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Friends of the Costa Alegre

María L.Y. de Castelazo
Email: casamaria@ciber.net.mx (may sometimes be down)
Telephone: (315) 351-5044

Wish List
  • Neck braces
  • Linens
  • Adult clothing
  • Childrens' clothing
  • Seed packets
  • School supplies
  • Educational videos
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Medical Supplies Needed at Centro de Salud de Manzanilla in La Manzanilla

We met María L.Y. de Castelazo casamaria@ciber.net.mx, at Nancy's Art Workshop at La Paloma in SanPatricio/Melaque. María lives in La Manzanilla and runs the beautiful and very reasonable La Casa de Maria, an inn in La Manzanilla. She serves the city as ambassador, friend and fund-raiser. She told us a story of someone being recently sent to her home to borrow her sewing thread for the local doctor who had no sutures to stitch a leg wound on a child. After hearing of this, we visited the very young female M.D. on loan from the University of Guadalajara who is trying to run the only local medical clinic with the supplies you see in this picture.

We had also met a couple from Calgary who wondered if the Police Department first aid kits he was instructed to discard every few months could have any use to anyone in Mexico. We took the couple to La Manzanilla where we all visited the local emergency clinic. We took this picture of the only medical supplies available for this town of 3,000 people. We thought if we could get the word out to people planning to travel to the area anytime soon we could get the kits to the clinic. We were told that red tape would complicate simply mailing them and that mail service is unreliable. It would be much easier for visitors to bring in items that were donated in small amounts that seem reasonable for personal use. The clinic has almost no basic supplies. Let us know if you are planning a trip and we hope to arrange to mail these supplies to you in Canada or the U.S. We hope to raise the money for postage and additional supplies that cannot be transported in this way such as syringes, needles and medications. If you can help bring supplies to La Manzanilla, please contact María.

Jodi Johnson

Some time has passed since Jodi originally made this request and many have responded. I am sure there is a continuing need and suggest that you contact María to see what is needed or ask on the Visitors' Comments. - Tom

Medical supplies at Centro de Salud
de Manzanilla in La Manzanilla

---   Comments   ---

Need a Wheel Chair

The murder of four workmen along to road to La Manzanilla has been very devastating for the town and especially to one woman who was widowed. We earlier requested a motorized wheelchair for donation or sale but they have now established that motorized will not work for them under their conditions. They are now asking if anyone has a manually operated wheelchair with a 24inch wide seat for this very heavy and severely disabled widow. Thank you in advance for posting this on the site.

Jodi Johnson

Need Linens

We continue to have a huge response to our request that people take in whatever medical supplies they can justify as being for personal use. Many people have visited the clinic in person and they come home with the general concept that we need to buy some supplies in Mexico that the clinic needs in quantities that are difficult to transport across the border. Linens for the hospital are in serious demand. One person planning to stay with Maria in November is offering to purchase them in a larger Mexican city on her way to La Manzanilla. - Jodi Johnson 10/01

Supplies Are Coming In

The response of visitors planning to Melaque, Barra, La Manzanilla area has been great. We have people on boats who are docking in La Manzanilla just to drop off supplies. Thank you for all you have already done.

Jodi and Dennis Johnson

May 2001

School Supplies, Videos

I went, the week flew by, and I'm back. Just a quick report for you:

I delivered first aid supplies from my doctor to the clinic, and because I had a Spanish-speaking US lady as my "neighbour" upstairs at Jeffrey and Carolyn Howard's house, I was able to find out more about public health issues in the village. The big help, as you may have expected, was Maria, whom I met and fell in love with at first sight on the day before leaving.

I had tucked away some seed packs donated by the local health food grocery chain in Vancouver, and was able to present them to Maria for the Portrero (small acreage/nursery) she brought me to visit the next morning. She already had an area cleared, and said the seeds were like gold to her! We had a couple of lovely, lovely visits and I may end up doing an article about the community recycling and other efforts Maria is spearheading.

Thanks again for your post to the Web. It was SO_O_OO EASY to pack some serviceable clothes to leave behind instead of extra outfits I had no need for there, and another friend had children's clothes to add in, which were very much appreciated.

If anyone else contacts you about thing to bring, please let them know Maria can use broken crayons, pencils, school notebooks, used paper for drawing and the like. She especially mentioned family videos that children may have outgrown, especially National Geographic/wildlife/preservation type items. There is a real dearth of educational videos.


March 2001

It was more than we could have imagined! For our efforts at collecting the "stuff", Maria insisted we stay in her Honeymoon Suite up top. (I'd told her over and over it was more than we were able to pay but she wouldn't let us pay much.) She invited us for Thanksgiving Dinner along with a number of her Canadian and American friends who were just arriving back in town. Oscar, the doctor, also joined us. (He has no English). She insisted we borrow her truck two different days to hang around in Barra and to go to Tenacatita. I think the most fun for me was going to her Potrero -- the acreage where she grows all kinds of fruits, exotic flowers, and what we call, tropical plants.

Maria was overwhelmed with the volume of stuff. As you can tell, we got the green light! Praise God! Alaska Air missed putting one of the suitcases on our flight so we had to wait about an hour for the next flight from Seattle, watching everyone either getting the red light or the green light!

The day after our arrival, I opened the suitcases in her living room and she sat there, dwarfed by all the clothes, shoes, etc. Then I found her later with Oscar, the doctor, playing with each wind-up toy and having as much fun as two kids would have had. She spent ages trying to choose a toothbrush for herself! She sent us off to Tenacatita to her godson's with a tube of UHU glue as she knew he needed it. She knew someone who could use a particular woman's nightie, someone who needed suitcases.........she is so plugged in to that community! People came constantly and there were always big hugs and warm greetings.

The "Friends of La Manzanilla" account is still open and Maria has the debit card so should be able to access any monies deposited to it.

Elly Hallam

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