It has been three months since our last progress report. I have been waiting to write you until future plans are set in stone, but now it looks like that might be a while.
Right now I am staying at a friend's house in Oaxaca, México. I have been to visit Casa Hogar several times within the past week. It appears that everybody is doing well and that the kids are busy with many new activities including soccer, ballet classes and preparing for a small party/carnival they will hold at Casa Hogar.
About a week ago I spoke with Coco (the founder of Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna) about buying the land. I was excited to speak with her because during a recent phone call I thought she had told me that the land with the existing one-bedroom building would cost around $8,000. This was far less than I had been previously told and I was very happy because this meant that we would be able to purchase it while I was in Oaxaca in July. Unfortunately, it appears I had heard her wrongly and was very mistaken. During our most recent chat Coco explained to me the following:
- The land they would like to buy is divided up into two parts with unique owners.
- Piece #1 includes the one bedroom building and is 25x10 meters in dimension.
- Piece #2 is also 25x10 meters in dimension but with no existing structures.
- Both property owners are asking far too much for their land. The owner of piece #1 is asking for more or less $42,307 US dollars. The owner of piece #2 is asking for more or less $34,615 US dollars.
Coco says the pieces of property are very over priced, and they are (despite the fact that Oaxaca has one of the highest property values in all of Mexico). She let me know that another option is to buy a piece of land farther outside of the city where the property value is lower.
This was frustrating news, but we must push on. Whatever happens is going to take time and patience.
Now, for some good announcements. I will be leaving to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota at the end of August. I predict that acclimating to my new environment and my studies will not leave me enough time to properly continue this project during the next year. Conveniently, my sister, Sophia Zaia, who will be a senior in high school, would like to take on the responsibility of project leader. She has my approval and complete support. Sophia is intelligent, hardworking and inspired. I know that I will be leaving my project in good hands. I have not yet officially passed the project on to her, but I will soon.
During the coming year Sophia would like to work on grant writing. This is something I felt I should attempt, but never had the time to do so. I am delighted that she will be working on this because I feel it is the next step on our way to success. I am excited to see what she will be able to achieve.
Another piece of good news is that Doña Coco was chosen by my class at the Austin Waldorf School to receive what is known as the Michael Award at the 2012 graduation. This is an award given to somebody who has used his or her will power to better humanity. I will honor Coco with the plaque within the coming week and will post pictures both on our GlobalGiving and Facebook pages.
I will leave you with this for now. I hope you are all doing well. Thank you so much for all of your support. Please keep it coming and don't forget to tell your friends and family about this effort!