Oblate Youth in Tijuana Provide Help to Those in Desperate Circumstances

Tijuana, Mexico

By David Rizo and Rich Reader

Mr. Lopez is on the right

Ángel López has two cancerous tumors in his prostate and mentions that he has had them for more than 6 years.  He lives with his wife and a 25-year-old grandson, who is studying architecture.  Ángel said that he wants to live long enough to see his grandson succeed in becoming an architect.  He told us that the greatest gift he can give his grandson is help with his studies.

He takes a lot of medicine, and it is very expensive.  He tries to find different ways to pay for it.  The medicine costs $200.00 per month. 

The shiny new roof is obvious among the common tar paper roofs in the area

Even though he has pain he tries to give his time and lend his tools for different projects that the parish. He recently helped build a metal fence.  Even though he could not stand for more than 5 minutes, he loaned his tools and taught the others to weld correctly.  He is a great example for us that despite one’s deficiencies you can still help in some way.

He has been living in the El Niño community for 20 years and his roof was very delipidated.  He humbly approached the Oblate and requested a roof.   And it was getting to know him through providing a new roof that we learned of his cancer.  It has been a struggle for his life and to see his grandson become an architect.  After learning about his condition, we arranged for an appointment with one of the best urologists in Tijuana.  We just hope he can be helped a little more. 

Thanks to the roof program, the Oblates’ María Inmaculada parish can support people in ways beyond a roof and maybe even help them come closer to our Lord.

María lives in Rojo Gómez Alto with her husband and 2 small children. They relocated from the state of Oaxaca a little less than 2 years ago.  They had lost their jobs in Oaxaca because of the pandemic.

Maria and family in front of their tiny home

For a short while they lived with a friend who also resettled from Oaxaca.   But the house was too small for the 2 families, so they bought a house on payments in Rojo Gómez Alto.  The land is much cheaper there, however, the road is terrible, and they have no utilities.

Maria and her husband must walk 30 minutes to get to where they can catch a bus to go to work.  Unfortunately, a few months ago they were robbed and lost their cell phones and money.  What hurt them the most is that they had received a Christmas bonus with which they intended to repair their roof.  (Many people do not use bank accounts and prefer to carry the money on their person rather than leave it in an empty house.)

Of course, they were very upset and saddened because they have been trying to give their children a better quality of life.  Reflecting, Maria says that everything happens for a reason and that those who do bad things do badly.   “I do not seek revenge or wish those people ill.  I only hope that they manage to find what they are looking for.”

Maria’s family was the benefactor of a new roof from the roof program.  She believes that in one way or another God provides the means for them to put a decent roof over their heads and she is very grateful. What surprised him the most is that God sent this blessing at the exact moment he needed it most.