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Expats team up with City Hall, local stores to mobilize for Progreso Relief

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Photo: Progreso Relief

Progreso Relief volunteers pulled together more than 1,200 food baskets with donations from tiendas — small neighborhood shops throughout the port city.

Charitable tiendas included: El Cedro in Col. Ismael Garcia, La Baratita in Col. Francisco Madero, Teinda Kelly, Tienda La Sonorense, La Guadalupana and La Guadalupana in Centro, Tienda Salchechoneria in Colo. Francisco I. Madero, El Divino Nino in Col. Benito Jaurez, and Los Compadres in Yucalpeten.

Summarizing six busy weeks for Progreso Relief, organizers acknowledged many people who worked behind the scenes to make the project successful.

The steering committee includes Manuel Rosado from Progreso City Hall, who helped link the volunteer group with important resources; David B. Wright manages the Progreso Relief Facebook page; and Dave Bloch is webmaster.

Sallie Again-Hirst developed the group’s safe and sanitary delivery protocols while Speranza Avram manages finances for this internationally funded relief effort.

“And most important of all, Fabi Furo Fuentes Rodriguez and her husband Enrique Kazco Flores, who volunteered their time to coordinate all of the many moving parts of this effort,” reads a post on social media. It continues:

“We could not have completed this project without the dedication of our van drivers. These gentlemen were dedicated to finding every last family on their delivery lists, and very often acknowledged how privileged they were to be able to help the community. A very special thanks to our drivers Julian Yepez Couoh, Rolando Martinez Gamboa, and Eduardo Yepez Couoh.”

Chuck Dueck spent several hours over several weeks entering names into spreadsheets that turned into daily delivery lists. Anne Ditzler managed donor lists, sending thank you notes to the over 100 people who donated via PayPal to this project. Mary Elizabeth Walberg volunteered to pick up cash donated by folks in Progreso.

Beginning in the second week of food delivery, every basket came with a face mask, donated by several individuals including Kelly Gordon Roscoe, Sallie-Again Hirst, Anne Ditzler and Speranza Avram. Marina Villanueva, Program Coordinator with the City of Progreso Tourism and Economic Development Department worked with Fabi to coordinate the deliveries. And Rashid Pedro Martinez with the Foreign Assistance Services Team at the City of Progreso for helping volunteers locate families in need.

“All of these individuals volunteered their time to help make Progreso Relief a successful project!” according to Progreso Relief’s statement.

“And finally, we want to acknowledge the support of the Mayor of the City of Progreso, Julián Zacarías Curi, who sanitized our delivery vans and filled them with their first tank of gas and enabled his city staff to assist in this relief project. Thank you to everyone for your service to the community!”

Adapted from a post at facebook.com/ProgresoCovid19Relief.

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