LAKE CHAPALA REVIEW
LOVE IN ACTION CHILDREN'S CENTER
CENTRO AMOR EN ACCIÓN
MAY 2010
THE GODPARENT'S PROGRAM: CHANGING CHILDREN'S LIVES

[Pacho's Family]

The Godparent’s Program is one of the most rewarding programs at the Center for both godchildren and godparents. One success story shows how this program has significantly changed, not only the life of a young teenager, but his family as well.

Pacho’s father was diagnosed with diabetes and because of his treatments he first lost his job and then the family home. Pacho had to quit school and was forced to wash cars to support the family. When Love in Action moved to its new location last year, Pacho’s parents were able to move in as house parents to care for around 12 boys from 6 to 10, including his younger brother.

With the family’s room and board now assured, Pacho was “adopted” by new godparents at the Center. They re-enrolled him in school as well as special classes to learn English and computer skills. Within a year Pacho graduated at the top of his class and then acquired a job teaching English at a private school. Next, his godparents will be paying for his university training in computer science. Pacho’s story is just one great success story for this program which teams children with godparents.

Godparents are couples who reside in Chapala Lakeside area, that wish to sponsor a child and spend a little time with them. Financially, they contribute to the child’s school expenses, $1500 pesos per year, and buy them some clothes and personal items. In addition, Godparents participate in the child’s birthday and Christmas. They also take the child on outings at least once a month to places like Cristiania Park, a Circus, the Balnearios or Toblandia for swimming, or to Guadalajara to the Zoo or Amusement Park next door.

The mission of the Godparents Program is first, to provide a guiding force in the children's lives through quality relationships between Godparents and children and secondly, to sponsor their schooling and additional programs which provide academic and social challenges. Overall, the program aims to foster in each godchild his or her individual dreams, a desire for learning and living, and a sense of gratitude and respect for others. One Godparent summed it up by saying, “We are so moved when we see the difference this program makes not only in the life of our young godson but also in our own. We get back far more than the little we give.”

Sponsors are non-residents and residents that wish to sponsor a child, but are not able to spend time with them. They contribute to the child’s education expense, clothing expense, and also contribute for birthday and Christmas gifts.

There are still a number of children at the Center who do not yet have Godparents or Sponsors. For more information on these Programs, see their website at:   godparentsloveinaction.intuitwebsites.com or contact the Godparent Team at godparentslia@gmail.com

If you would like to learn more about the Love In Action Center, visit our website at loveinactioncenter.org Guests are welcome to visit the Center in Chapala at Pedro Moreno #76. To learn more about all the Center’s volunteer opportunities, contact Dave at volunteers@loveinactioncenter.org. To schedule a visit call the office between 10 and 2 Monday through Friday at 765-7409.

[red line graphic]

Chapala Review Columns