshops are having on their lives. 

Dear friends and family,

I know that you are all super busy and have your own causes that you donate to, but I hope that you'll read all the way through my email :)

As many of you know, I am on the Board of Directors for Casita Linda (www.casitalinda.org), a very special non-profit organization here in my adopted home of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Casita Linda builds houses for the very poorest families in our city – people living in the most dilapidated shacks imaginable that are pieced together with plastic tarps, pieces of metal and scraps of wood (you can see an example in the attachment). The families put in dozens of hours of “sweat equity” and take tremendous pride in helping build their homes. Their lives are forever and fundamentally changed once they are in their new homes – just to have a solid roof over their heads, doors that lock, an indoor toilet, and concrete floors that don’t become mud baths in the rain…Everything that you and I take for granted in our own lives.

A couple of years ago, we made the commitment to provide more than just houses, though. Now we give the families mattresses and bedframes, warm blankets, clothing, solar lights, eco stoves, and basic furniture. It’s our way of helping them make the house a real home.

Our newest commitment as of 2016 is to help these families become as successful as possible, despite their extreme poverty. To this end we’ve hired two extraordinary women, Ilian Barrera and Magda Perez, to provide two workshops a week to the mothers of our Casita Linda families in the Nueva Pantoja neighborhood that we have been focusing on for the past 20+ houses. The topics that they have covered so far include self-esteem, value systems, goal-setting, nutrition, personal hygiene, child-rearing, family communication, and the importance of education for their children’s future. Please open the attachment to see some photos of the workshops.

I’m reaching out to you to ask if you might consider a donation to Casita Linda at this time – either to help pay for the cost of a new house or to help us cover the cost of the next three months of workshops for the moms (donations are tax deductible). This next series of workshops will focus on sexuality, birth control, safe sex, domestic violence, child abuse, and drug/alcohol addiction. What I am personally very excited about is that the workshop facilitators are also teaching the women community advocacy skills and showing them that they can advocate for their rights. Already the women have met with the mayor to ask that basic services, such as water, electricity and paved roads, be brought into their neighborhood. And soon they will be learning how to initiate reforestation and organic gardening projects to their community. Ilian and Magda are also helping bring teachers to the community to provide continuing education for the moms in small groups where they live so that they can get either middle or high school degrees.

These workshops are an exciting new step forward for Casita Linda. I hope that you will join Casita Linda on this journey of empowerment, personal growth and community development for our families.

Thank you a million times over!!!

Cheers, Kim

Before
Before

Thanks to you, just this past year Casita Linda has built 9 houses for San Miguel families living in extreme poverty. These men, women and children now have a roof over their heads, a cement floor, separate sleeping areas, a safe ecological stove, and solar lights.

But the biggest impact our Casita Linda homes have is simply a DOOR that locks. The women, for the first time in their lives, feel safe from unwanted intruders and can sleep “with both eyes closed”. The men can leave their family to go to work, feeling more secure about the safety of those left in the house and their few precious belongings.

Casita Linda wishes you a very happy New Year full of love, good health, joy and happiness. We are so thankful for your support. We want to share with you some pictures of the families you have helped here in San Miguel de Allende. They now have warm shelter, better health and a house to call home. They, too, are full of gratitude. Mil Gracias from all of us.

After
After
 

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Organization Information

Casita Linda, A.C.

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato - Mexico
Website: http:/​/​www.casitalinda.org
Project Leader:
Kerry Trull
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico

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