Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
THE DURAN FAMILY
Erica Valencia Soto 27 and Hector Francisco Flores Duran 34 live in a shack that they are borrowing from his aunt. Hector is a fisherman, and as a fisherman, there is great variation in his pay depending on the season and weather conditions. His pay can range anywhere from $20 - $120 a week. Erica makes bread and sells it to help pay the bills. Erica and Hector dropped out of school after junior high and would like to get additional training so that they could get better jobs. Hector is interested in getting training as a mechanic and Erica would like to get training to be a hair stylist. Together they have four children: Genesis Belen 10, Ruth Aglae 8, Hector Abraham 6, and Johnathon David 1. Johnathon has an enlarged heart and needs medication. Hector and Erica are committed to making sure that their children get their education. Each of the oldest children have interests in playing the musical instruments and various sports such as gymnastic and soccer but the family cannot currently afford the costs of these activities. This family has their own land and demonstrate tremendous capacity to build a bright future.
THE MALDONADO FAMILY
Carmen Maldonado Munoz is 35 years old and has five children. She is currently renting a one bedroom house with 3 daughters and 1 grandchild. Her daughters are, Karla Denise Saenz Maldonado, (19 - and has two children), Aridelzi Alejandra Maldonado Muñoz, (18 and has one child), and Luz Jerusalén Valenzuela Maldonado, (7). Carmen’s son, Juan Carlos Valenzuela Maldonado, died from leukemia in 2017. During the last years of his life, Carmen took him to Hermosillo frequently for medical care. Her two oldest girls would like to finish their high school education and learn to speak English to open up more job opportunities. Carmen works in a local restaurant and makes between $50 - $100 per week depending on the season of the year. She sold everything she could to pay her son’s medical expenses. Carmen says that if she had a home she would be able to provide support and toys to sick children as she promised her dying son that she would.
The martinez family
Placido Martinez Martinez (65) is married to Silvia Isabel Perez Mendivil (age 63) and has earned a living doing a wide variety of things including making blocks; making charcoal; making and selling chorizo and cheese; and running a small food store. On April 2014, one of his legs had to be amputated because of circulation issues due to diabetes. His life changed because of the amputation. In May 2017, his second leg was amputated. And not long after that the house that he was renting was taken back when the owner’s family moved back to Puerto Penasco. Even as a double amputee he continues to be a strong leader of his family and their respect for him is apparent. Just recently he received his second prosthetic leg and is learning to walk with the help of a walker.
THE MORALES MIGUEL FAMILY
Yaneli Noemi Morales Miguel is 26 years old. She has three children, Joana Noemi Gomez 9, Jovani Gomez 6 and Yaneli Victoria Gomez 4. She is married but has been legally separated from her husband because of abuse. She, her three children, her brother and mother live in a one bedroom house. They cook on an open fire outside. Yaneli makes piñatas, candy, earrings and other jewelry to sell. She does not have any support from her husband, but she does an amazing job of caring for her children and is resourceful, pleasant and engaging. She laughs easily. She would like to get training at the community center to do nails and/or hair. Her oldest child Joana would like to play baseball and Jovani would like to be a cheerleader but they don’t have the money for these activities.
THE SANCHEZ FAMILY
Jesus Vazquez Sanchez is 37 and his wife Maria Fernanda Sanchez Cantua is 27. They have been married for 2 years. Jesus was shot 18 years ago and is in a wheelchair due to the injuries to his lung and spine. He works at the restrooms on the Malecon to collect the charge at the restroom and earns 2,500 Pesos monthly. He has medical needs related to his injuries including kidney infections that have a significant impact on their financial stability and some months it is difficult to pay the rent because of the medical expenses. Maria works with optic lenses and earns 5,000 Pesos a month. Jesus plays wheelchair basketball on the Rolling Rockies team. He also plays the guitar at his church. He would like to learn to make ice sculptures. Jesus is a soft spoken, articulate, charming and gracious person. We first met him a rehab center where he was volunteering to assist the doctors treating other patients. They are resourceful and want to help others in physical therapy. This is truly an impressive couple.
THE Rodrigues FAMILY
Maria del Carmen Rivera Rodrigues (Carmen) is 37 and has four children ages 14, 11, 10 and 9. Her husband was found guilty of selling drugs and is in prison. She and her four children live in a 12’ by 12’ plywood structure with no electricity, water, doors or windows. She has attempted to work as a house cleaner, but has struggled to do that work and care for her children. She has managed to keep all four children in school. When we met the children, they were clean, friendly, outgoing and well behaved. Carmen believes that if she had a house to live in it would meet many of the family’s basic needs and that she would be able to work regular hours to pay for food, utilities and their other living costs.
THE SEMINARIO FAMILY
Sergio Antonia Zuniga Seminario and Cristhian Sarahi Seminario Soberanes are married and have four girls Katern Sarahi Briseno 3, Maria Fernando Zunigo 6, Yolanda del Rocio Zunigo 9, and Mia Renata Zuniga 15. The older three children attend school and love it. The family members are Christians and currently attend the Catholic Church. The father works in a company that supplies glass products such as windows and doors. The company owner says that he is a very hard worker. He makes a minimum of $147.00 a week. They saved money and bought a car and they rent their home. The girls are bright, engaging, and excited about school. They came to Puerto Peñasco two years ago to make a better life for their family and give their girls an opportunity to have a better education. They came with no resources and no money. Now they have a car, he has a stable job and the children are all in a good school. This family can thrive with some support but they need a home.
the Lopez cruz family
Claudia (26) and Jose (36) have three children. Emmanuel Artoro Cruz Rebelledo (8), Jose Miguel Lopez Cruz (3) and Jaziel Abdiel Lopez Cruz (17 months). Jose is a fisherman and works consistently for one man. The only problem with fishing for a living is that sometimes bad weather prohibits fishing. When this happens, Jose goes around the area where he lives and picks up metal and other materials to sell to help provide for his family. All five family members live in a small room with one double bed and no running water in the house and no bathroom or kitchen. They are a very poor family but there is a lot of love with a lot of affection between the children and parents. The children seem very happy. Their commitment to hard work and taking care of their children make them really special.