Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults

by Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
"La Espera" (The Wait) by Alejandro Aranda
"La Espera" (The Wait) by Alejandro Aranda

Dear Friends of Atzin's Special Needs Program,

We've painsakingly added up the numbers, checking them twice. Here are the 2018 stats for the Special Needs component of Atzin programs. 

Special Needs and Nutrition Program
This program is aimed at people with special needs, chronic conditions and malnutrition. It provides vitamins and / or medications; help with equipment or special material; accompaniment and help with transportation and costs for medical appointments; provision of supplements; home visits for stimulation and monitoring. (People can appear more than once in the numbers below depending on the benefits received.)

Children and adults who are homebound and receive monthly home visits      19
Children and adults with chronic conditions receiving vitamins
and medicines                                                                                                    30
Children with disabilities attending Tihueslike Education program                      6
People who received a gift (shoes or clothes)                                                    55
People who received dental care                                                                       55
Special cases
Number of women in crisis due to violence housed at Casa Atzin                       1
Number of children with special needs in Casa Atzin                                           2
Number of days with a youth with special needs living in Casa Atzin                81
Patients with appointments and accompaniment by Atzin staff                           5
 - appointments in Cuernavaca                                                                            6
 - appointment in Mexico City                                                                              1
Number of total days of accompaniment by Atzin staff                                       4
Number of nights lodging at Casa Atzin for patients
and their 6 companions                                                                                      2
Home therapies
Number of people receiving therapies at home regularly                                    2
Number of promoters doing home therapy (1 in charge and 2 in training)          3

A complete report on all Atzin programs - by the numbers - is available on the Atzin website. To have a look, go to Kindly remember that this report is only "by the numbers," basically counting attendance. The other factors such as quality of care, time and attention, training and supervision of promoters, administration and accounting are just as important, can be really time-consuming and are not reflected here.  

As always, we are grateful for your ongoing support - only with that support can we make everything happen!




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Women walking to Atzin Centre
Women walking to Atzin Centre

In October, a long line of people waited patiently to be attended in our clinic. Berta, a young mother of four children hesitantly entered. Under her black shawl, she cradled six-month-old Jose on her arm. Berta anxiously repeated that Jose had diarrhea constantly and had not gained any weight since his birth. She explained that her husband gathered firewood to sell and that there was no money to take Jose to a specialist as they had been instructed to do on two visits to the village health centre.

I peeked under the shawl: Jose was a shock, barely there, skin and bone. His big eyes locked onto mine; his piercing gaze held me captive. Tears welled up. I breathed deeply, wiped my cheeks and thought, “This child will not die; let’s get started.”

In a matter of minutes, working as a team with Berta, we began: examine and treat Jose’s obvious stomach infection with a simple remedy; get a baseline weight and give Jose vitamins; mother the mother, praising her for breastfeeding; and lower stress in her household with a food package of rice and beans to be prepared at home.

On their next visit a few days later, his stomach infection gone, Berta offered Jose rice cereal – he wolfed it down in a matter of seconds and wanted more. Over the next weeks, she added mashed banana, avocado, cooked carrots and some pureed chicken. After three months Jose weighed 5.4 kg and could sit up by himself. The crisis was over.

Sometimes, the answer to an immediate serious problem is relatively straightforward. Jose lived because his mother persisted in her search for help and never gave up; because he had a strong will to survive; and because the Atzin team responded quickly with caring attention and effective actions.

The truth is, in the midst of so much misery, even a small success is uplifting. Our collective spirit is nourished, and our commitment to loving actions is renewed, strengthening our sense of grace and of hope. This is the gradual building of resilience and the creation of opportunity - the real work of development.

Your support makes that happen.

Until next time, Susan

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Areceli interviewing household cook.
Areceli interviewing household cook.

The reality for the poorest families in Tlamacazapa is that if the adults don't work that day, the family doesn't eat. There is literally next to nothing in the kitchen for tomorrow.

Perhaps you, the reader, will say that I am stretching the truth in order to make a point. I wish that I was. This is a hand-to-mouth existence, and explains why so many children abandon their schooling in order to help their families earn money to buy food or do not enroll in school to begin with, or why parents cannot attend to their child with special needs.

This truth came sharply into focus again very recently. In 2017-18 with financing from Rotary Club Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada), Atzin distributed green ecological rocket stoves to 300 families trapped in acute poverty and cooking over an open, three-rock fire.

To better understand the adoption of the stoves, two young village women interviewed the female household head about family size, cooking habits and meal customs. Importantly, they inquired about the food on hand and asked to see it, noting the quantity of every ingredient.

Reviewing the questionaire findings, even the Atzin team was surprised... and dismayed. Half of the families had absolutely no food in the house. Another 25% had only a small amount - a kilo of dried beans, half of a cup of cooking oil or some white rice.

The drastic increase in the price of gasoline - a state-owned business - over the past year has, in turn, driven up the cost of living dramatically throughout the country. Households already struggling to survive are now much more on edge. 

Parents of a child with special needs are now dealing with the higher cost of food AND having to cover the expenses of attention. You are assisting with their transport, medical appointments, vitamins and supplements, and accompaniment. With your support, we aim to do more. 

Thank you, Susan

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Children benefit from education & health programs.
Children benefit from education & health programs.

Dear Friends of Tlamacazapa and Atzin, 

Wonder-filled, relief-giving news: Atzin’s Literacy for Adults and Youth: Reading the World project was selected as Project of the Month for January 2019 by GlobalGiving!  Hundreds of individual monthly donations are pooled to “make one donation to a different earth-changing idea each month,” providing vital support across programs. 

To be honest, we were overcome with emotions, seeing this selection as a true godsend. Let me fill you in on the background. Since about mid-2014, the people of Mexico generally have experienced ever increasing violence and corruption, especially in Guerrero (where we work) as well as in other states. Prices have risen drastically; rural families now suffer deeper poverty and constant tension. 

Volunteers and visitors stopped coming, and each year, it has become harder and harder to find funding, even for our basic programs of education and health. We cut back more and more programming as well as staff, squeezed every peso twice, recycled, repaired and reused everything possible, and sought out alternative ways to bring in money - each time, just barely managing to keep things going in the face of acute need.

At Atzin, our task is to create real opportunities for people trapped in poverty and violence to gain capacities and confidence. The task is incessantly demanding but it can be done, and feels right and good.

To all of you, we offer a heartfelt thank you for your generosity and trust in our work. You will never know just how much this vote of confidence means to us.

With warmest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2019, 


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December, 2018

Dear Friends of Atzin and Tlamacazapa,

As the new year approaches, I paused to reflect on the beginnings of Atzin in Tlamacazapa in early 1997, and came across writing that I did shortly before arriving in Mexico. Its content is as true to me now as it was then. Our work in community "is like a tree, deeply rooted in people's realities, grounded to the earth.... Our work flows like a river, finding its way. Sometimes deep and calm; sometimes shallow and turbulent; still at other points, with seemingly stagnant swamps. We climb steep mountains to create connections and change. Following a small path of questioning and discovery, we will circle up the mountain many times, with each turn finding a broader, more enriched view."

For over 20 years, Atzin has been there for the people of Tlamacazapa. The toxicity and acute poverty of the village are complex problems, resulting in acute need for many families. At Atzin, we know that our task is to create real opportunities for people to gain capacities and confidence. The task is incessently demanding, bringing both tension and joy.

When we struggle together to meet challenges, we deepen our moral fortitude, our abilities to care and to be cared for; and our grasp of rooted inter-connectedness. Igniting sparks of hope, we again commit to a meaningful way of life. It can be done - it feels right and good. 

Help us to climb that mountain and make a genuine difference in people's lives. Support the long haul of development with all its swamps and turbulence. Please donate to assist children and elderly with special needs - be a hero of the heart, right and good.

Thank you as always, with appreciation, 

Susan, Director of Atzin Mexico


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Organization Information

Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC

Location: Cuernavaca, Morelos - Mexico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @N/A
Project Leader:
Susan Smith
Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico
$60,734 raised of $75,000 goal
541 donations
$14,266 to go
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