December 20th was a special day for the residents of the small town of Lima de Abajo, north of La Peñita. They patiently lined up in anticipation of a delivery of clothes brought by a small group of Canadian volunteers.
Suitcases were unloaded and wheeled into the town building and the clothes were quickly organized in sizes from tots to teens to adults. It was also a special time for the volunteers who had been preparing for months for this exciting day. Locals pitched in to help men, women and babes in arms shop for clothes and Christmas presents for their families.
This year’s volunteers: James Hanley (far left), Alexis Hanley, Allyson Williams, organizers George & Donna Steensma, John Eckfeldt and Rosalva Flores Rodriguez. Not shown: Allyson Sofía and Linda Wolfe, who was behind the camera.
While the parents were inside shopping, the day was made even more merrier in the plaza with games for the children lead by volunteers. The Bean Bag toss was such a big hit, that kids lined up several times in hopes of winning a prize. Smiles abounded and new friends were made.
Volunteers Rosalva, James and John organizing the games.
Volunteer Allyson Sofia was a big help with the games.
Later, a basketball got tossed around and a gathering of children, although shy at first, joined in singing Feliz Navidad.
For the sixth year, these suitcases of lovely donated clothes have travelled from Canada to this small village via George and Donna Steensma, friends and other volunteers.
“It’s the smiles on their faces that is the reward,” says James, a volunteer. “You just have to experience it.”
“Seeing familiar faces from the year before and holding the babies to help mothers’ shop” is worth every minute of preparation,” says Donna.
And If this wasn’t enough excitement, there was more to come. There was talk of Santa arriving. Just when the clothes were distributed and the games finished… and more anticipation of Santa… music could be heard coming up the road… Mariachi music. But this wasn’t Santa… it was another surprise celebration.
Just as the sun was setting in this small village an unanticipated event happened… a traditional Mexican wedding parading up the street to the plaza church. It was such a delight to witness the fully adorned wedding party winding their way up the cobblestone main street accompanied by bridesmaids, sweet young flower petal throwers and the Mariachis.
You can view more photos of the Christmas Wedding in Lima de Abajo
But where is Santa? Patience, patience… Santa is coming and indeed the Santas did… traveling on quads and other vehicles. Not your traditional Santa, though eight vehicles were decked out with Christmas lights and even a reindeer. They didn’t travel from the North Pole, but rather from La Peñita, cautiously on the highway loaded with lots of presents for girls and boys.
With the clothes distributed, the children’s games completed… the bride and groom married… and Santas appearing on the horizon, one could only wonder about the magical timing of these events all centered about this little village plaza and church on Dec 20th…
Wonder, love, togetherness, laughter and smiles… so-o-o magical, all in one day.
Happy moments to remember for a lifetime.
Thank you, thank you… to all those who contributed!
The children were enamored with Volunteer Linda Wolfe’s necklace made of ojo beads and shells.
More photos of this special day…
by Linda Wolfe
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