Wednesday, August 26, 2009

La Casa de la Sagrada Familia August 2009

If you live around Lake Chapala somewhere, you've probably driven by this building on the south shore over the past year and wondered what it was. Being the stalwart reporter that I am, Kathi and I stopped by one day to get the scoop.

La Casa de la Sagrada Familia
Rancho el Salitre
Carretera Mazamitla - 7 km from Jocotepec
Phone: 34 81 06 92 71

La Casa is the only facility in our area that fulfills a distinct need in the community, it is strictly for men and women who are unable to care for themselves and have no income, assets, or family to take care of them - as is normally done in the Mexican culture. All of their current patients are in their 80s and 90s. The lone male is a spry 94.

Three of the prettiest gals at the Casa.


The van you saw in the foreground was donated by a bishop. The land and building are also donations. Their water source is a donation from the ranch across the highway.
All of the patients come from hardship circumstances. All of them.

They currently have requests for more patients than they can feed. I believe they said they had 46 beds, but they are limited in the number of patients they can take in due to the expenses for the care and feeding of the patients. As of yesterday, they had 7 patients.

La Casa is located just east of San Pedro Testistan and is right next door (to the west) to the orphanage Villa Infantil. La Casa is about a year old and is staffed and operated by three Franciscan nuns: Madre Rosa Campos, Hermana Angélica Verduzco Verduzco, and Hermana Soila Orosco. Each one delightful and charming and full of personality, compassion, and patience.

Hermana Angélica is also a nurse and will be reasigned soon to work in the hospital in Guadalajara and replaced by another nun. "A younger nun", Angélica said with a grin.

Last evening there was a planting party. Folks from Joco brought fruit and flower trees and other garden plants for La Casa. The nuns were thrilled.

Madre Rosa Campos

La Casa is a beautiful building, well planned, safe for the patients, easy accessibility for wheelchairs, IMMACULATELY CLEAN, sparsely furnished and decorated, but very bright and cheery.

Here's the tour:

This is the patients kitchen and dining room. There is no fridge yet so the nuns create meals in the kitchen of their quarters and serve them here in the patient's dining room.

Women's Dorm
Each room has 4 beds.

Men's Dorm
Also 4 beds to room.

Multiple CLEAN AND SAFE bathrooms situated conveniently along the corridors.

The lavanderia.

The nun's quarters are built in a square with their kitchen dining room in one corner and their rooms around the pleasant little garden.

Situated off of the main living room and next to the patient's
kitchen and dining room is an intimate little chapel.

We had a great time talking to the Madre and letting her show us around. I feel they are worthy of my time and energy and am committed to see what I can do to help them.

Besides, I like old people and the sisters are just really fun!

Care to help me? Email me at:

The planting party.

L to R: Hermana Soila, Sharon Oden, and Madre Rosa

L to R: Rob Oden and Martin the Casa's handyman, gardener,
and watchman.

L to R: Martin and Hermana Anjélica.

While the building and land has been a gift, the taxes, upkeep, gas for the car, CFE, and propane are not. Those expenses must be met on a regular basis, as well as everyday patient expenses.

The following is their (somewhat in order)

Wish List:

Toilet Paper
Clorox, any brand of cloro will do
Diapers - Adult - size Med
Etc, etc, etc, you know what they need.

Of course they need food, eggs, meats, and fruits and vegetables.
The sisters shop for food on Fridays at the Jocotepec Mercado.
If you see them shopping, buy them a bag of produce or slip them a few pesos.
You will be helping more than you know.

Medicine Wish List:

10 cm elastic bandages
Cotton Balls
5cc injection syringes
Doloneurobion Forte
And anything else you think they could use.

You are invited to stop by to see the nuns, the patients, and their facility any time you would like!
All you have to do is pull up to the gate and honk, it is always locked for security, but someone will come right out and open the gates and welcome you. You might not want to go empty handed.
The nuns appreciate even the smallest donations and are very clever at stretching a peso.

If you would like to donate money, you can go to and send
your donation to my account:
and I will bring it to them.
Credit cards accepted.

If you would like more information, or have something you want me to
deliver for you, email me at the same email address:

Thanks for caring.


  1. I tried to e-mail you but it didn't work.
    What about tape-recording the life story of each resident. Then have it transcribed, then translated. It could be cheaply published with a picture of each story teller. Selling these publications could be a constant source of income. I would help with the publishing part. Christine

  2. Hi Christine: Thanks for the tip on the bad link.
    What an interesting idea! Currently there are only 7 patients (due to expenses, not need) and your idea could certainly start with pics and stories of the patients posted on the walls and progress from there. I think anything to celebrate their lives would be appreciated.
    Of course, the most pressing expenses are currently food and diapers and the like, so those needs would have to be met first.
    Let me chew on this. Are you here?

  3. Good job Trailrunner.
    Those folks are so needy. What ever you can get together will be a blessing for them.

  4. The way the home is designed is wonderful. There are sky lights that make it bright and cheery all day....without using electricity.

  5. You guys are the best!!!
    Have had several offers of help and some very good ideas to pursue. This will be a work in progress.
    Please, keep 'em coming!
    Thanks to everyone who cares. I'll keep you updated.