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Expedition - Spring 2006 - Posted April 10, 2006

Hello Everyone,

We just returned from our trip to Mexico and I wanted to let you know how it went. We had a successful trip. Please check out the pictures. This year we handed out over 1,600 pairs of shoes, bags and bags of used clothing, toys, and even candy.

There were nine of us on this trip: Gloria and John, Jesus, the Royballs (John, Rosalinda, David and Gina), Dennis and me. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to Joyce Herman for donating her airline ticket. We were sorry she couldn’t join us.

Our first task was to unpack and separate the shoes for each of the schools from hand written lists completed by the teachers. We handed out over 1,100 pairs to five different schools, child by child. The looks on their faces made all the effort worth while. We are proud of the fact that this is the fourth year in a row that we have been able to provide shoes for the kids.

We then set off to the villages in the high hills, where the people are very isolated and very poor. We visited several little villages and handed out the rest of the shoes, clothing and toys. We were fed lunch in one of the most remote of the villages. Here are people who have little to eat, yet offering what little they have. The beans, freshly made salsa and tortillas were wonderful. Even without spoons or napkins. By the end of the day, we were very dirty and emotionally spent.

Our other task was to meet with the kids that were awarded scholarships last fall, to review their progress, and give them their second installment of school supplies and shoes. We also met with new prospective scholarship recipients. For fun, we took the top two students to Mazatlan for the day and dinner.

I how have 26 new scholarship applicants for this year, all of them deserving and needy. I currently have about 17 prospective sponsors, who I will follow up with soon. Five of these have already paid. We need a few more sponsors. Remember, only $200 puts one of these children through school for a full year.

Finally, the foundation paid for water filters for the schools, and they were being installed when we left. We are happy to announce that all the schools now have drinking water. Our next project is to get restrooms built at the schools.

Our next trip is planned for July or August. This is when we announce and award the scholarships.

Please feel free to contact me or any of the board members if you have questions, or want more information. We would like to thank each and every one of you for your interest and support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Gwen Matsu
V.P. Finance (and self appointed historian)

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