Dia de Muertos and a Big Announcement


Dia de Muertos is November 1 and 2, which was Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Tuesday evening, we went to the pueblito to look at the decorations there and to see if they were having a celebration. The little church up there doesn’t have a graveyard, but in the gardens around it people had created little memorial plots for their loved ones who have passed on. They were decorated with flowers and candles, and in the dimming light of evening, it looked very lovely. They community was putting on a program that evening. We stayed for the first part of it. Our favorite acts were the ones put on by the kids. It was so fun to see them sing and dance.


    

     
One Dia de Muertos tradition is making pictures on the ground out of flowers petals and other plant material. This one was in the courtyard outside the little church in the pueblito.

    
The pueblito had a community ofrenda inside a gazebo on the church grounds. this border was all the way around the inside of the gazebo.

     
This display was outside one of the businesses in the pueblito.


Wednesday was the official holiday, and the office was closed, so we took the day off. We went with the Wrights to some markets and then to Reforma. Last year we went to Mixquic for Dia de Muertos, which had a big fair and celebration, and I expected Mexico City to be like that. I guess its big celebration was last weekend with the parade, because everything we saw on Wednesday was pretty lowkey. There were displays of the giant skulls and Alebrijes along Reforma, which have been there for several weeks.  Alebrijes are mythical creatures that are intricately painted. A lot of people were walking along Reforma looking at them, but it wasn’t crowded. Some of the people had their faces painted and wore costumes. I really liked the way one woman in particular had her face painted, and I kept trying to sneak a photo of her. Then at one point she was taking a selfie in front of one of the Alebrijes, and Ron asked if she’d like us to take her photo. She said yes. As I took her photo, I wondered if it would be okay if I asked if I could take a photo of her with my camera, but before I said anything, Pat (who is much braver than me) asked if she would let us have our picture taken with her. She agreed, so I got a photo of her after all.



     


     

This is one of the sneaky shots I took of the woman with the great face paint.

     



We’ve heard the weather is getting cold back home. Not to rub it in (okay, maybe to rub it in a little) here are some photos I took on our Saturday morning walk. Some of the trees and bushes here are losing their leaves, but most aren’t. This is as close to autumn as it gets here. The people here think they have seasons, but they really don’t know what seasons are.
We've been watching this wall be built all summer, and it's almost complete.
     

     


Last week I told you we had a big project we’ve been working on that we would be ready to announce this week. If any of you read the Church News, you may have already seen that Giving Machines are coming to Mexico City! If you don’t know what Giving Machines are, here’s a link to a quick video about them.


Early this year, Gustavo told that for the past few years he’s been wanting to bring Giving Machines to Mexico. However, he already had so much on his plate that there was no way he had the time to devote to getting that done, so Ron said, “Let me work on that.” Ron contacted Salt Lake and spearheaded getting the approval. Once that was done, he worked with the welfare department to line up the humanitarian organizations which will be represented in the machines, with the purchasing department to get the machines ordered and built, with the finance department to figure out how to handle the money, and with the legal department to get the contracts translated and changed to fit Mexican law. This is the first year Giving Machines will be in non-English speaking countries, so we’ve had to do a lot of translating and figuring out how to do it here. And the work isn’t done yet. Our whole team is involved in working on promotion, finalizing the contract with the location, planning the launch event, etc. Getting the Giving Machines here and making it work, will be the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.



It has been really interesting seeing firsthand all that goes into the Giving Machines. The Church covers all the costs—the machines, the publicity, etc.—so that every penny  the machines take in goes to the humanitarian organizations. The Philippines had Giving Machines before Covid. The total amount they took in was very small compared to the machines in the U.S. However, when they looked at the number of donations, it had as many donations as the machines in New York, so it was considered a success. I love that! The Church isn’t looking at the bottom line as being how much is brought in versus how much was invested. Instead, they are looking at how many lives were touched, including the lives of the people who donated. The reason the Philippines took in so much less is that the cost of the items in their machine was much lower than the costs of the items in the U.S. It was done that way intentionally to make giving accessible to everyone. Our prices will be higher than the ones in the Philippines but lower than the ones in the U.S. We are hoping this will be a blessing to many people in Mexico, both those who give and those who receive. We’ve had (and are still having) some stressful moments on this project, but it is something we very grateful to be a part of it.



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