Community series – Sharing Good Fortune Through Goodwill in Manzanillo

2022/2023 John Chalmers

By John Chalmers on the Winter 2022/2023 Edition

Snowbirds from the United States and Canada who are fortunate in being able to spend the winter in México, or may even have escaped the rigid winters of the north to live in México full-time, share their good fortune in supporting local worthy causes in the Manzanillo area.

Through monetary donations and attendance at special fund-raising events, they have the opportunity to help improve the lives of local people. In fact, some organizations are heavily dependent upon the goodwill and generosity of winter visitors to México.

Casa Hogar Los Angelitos (CHLA), which provides a home for children from infancy to university age, like many charitable operations, saw funding drop during the COVID pandemic.

Its fundraising efforts are vital to maintain the care it offers to children who have been given a loving home with educational opportunity.

From late 2022 to spring 2023, CHLA organized a number of benefit events. These included dinner and performance nights at the Centro de Artes Los Angelitos (CALA) that showcased the expressive arts program of the home. In dance and music instruction provided in that optional program at the home, the young people learn of their Mexican heritage and develop the confidence to perform on stage. Such fundraising nights provide spectacular entertainment.

Three upcoming events at CALA are scheduled.

On January 26, a dinner and a Ballet Folklórico performance of the expressive arts program plus a silent and live auction will comprise a benefit night. Featured in the program will be dances from the 1970s. It will be a “Fun Fundraiser” to support the children of CHLA. A live band will be providing dance music for dinner guests. Tickets for the event are $50 USD for the dinner and show.

On February 16, 17 and 18, CHLA will hold its second annual golf tournament, to be held at the Las Hadas Golf Club in Manzanillo. The tournament will be followed by a Valentine dinner and show, a “Day of Love and Friendship” event on February 18, to be held at CALA.

On March 18 at CALA, dinner will be followed with a very lively dance performance featured in “Welcome to Spring: The Flavor of Colima,” highlighting Mexican culture and tradition. For details on all events, contact

The Santiago Foundation operates two centers in the Manzanillo area that provide training and instruction in job related skills and crafts that foster Mexican culture. Participants from children to adults learn skills from carpentry to sewing, and are given a chance to develop talents from baking to learning how to play the guitar. Participants who complete a course in one of the several programs offered by the Foundation receive recognition in the form of a diploma at a graduation ceremony to recognize achievement and to encourage further success.

Supported by donations of goods from the community, an annual Rummage Sale contributes to operations and will be held on March 4 at the Foundation’s facility in El Naranjo. Donations of clothing, small appliances, household items and furniture are welcome.


A fundraising social event on January 19 to be held at the L’Recif facility of Vida del Mar, combined with a silent auction, will be held to support the two learning centers. It is the major fund raiser of the year for The Santiago Foundation. With extra costs incurred in 2022 by earthquake damage to the centers, support is even more important. For more information and to or-der tickets, contact Joyce Murphy at

Donations of food to seasonal low-paid migrant workers are provided by the Manzanillo Migrant Mission, supported entirely by cash donations from sources such as individuals and service clubs.

The organization is a completely volunteer organization with no connection to religious or government operations. Distribution of food has now been expanded to help local people in the area who are in need and on welfare.

Bags of food staples weighting 26 pounds include, rice, beans, animal crackers, canned tuna, sugar, salt, chiles and instant coffee are assembled for distribution. They are delivered on-site to families in the Manzanillo area who have come to work in agricultural fields where crops such as watermelons and peppers are grown.

In December 2022, there were 900 bags of food distributed. About 800 bags are expected to be distributed in January 2023.

For more info, see

On February 23, Friends of Mexican Animal Welfare (FOMAW) will hold its sixth annual Bocce on the Beach Tournament on the shore in front of the popular Oasis Ocean Club. While players compete in bocce games on courts marked out on the sand, no doubt there will be a large number of family, friends and other spectators seated under the sombrillas enjoying food and drinks from Oasis.

Sunshine and music will fill the air on a festive occasion that is a fund raiser in support of FOMAW-Animal Angels ZLO to help street animals through its Animal Angels program.

The program provides free spay/neuter surgeries for street animals and for low income pet owners who can not afford the cost of the professional veterinary service. Adding to the fun of the day are raffles for a Booze Basket and a 50/50 cash prize.

Prizes are awarded to first, second, third and fourth place teams of two when the tournament concludes. Always accompanying the tournament has been a fine Silent Auction which adds to the success of the event. For more info about the work of FOMAW, see

Some efforts to improve the situations faced by folks in need are ad hoc operations organized to bring food staples and gifts to local people. For example, for over two years during the COVID pandemic, Kelly Smith, an American living full-time in México, organized donations of despensas,, bags of non-perishable food, for residents of the town of El Naranjo.

Despensas of non-perishable foods and toys purchased with cash donations from individuals made it possible to provide gifts for families and children.

This December, 2022, on behalf of Santa Claus, Kelly arrived with gifts made possible from funds donated by the communities of Vida del Mar, Las Lomas, Miramar and Club Santiago.

Large bags of toys and school supplies were given to 69 children of El Naranjo, including some street kids who don’t have a fixed home or attend school regularly.

The bags were identified for either girls or boys, and flagged for certain ages of the children.

The despensas of non-perishable food for El Naranjo in December were provided by the Manzanillo Migrant Mission for individuals who were partially dependent upon community support to meet their needs.

The large bags of food were given to 50 families that faced difficult situations. As well, a smaller bag with detergent and chicken bouillon cubes was given to each family. Another food donation is planned for townsfolk in January 2023. To learn how you can help, contact Kelly:

Whether at the Christmas time of giving, or at any time of year, charitable operations and goodwill strive to make life a little better for our Mexican neighbors.

Post pandemic inflation has increased the need to help organizations carry on their good work. You can help improve the circumstances of people in the Manzanillo area and know that your support is put to good use!





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