They Need Our Help

Help provide food, clean water, and basic necessities for 44 at-risk families in San Miguel de Allende


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Last year, I relocated to Mexico after falling in love with the community of San Miguel de Allende. It’s a vibrant, bustling city full of life and color, with gorgeous murals to discover throughout all the nooks and crannies. 

As cities around the globe struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, my neighborhood of San Rafael has been hit particularly hard. Back before Coronavirus, things were already tough for many families. The average wage is about 25 pesos per hour (just over $1 USD). Many people work in the informal business sector as street vendors, housekeepers, and the like, so when the city shut down back in March, they suffered even more from financial instability.

San Miguel de Allende is a small, colonial-era city located in the highlands of central Mexico with a population of approximately 120,000 people.

As a World Heritage Site, it attracts thousands of tourists each year. Since the city has been shut down, businesses have been shuttered, tourism has collapsed, and the economy is more fragile than ever.

San Miguel de Allende map
The families here are battling hunger on a daily basis. There is no unemployment, and certainly no stimulus checks. It’s our job as neighbors to care for one another, so a few of us got together to form Open Hands / Manos Abiertas. We’ve been raising money to support these families and ensure no one goes hungry.

We need your financial support now more than ever to make sure starvation does not happen in our community.

How Opens Hands / Manos Abiertas Works

To preserve the dignity and privacy of our neighbors and for straight-up effectiveness, we have implemented a voucher program to best serve their needs. This also helps support the local tienda owners and strengthens community connections.

  • Families receive vouchers each week so they can shop at a neighborhood tienda
  • They have the flexibility to select which items they truly need so nothing goes to waste
  • Some restrictions are enforced to ensure the money is used as intended (ie no alcohol, cigarettes, or junk food)
  • Essential services are being considered so families do not get disconnected for not paying their water or electric bills

Each week, families receive 3 vouchers worth 100 pesos each. With these vouchers, they can buy tortillas, beans, rice, toilet paper, and other necessities essential to their survival. For roughly $15 USD per week, they’re able to cook nutritious (albeit basic) meals at home and satisfy their basic needs.

  • $15 USD feeds one family for a week
  • $30 USD feeds two families for a week
  • $60 USD feeds one family for a month
  • $120 USD feeds two families for an entire month!

100% of funds donated go directly to supporting the families in our community. 


Matching Opportunity

I am personally matching up to the first $2,640 donations received.

Why $2,640?
Because together, this will allow us to feed the 44 FAMILIES for two full months!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead

An Opportunity to Help Where I Failed Before

Besides living in the neighborhood and wanting to support my community, there’s a lesson I learned when I was younger that really drove me to get involved with this. When I was in 8th grade, my best friend Jenna died of leukemia. I knew their family had a lot of expenses from her hospital treatments, but the church was full for her funeral service and I thought the congregation could help her family out. I was always good at math and in my young mind, if every family gave them just $5, that should garner a considerable amount. I didn’t try to do any fundraising for them. I was a kid and didn’t know how to do it, let alone who would listen to me. I let the adults handle it.

Fast forward 30 years and now I’m the adult. I still don’t know much about fundraising, but I know people and I know their hearts are big. And I know how to use Facebook and email and all those great digital platforms we didn’t have back when I was a kid.

I’m not ready to attend any more funerals right now. So here I am, asking for your help.

Your Support Makes a Difference in These Homes

Open Hands / Manos Abiertas places a high value on the dignity and privacy of the families in our program. Sharing photos of individual voucher recipients would not properly convey the intelligence, capabilities, and resiliency of this community, so instead, please enjoy these photos from the neighborhood that highlight the beauty and splendor of San Miguel de Allende.