October, 2022

From Oaxaca to Boston and Back Again:
Crecemos Team Finds Inspiration in Encounter with Boston Supporters

Team members from Crecemos DIJO, a community education and nutrition center in Oaxaca, Mexico, share special moments of encounter with supporters in Boston.

Picture of Colin Murphy

Colin Murphy

At the end of September, five staff members from Crecemos traveled to Harvard to attend the closing workshop of their project, “My Parents Are Storytellers.” The project was selected as part of the prestigious Mexican cohort of the Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator, an initiative jointly sponsored by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child and Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. My Parents Are Storytellers promotes early childhood reading and affective bonds between parents and children.  

During their trip, the group also met supporters from the Boston area, who have been working hard to raise money for Crecemos in recent years. This group of families has organized Christmas markets and lemonade stands to raise money for the organization, and now they wanted their larger community to have a chance to meet their friends from Oaxaca inperson.  

The friends organized two public moments where others came together to hear a presentation about Crecemos’ work, do an art project together, and sing some traditional Mexican and Oaxacan songs.

Socorro Del Rio, Director of Crecemos, remarked, “It was an important opportunity for our teachers to share with our friends and supporters the reasons that move them to do the work so that our supporters will be reminded why it’s so vital for the children we work with to receive resources. What surprised us most was the familiarity, care, and affection with which we were received, and seeing everyone working hard to raise funds. Back in Mexico, the teachers remarked, ‘What drives them to work on our behalf?’ and ‘They treat us very well without knowing us!’ We were very impressed by what we experienced and, above all, understood that looking at the needs of others helps us to generate community, since what helps one person becomes help for each one of us. The same interest moves us to accomplish different things but with the same desire!” 

Some of the lasting images of the encounter include the Crecemos team teaching a group of children a repeat-after-me song about a shark, and the whole room belting out the song “Cielito Lindo” in unison. 

Sabrina Paganoni, who has been working on fundraising efforts along with other Boston friends and helped organize the events, shared “The best week of 2022 for my family was when we joined AVSI-USA on a trip to visit Crecemos in Mexico. We were so struck by Socorro and her team that we couldn’t wait to introduce them to our friends back home. That’s when an unexpected gift happened – they came to Boston and stayed an extra weekend to spend time with us. The weekend was an inspiring series of moving talks, encounters with new people, and the beginning of a growing friendship with many in Boston. Since then, many parishioners have reached out to ask more questions and show support. We think about Crecemos a lot and are grateful for their presence and witness.”

The link between the Boston community and Crecemos will remain strong for years to come, and AVSI-USA will continue to facilitate encounters between our community partners around the world and groups of supporters across the US. We have seen how impactful these moments can be for everyone involved. As Socorro said, they reveal our common needs and desires, and we find joy in helping each other.  

We ask you to consider supporting Crecemos, so they can continue their wonderful work in Oaxaca, Mexico.