I would like to share with you an article I wrote for the Vallarta Tribune. It appeared in the April 23rd edition. I’ve broken it into two parts so its not so exhausting.
The Amigos Give Back in La Cruz
By Susan M. Gierga
One thing Philo Hayward, Owner of Philo’s Bar, knows how to do is organize an event. He used that skill, soon after his arrival in La Cruz thirteen years ago, to organize the folks in his neighborhood to clean up the local streets.
About the same time, Aruna Piroshki, owner of the Octopus Garden, saw an opportunity to improve municipal building codes. Aruna found she was excellent at the administrative side of things. The two friends put their respective talents together to create the organization known today as Amigos de La Cruz.
In 2001, Philo and Kathleen Dobek heard the story of a young girl in need of hearing aids. Kathleen and Philo organized a benefit and with the additional help of a generous donor, made the hearing aid purchase possible. They were so elated with the results they formed The Friendship Club, assisting more children and adults to meet their health care needs.
Eventually, the Friendship Club was absorbed into Amigos de La Cruz and is now known as the Amigos Medical Assistance Program. To this day, the program assists children and adults for whom they purchase medications and supplies on a monthly basis. The program also purchases bus tickets when specialty treatment in Tepic, Guadalajara and/or Mexico City is needed.
The mission of both Amigos de la Cruz and the Medical Assistance Program is to contribute to the quality of life in the community of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle through cultural, educational, environmental and charitable assistance programs. An organizing board of seven unpaid volunteers oversees the activities of the Asociación Civil, a non-profit corporation.