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Mission to Hidalgo

Isabelle Nizincourt

The state of Hidalgo ranks as the fifth poorest among the 32 states of the Mexican Republic. Located a few hours away from Mexico City, this mountainous area is home to many local Indian communities as well as a significant displaced Indian population.

“Patricino un Libro” (Sponsor a Book) volunteers completed a week-long mission to the local towns and remote areas of Hidalgo for the purpose of promoting education and the joys of reading to the children of these communities. We held five programs in primary schools for 100 to 450 children at a time, as well as motivational workshops with four groups of mothers.

The most touching moment during our mission was in a Zacualtipan school. We held our program in the afternoon and found the most appreciative group of children we had ever encountered. Most of the children come from displaced Indian communities and live in extremely precarious conditions; the entire family (usually around 6 to 10 people) lives in a single room, cooking their meals on a small earth stove in one corner.

It was a joy to get them excited about education and to watch their happy reactions as each child received a free book and puzzle at the end of each program. The great majority of the children had never owned a book (besides generic scholastic manuals), and were thrilled to receive their very own book for the first time.

We were pleasantly surprised with the high level of participation from the fathers in the communities we visited, who in other places tend to shy away from training workshops. Our workshop focuses on raising the parents’ self-esteem and encouraging them in the important responsibility they carry of raising their children. We also try to motivate them to spend personal time with their children by reading the value-based books we distributed with their kids to help them develop strong moral values.

Thanks to the Activated Ministries sponsorship program, we were able to freely distribute these value-based educational books and puzzles free of charge to 1,200 children and over 350 sets of parents. The messages contained in these books of truth, values, and God’s love is so needed in the very marginal neighborhoods where we hold our programs. Thank you for helping us to make a difference.