getting to be friends with disabled people

Newsletter from the Sierra Madre #82 | January 2018

Newsletter from the Sierra Madre #82 – January 2018

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Disabled Recovering Drug-Addicts United

A new service program run by disabled recovering drug-users in Mexico

by David Werner

In Mexico today, widespread use of addictive drugs has become a major social and health problem, especially among youth. In this newsletter we discuss how extensive trafficking and consumption of drugs have created new challenges for the community health and disability programs we are involved with, and we describe a groundbreaking initiative run by and for disabled persons who got hooked on drugs and are now trying to stay off them by devoting their lives to assist others in need.

Drugs and Disabilities

Mexico’s Drug Crisis

Back in the mid-1960s, when I began community health work in the Sierra Madre, cannabis, and opium poppy were already grown by some villagers, largely as cash crops to supply the demand by pot and heroin users in the United States. But local consumption was minimal. Not until Mexico became a major pipeline for cocaine from South America to the US did drug use in Mexico begin to escalate drastically. Traffickers from South America intentionally hooked youth of the Sierra Madre on cocaine, so they would swap their home-grown goma (raw opium gum) for coca (cocaine). By so doing, the traffickers could greatly multiply their earnings. The amount of raw opium they paid the equivalent of US$300 for in the Sierra Madre would sell as adulterated heroin in Los Angeles for as much as a million dollars!

kids sniffing glue
Children as young as seven or eight years old get hooked on sniffing glue.

Once cocaine use began to spread in Mexico, it led to growing use of other substances – everything from glue-sniffing by street kids to opioid painkillers and “Roche-2” by urban youth. The last decade has seen an explosion in use of crystal methamphetamine – known as cristal – which is not only highly addictive but pernicious to both body and mind.

Aggravating the drug scene in Mexico is the aggressive WAR ON DRUGS spearheaded by the US government, which has fueled both the powerful drug cartels in Mexico and the pervasive corruption at every level of government of both countries (but more conspicuously so in Mexico). In recent decades the Mexican cartels have become so powerful and well-armed that they often hold the upper hand over the police and sometimes even the military. The cartels’ massive armaments – including machine guns, AK47s, hand-grenades, and other military assault weapons – flood across the border from the United States. In the US they are easily purchased because of the lack of effective regulations, thanks to the overpowering “right to arms” lobby of the American Rifle Association.

All in all – considering 1) the massive US demand for illicit drugs, 2) the easy procurement of weapons from the US, and 3) the counterproductive War on Drugs – the United States is in large part responsible for the escalating drug crisis in Mexico. The manifold damage is far-reaching. Linked to the spiral of trafficking and addiction, in the last decade there have been over 100,000 drug-war-related homicides – and at least 27,000 disappearances – most with impunity and frequently with suspected police or government complicity. With the staggering levels of unresolved crime, corruption, and human-rights violations, Mexico is close to becoming a failed state. On top of all that, the gulf between the wealthy and the destitute continues to widen – as it does in the US and in most of the world. Meanwhile, Obama and Trump’s massive deportation back to Mexico of millions of undocumented workers, not only increases joblessness and hardship south of the border, it drives millions of the desperate unemployed into crime and drugs.

Impact of the Drug-scene on the Community-based Programs

In previous newsletters we have written about how the increase in the growing, trafficking, and use of illicit drugs has changed village life in the Sierra Madre – and how, in turn, this has affected the villager-run health and disability programs. Mountain communities that traditionally had a strong sense of unity and mutual self-help have become increasingly divided, stratified, and distrustful. More and more youth got hooked on drugs, and many began to steal to sustain their habit. Drug gangs proliferated and in time turned to bribery, extortion, kidnapping, death-threats, torture, and murder to establish their turf and power. Meanwhile PROJIMO (the village Program of Rehabilitation Organized by Disabled Youth of Western Mexico) – which had originally been an easygoing, friendly collective set up to help meet the needs of disabled children – increasingly became filled with troubled young drug-runners and -users who had become disabled from bullet wounds.

As PROJIMO became widely known as one of the few places in Mexico where spinal-cord injured people could survive and be functionally rehabilitated, paraplegic and quadriplegic persons from all over the country found their way to the small village center. Of these, 80% had been disabled from bullet wounds – mostly drug-related. Because so many came out of a subculture of drugs and violence, the program had to add psychosocial rehabilitation to its services. But even so, incidents of drugging and violence occurred within the program, and its former tranquil, trustful atmosphere was compromised. Understandably, fewer families brought their children to the program.

With all the drug growing and trafficking – coupled with robbery, kidnapping, extortion, and killing – eventually the situation in the whole Sierra Madre became intolerably oppressive. Little by little the local villagers – many of whom had lived in the mountains for generations – moved out to coastal towns and cities which, in those days, were somewhat safer. Now they no longer are. The PROJIMO team valiantly hung on in the village of Ajoya as long as it could. But eventually it split into two separate programs, one of which moved out to the coastal area three years before the other. The first – which covers a wide range of community-based rehabilitation needs – moved to the small town of Coyotitán near the old international highway. The second – which focuses on making individually-adapted wheelchairs for children – moved to the small village of Duranguito, even nearer the coast. The two programs currently function independently.

Use of Addictive Drugs by Program Workers

Despite efforts by the PROJIMO programs to move far from the area with the most pernicious drug scene, it was not long before the coastal villages they’d moved to became overwhelmed by competing drug gangs – and by the proliferation of addictive drug use. By then crystal methamphetamine, concocted in makeshift clandestine laboratories, was the most popular hard drug. Sold by “vigilantes” of the local drug gangs, it was available at a modest price on almost every street corner.

The village of Duranguito, where the PROJIMO wheelchair-making team had been formally invited to rebuild their workshop, was, at the time the program moved there, a tranquil little pueblo. There was a fair bit of alcohol consumption but little use of hard drugs. Two years after the wheelchair program moved in, however, the village became the outpost of a branch of the Sinaloa Cartel – and drug use escalated. More and more local youth began to experiment with hard drugs – mostly cristal – and sometimes they came by the wheelchair shop to get their motorcycles welded, or just to hang out. In time, friendships and camaraderie developed. It was no great surprise that a few of the disabled team-members in the PROJIMO workshop began to experiment with popular drugs … and little by little get hooked.

As it happened, some of the disabled team-members who got into drugs were among the most caring and innovative workers. They’d shown concern that the wheelchairs they built optimally met each child’s needs. But sadly, under the influence of cristal – on which they became increasingly dependent – the quality of work deteriorated drastically. Also they grew moody and defensive. They began to steal to satisfy their cravings – and to make and carry weapons. Meetings were held and remedial efforts made … but in vain. Eventually those who were most deeply hooked were asked to leave the program. For some, this proved disastrous. And their departure was a great loss to the program and to the children they could be helping.

We (PROJIMO, HealthWrights, and friends) have helped some of these addicted team-members to participate in AA-type drug rehab programs. Mostly run by former addicts, such programs abound in urban Mexico. While interned in the centers, the addicted people become drug-free and committed to stay clean. But too often their good intentions are short-lived. Even after months of rehab, after they get out they tend to relapse. After all, they return to the same drug-saturated environment.

The larger community sees them as losers. Branded as disabled as well as druggies, they have a double cross to bear. They are treated with a mixture of pity and contempt, and are subject to discrimination. They have great difficulty finding a job. Depressed and deflated, they seek out the company of others who are down-and-out, and despite their best intentions, slip back into drug use.

Need For Spirit-enriching Programs for Disabled Persons Fighting Addiction

In today’s world there are loads of programs for disabled persons, and loads of programs for recovering addicts. But there are virtually no programs for those who are both disabled and addicted. The need of such programs – ideally run by disabled recovering addicts themselves – presents a challenge. Some of our disabled comrades who have tried to give up drugs believe they might stand a better chance of staying clean if they could collectively do something tangible to help others in need, and by doing so, gain both self-esteem and public respect. If they could earn a living in the process, so much the better. In order to bring this dream to fruition, a proposal was formulated to start a service program run by and for disabled ex-drug-users, to help special-needs children by advocating for their rights, and providing them with needed services.

Habilítate Mazatlan logo
The Habilítate logo, designed collectively by the group, emphasizes the abilities and friendliness of the disabled team

So it was that a modest new program, dubbed by its members “Habilítate Mazatlán” (Enable-Yourself Mazatlán) was conceived. The group appended “Mazatlán” to the name because most of them live in or near the beautiful but troubled coastal city of Mazatlán.

Habilítate Mazatlán decided to focus on four service activities:

NL82_02_051) Facilitate fun, participatory, discovery-based Child-to-Child activities with schoolchildren, to encourage them to be kinder and more inclusive with children who are disabled or different.

2) Build custom-designed special seating out of recycled cardboard, for disabled children who can benefit from this.

3) Run a modest wheelchair repair shop to service and provide wheelchairs to those in need.

4) Cooperate with PROJIMO Duranguito by identifying children who need custom-made wheelchairs or other assistive equipment, and to help track down the resources to cover the costs.

Habilítate made arrangements for these children, from a special education program in Mazatlán, to have personalized wheelchairs made for them by PROJIMO Duranguito.

A primary objective of the program is to provide quality services and equipment at the lowest possible cost – or free to those in greatest need. The program looks for donations and organizes money-making events – such as dinner parties – at which they present slide-shows of their work. Money that is collected is used to pay for building materials, and, to the extent possible, to provide modest earnings for those who work in the program.


To date the Habilítate team has been most active in Child-to-Child workshops and special seating made with cardboard.

Child-to-Child Workshop Facilitated by Habilítate Mazatlán

child to child logoChild-to-Child activities are participatory, discovery-based, and fun. They involve simulation games, story-telling, and eye-opening, curiosity-rousing, problem-solving ventures. At its best, Child-to-Child is based on the principles of “pedagogy of liberation” in which the challenge is to draw ideas out of the learners rather than push them in. Innovative activities are facilitated, in which the children make their own observations, draw their own conclusions, think about things they might do to improve unfair situations, and make suggestions regarding collective action for the common good. Although a lot of thoughtful planning may go into such activities, the process often turns out delightfully spontaneous and inspirational … if somewhat unpredictable.

Child-to-Child was initially developed to help children learn what they can do to protect and improve health, especially of infants and toddlers. However the PROJIMO programs in Mexico have adapted diverse activities for disability awareness-raising and inclusion. One of the leaders of this approach in Mexico is Rigoberto (Rigo) Delgado, a spinal-cord injured (quadriplegic) young man who spent years at PROJIMO Coyotitán – first for his own rehabilitation, later as a program leader.

(To see a newsletter [#68] on Rigoberto Delgado, click here )

Rigo Delgado
Rigo Delgado (in pink shirt), who is quadriplegic (paralyzed below the neck), as a student at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, launched a program to promote disability rights and accessibility on the campus.
Rigo Delgado, disability activist
Here Rigo talks to a professor in front of one of the many ramps that the university constructed in response to the disabled students he mobilized for greater accessibility.

Because Rigo now has vast experience leading Child-to-Child workshops with a disability focus, the Habilítate team invited him to help facilitate their first workshop, with schoolchildren in Mazatlán – and in the process teach the team the methodology (through learning-by-doing). Rigo gladly agreed – and did a great job.

The first Child-to-Child workshops Habilítate held were in the colorful facility of Grupo Los Pargos. Los Pargos is a cooperative which was formed 20 years ago by families of disabled children. Now all the children have grown up, but they still gather at the center on weekday afternoons. In the mornings they loan a big room at the Pargos center to the Ministry of Education, which uses it as a primary school classroom.

Grupo Los Pargos
Grupo Los Pargos, a cooperative started 20 years ago by families of disabled children, is now managed by the grownup children themselves. For a while they loaned part of their artistically-decorated center to Habilítate, to set up its special seating workshop and to conduct Child-to-Child training activities.
Rigo at Los Pargos
In a classroom at Los Pargos, Rigo, a social psychologist, (in wheelchair) helps Habilítate members learn the spirit and methodology of Child-to-Child, adapting it to enhance inclusion of disabled kids. Mothers and other family members of the participating children were also invited to take part.
Tomás shows his leg brace
Tomás, who had polio as a young child, shows the children his leg braces, which hold his paralyzed legs straight so he can walk with crutches.
discussing disability
The children were encouraged to ask the Habilítate team members any questions they wanted about their lives and their disabilities. It was one of the first time most of the children had a chance to get to know persons with disabilities, and they were very curious. A lot of friendly exchange took place.
kids question David about his disability
The children also questioned me about my disability. I’d recently had surgery on my left foot, which was in a cast.
kids draw causes of disability
In one of the first activities the children divided into small groups and were asked to draw pictures of different causes of disability – and then of possible ways to prevent them. Here each group gets ready to draw on large sheets of paper.
kids drawing about disability
The children took the activity very seriously and were quite creative and colorful in depicting their ideas.
kids drawing about disability
Members of the Habilítate team participated with the children in their drawings and exchange of ideas.
kids drawing about disability
After the drawings were completed, each group explained them and discussed their thoughts with the class. Everyone who wanted to contributed ideas and suggestions.
mothers blindfold children to simulate disability
Simulation games helped participants get a taste of different disabilities. Here mothers help blindfold some of the children.
mother leads her blindfolded child to simulate blindness
Here a mother leads her “blind” child.
blindfold game to simulate blindness
Going up and down steps without seeing isn’t easy.
wheelchair riders lead 'blind' children
Here two of the Habilítate wheelchair riders lead the “blind” children.
children lead their blindfolded mothers.
Next the children lead their blindfolded mothers.
sighted children guide “blind” ones to play on a slide
Here sighted children guide “blind” ones to play on a slide. Quite scary but fun!
circle of rocks game
In another activity, about seeing and hearing, a blindfolded child stands in a circle of rocks. Other children, taking turns, try very quietly to sneak up and steal a rock. If the blindfolded child hears them, he or she points at them and that child is out of the game. This activity emphasizes the importance of both vision and good hearing.
circle of rocks game
Here Tomás tries to sneak up silently in his wheelchair to steal a rock.

After these games everyone discusses what it is like not to see well. They also realize that a child with a disability has the same feelings, needs, and right to play as do other children.

trying a wheelchair
The children are also given a chance to wheel around in wheelchairs.
wheelchair race
Here two boys hold a wheelchair race on the basketball court.
assist a wheelchair rider up a high curb
Here the children learn how to assist a wheelchair rider go up a high curb.
getting to be friends with disabled people
All in all, perhaps the most positive outcome of the Child-to-Child experience is the camaraderie and playful exchange between the schoolchildren and the disabled members of the Habilítate team. The children begin to realize that people with disabilities are just as human and can be as good friends and as much fun as other people.

In a final discussion session the children commented on how they enjoyed the Child-to-Child activities and what they learned. Their feedback for the most part was quite positive. Some said what they enjoyed most was being to talk openly with members of the Habilítate team about their disabilities, and get direct, caring answers. The kids felt that in the future they would feel more comfortable about making friends with someone with a disability because, as one little girl put it, “On the inside, we’re pretty much the same.”

Special Seating Made of Cardboard

A project in which the Habilítate team designs and constructs individualized seating for children with especially challenging needs.

The Idea of Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT)

Habilítate Mazatlan logoMany disabled children, especially when young, can benefit from special seating adapted to their individual needs. This is particularly true for children with cerebral palsy, which today is one of the commonest disabilities in children. Because of spasticity, weak muscle tone, uncontrolled movements, or a combination of these, such children often have difficulty assuming and sustaining the stable position they need in order to do more things and learn new skills – such as control their head, use their hands, self-feed, etc. Sitting in a good position often may help reduce or “break” the spastic pattern, allowing the child to relax, sit more comfortably, and do more things.

from a presentation about using cardboard as a building material for assistive aids
This is the first slide of a presentation on the cardboard special-seating project, put together by Tomás, a member of the group.

But the needs and possibilities of every child with cerebral palsy are different. Sometimes a seat carefully designed for an individual child can make a notable difference, not just for sitting in a healthy position, but in the child’s overall comfort, body control, and functional development.

Effective seating for such children is an art as well as a science. Unfortunately many children never get the individually designed seating that could benefit them most. Professional special seating tends to be expensive. Children from low-income families are often left behind. For these reasons, the Habilítate team decided that its main service project should be the production of custom-designed special seating for children who need it, at low cost. As their main building material, they use recycled cardboard. This low-cost method, called “Appropriate Paper-based Technology” (APT), was first developed in Zimbabwe, Africa, by Bevill Packer for furniture, toys, and household items, as well as for seating and assistive devices for disabled children.

cardboard seats made for disabled children
Examples of simple APT cardboard seats made for disabled children in Africa.

Not only are old cardboard cartons free or low-cost, but cardboard is much more malleable, adaptable, and easy-to-work-with than is wood or metal. APT is now being used in many countries – including England, where families learn to make adapted seating and other equipment for their disabled children.

cardboard assistive-technology Peru
Cardboard-based assistive equipment has been a feature of low-cost assistive-technology workshops I have facilitated in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Here, in a workshop in Peru, family members and community rehab workers make a cardboard seat for a child with cerebral palsy.
woman with child in cardboard seat
After the seat was completed and tested for the child, her mother helped upholster it with an impermeable cloth.

The first step toward making cardboard seats is to glue several layers of corrugated cardboard from cardboard cartons together and press them under weights to form flat plywood-like sheets one to one-and-one-half cm thick. Cheap glue can be made by mixing flour and water. Or white wood-glue, thinned down with water, works well, but is more costly. The finished seat can be painted with water-resistant lacquer to prevent soiling.


A Special Cardboard Seat For Susi – Designed and made by the Habilítate Team

Susi is a six-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. She has “extension spasticity”: her whole body tends to straighten stiffly, and more so when she is nervous or excited.

helping child with cerebral palsy relax
Susi’s mother has learned how to help her child relax.
finding best position for spastic child
Because Susi tends to become more relaxed (less spastic) when her hips, knees, and feet are doubled up, the team designed her adjustable seat with the option to position her with hips and knees bent more than at right angles (less than 90 degrees).
Drawing the design for Susi’s seat
Drawing the design for Susi’s seat
Cutting holes to support adjustable seat back
Cutting holes to support adjustable seat back
adjustable foot rest
Note the adjustable foot rest
Estela – a good-hearted seamstress who volunteers with Habilítate
Estela – a good-hearted seamstress who volunteers with Habilítate – sews colorful cloth covers on the padding and cushions of the children’s special seats. She attractively covered the sponge padding and wedges for Susi’s seat.
tweaking a seat
Problem: On placing Susi in her new seat, her legs tended to thrust forward spasticly, causing her her whole body extend stiffly.
shoe-shaped holes to secure feet for spastic child
To help keep her knees bent feet at right angles or less, so as to reduce her spasticity, the team made this cardboard foot support, with shoe-shaped holes cut out of it, into which her feet can be snuggly placed to stabilize them.
tweaking chair - securing feet
With this foot-holder Susi was able to sit with her knees bent, more relaxed, which gives her greater control of her whole body.
 Gabriel mouth-painting a picture … and Susi’s special seat.

Examples of other special seating made in Habilítate

Sergio add final touches to the seat of Julian, a boy with cerebral palsy.
Sergio add final touches to the seat of Julian, a boy with cerebral palsy.
Julian is delighted with his new seat.
Julian is delighted with his new seat. It allows his mother to adjust the angle of his back and lower legs. To rest, she can lower the back and lift his feet. To feed him she can sit him up straighter.
 extension spasticity
Similar to Susi, Estrella has extension spasticity. In the special seat the team made for her, initially her legs tended to thrust out stiffly and her feet twist in — which in turn caused her whole body to stiffen and extend spastically.
The addition of a cardboard foot separator holds her knees bent and her feet in a better position.
The addition of a cardboard foot separator holds her knees bent and her feet in a better position. And a pelvic belt also keeps her from thrusting forward.
With her hips and knees doubled and her feet better positioned, Estrella's whole body relaxes, giving her better control of her whole body.
With her hips and knees doubled and her feet better positioned, Estrella’s whole body relaxes, giving her better control of her whole body.
seating for child with spina bifida and hidrocephalus.
Lupita has spina bifida and hydrocephalus. With her enlarged head she has to spend a lot of time lying down. So her seat can be fully and easily adjusted from a sitting to a lying position.
seating for child with microcephaly and developmental delay
Jesus Ariel has microcephaly and developmental delay with quite limited head and body control. His special seat – which his parents asked to be in the form of a boat – can be adjusted to allow change of position, and includes wedges and cushions so his head can be placed comfortably.

Generous Souls

One of the challenges of the special seating project has been how to cover costs. Although the cardboard is cheap or free, the process of evaluating the child’s needs, designing and constructing the seat, and making the necessary modifications entails a fair bit of meticulous work. Most members of Habilítate are otherwise unemployed and have a hard time making ends meet. For their meticulous work on these special seats they need – and deserve – some form of income. However most of the children’s families are too poor to pay more than a small token.

Fortunately a humanitarian doctor, Dr. Carlos Miyazaki – who has collaborated with Habilítate from the first – has contacted some of his well-to-do, good-hearted friends. Some of these are now stepping in as “sponsors” of individual children. They cover the cost for the seat, including a modest wage for those making them.

Martha, Susi’s patron
Martha, Susi’s patron

In addition to financial help from individual donors, the municipal “Integral Family Development” program (DIF), which runs a rehabilitation service for disabled children, has become an energetic advocate for Habilítate’s special seating project. DIF now helps supply large sheets of cardboard and other supplies – as well as refers children who need special seating. DIF has also made a physiotherapist (PT) available to help with the evaluation of the children’s needs and to make suggestions for seating design. The young, highly motivated PT who is filling this role is both contributing and learning a lot.

Martha and president of DIF
Martha and president of DIF

The president of DIF, who always is the wife of the municipal president, has become so enthusiastic about Habilítate Mazatlan and the quality of its specialized cardboard seats that she makes frequent visits to the work-site. And each time a new seat is delivered to the child, she arrives with a covey of key people and a photographer. Shortly afterwards articles come out, both in the DIF public newssheet and in the local newspaper.

the Habilítate team
Photo, by a DIF photographer, of the Habilítate team together with friends and supporters. Susi’s special seat is in the foreground.

In this way the rehab programs of Mazatlán are learning about these new ways of assisting disabled children. Of equal importance, perhaps, the larger community is learning about the remarkable social contribution that can be made by disabled persons who have battled drug addiction.

Hopefully this service project will have an impact, not only on how the larger community looks at disabled people and at recovering drug users – and at those who are both – but also on how our group of disabled recovering users view themselves. These latter will acquire, we must hope, a new self-respect … which comes with their doing something worthwhile and admirable, and with the joy of helping enhance the possibilities of children with exceptional challenges.


Much of the accomplishment of Habilítate, and its rewarding liason with DIF, is thanks to Dolores Mesina, a disabled social worker whom we at PROJIMO have known since adolescence, when we helped her get spinal-cord surgery. Dolores was one of the first wheelchair-riders to get a university degree in Mazatlán. As a long-time social worker with DIF, Dolores has helped open many doorways for collaboration with that institution. She is a dynamic member of the Habilítate team. Though she has never used drugs herself, she has a lot of experience with habitual users and is sympathetic to their struggles. Dolores has played a central role in Habilítate’s logistics and public relations, for which we warmly thank her.

An Unmet need: A Drug-rehab Center that Welcomes Disabled Persons

Habilítate Mazatlán is not always successful in its intent to help its members stay off drugs. Crystal-meth addiction is notoriously hard to shake. Some of the group’s most caring and capable workers have slipped again into heavy drug use and have needed to go back into drug-rehab centers. Unfortunately, in Mazatlán – and to the best of our knowledge, in Mexico as a whole – there are no drug treatment facilities equipped for use by people with disabilities that require special accommodations.

One of our wheelchair-riding Habilítate members who recently relapsed – whom here I will call José – is now voluntarily interned at the Drogadictos Anónimos center in Mazatlán. However he was accepted at this DA center only because his uncle (a former drug user) is now the secretary there. But the policy of this center – like virtually all others – is not to admit disabled persons who need special accommodations. Drogadictos Anónimos Mazatlán has no ramps, so José must be manually carried up and down steps. Likewise, the bathrooms are not wheelchair-accessible. Housing laws are another concern. Because the center fails to meet regulations for disabled residency, every time an inspector shows up, José (or at least his wheelchair) has to sneak away into hiding.

Given the vast unmet need for drug centers that are willing and able to serve disabled people, members of Habilítate recently met with board members of Drogadictos Anónimos Mazatlán to explore the possibilities to adapt the center for legal accommodation and friendly inclusion of disabled persons. To meet state requirements, this will mainly entail building a few small ramps and making at least one bathroom wheelchair accessible. In all, it shouldn’t cost more than US$2,000.

HealthWrights has agreed to try to raise the money to put into operation what we believe will be the first drug-rehab center in Mexico that is specifically equipped and committed to welcome recovering addicts who are also disabled.

The Drogadictos Anónimos Mazatlán center is one in a chain of 37 such centers throughout Mexico. If the Mazatlán branch can transform itself into a disability-friendly facility, it could become a catalyst for far-reaching change. With encouragement others may follow suit. The time is propitious, since “disability rights” are currently a prevailing concern internationally.


In the US, donations made through HealthWrights are tax deductible. Click here for more info.


Rigo Delgado, who helped facilitate the Child-to-Child program described in this newsletter (and also the subject of Newsletter #68) is again offering basic and conversational Spanish classes by Skype, To see the announcement, click here.

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One thought on “Newsletter from the Sierra Madre #82 | January 2018

  1. My first viewing of the online newsletter. Wonderful, and I’m happy to know that Newsletter from the Sierra Madre and the work of Healthwrights is still going strong!


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