By Glen Wilchek from the December 2009 Edition
Many of you have probably driven by the Asilo de los Ancianos (Old Folk’s Home) without even realising where it is.
It was built in 1990 and is located near the auditorium in Valle de las Garzas. Basically, after you leave the Las Brisas cruzero and head towards the port, the auditorium is on your left. Just a little further along on the left, surrounded by trees, is the yellow-coloured Asilo de los Ancianos.
They usually have a sign on their fence asking for donations of cleaning and food products that they need for everyday living. Many of you have been very generous in the past and have purchased items that they need.
The Asilo has space for 46 residents, with somewhere between 3 and 5 people sharing each dorm room. About 70% of the residents have no family and rely on the Asilo to meet all their needs. The remaining 30% have some family, but for whatever circumstances exist, receive very little support. There is no question that all the residents have very few options in life, and would be destitute without the Asilo. Having said this, most of the residents seem happy and appear to be making the most of what they have.
The staff of 7 and the administrator do an amazing job providing quality care and cheerful surroundings to the residents, given the limited resources they have. Unfortunately, there is never enough money to provide a perfect environment, and they really survive on a shoe-string.
According to the Directora of the Asilo, Alma Arce de Martinez, the City of Manzanillo has recently cancelled its monthly contribution of $7500 pesos due to budgetary constraints. There is a possibility that this may resume in April 2010, but no one knows for certain. The State of Colima contributes money to the Asilo as well, but has also reduced its monthly contribution by 17%. There is no indication when this will be reinstated, if ever.
Basically, the Asilo is in dire straits at the moment, and needs to raise at least $40,000 pesos to make up the cuts to its funding and continue operating. Otherwise, staff will need to be let go, leaving the residents of the Asilo without adequate care.