On May 27th I had the wonderful experience of watching the official opening of an amazing grassroots mental health organization here in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mexico. Red de Vida is a suicide prevention program that has been running for 7 years, solely out of the homes/business of one of the founders, and entirely by volunteers. Psychologists, social workers and administration professionals have been volunteering their time and doing house calls for those in need in the community.
To celebrate the grand opening of their newly donated office space, Red de Vida held a 5km fun run in the community. It was the first ever organized run of its kind in Carrillo, and there was a great turnout. From babies to adults in their 70’s, everyone who participated did so with a smile (and a lot of sweat). I must admit, it was the most difficult run I’ve ever done. With the afternoon sun in our faces and 30 degree heat plus humidity, I was definitely glad when I crossed the finish line.
After the run we had some speeches, snacks and the ribbon cutting of front gates. It was so inspirational to hear the stories of how Red de Vida has helped people in the community over the years, and seeing how many people wanted to give back to the organization in thanks. One individual who spoke, spoke of the kindness and support she received while experiencing the death of her mother. Her words brought many in the crowd to tears, especially when she finished by hugging Marta Peña who had been her main supporter.
I will be located here in Carrillo to observe the amazing work of Red de Vida, while also helping them as they expand their services. We have some plans for the future, but that will have to be in another blog post down the line.
Ps. If you want to check out Red de Vida and what they’re up to in Carrillo you can visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/REDdeVIDAzonamaya