By Moonyeen King

Part Five


tepehua-may13Tepehua Centro Comunitario, Chapala is trying to keep the privacy of cultures, religions, dignity of Indigenous peoples intact. We are not there to change beliefs or dictate—but to bring about change through education. Using world knowledge to blend and form a stronger middle class. All societies gain from group support. Keeping women out of the work place because of continuing pregnancies is the worst thing for any society. They are needed to balance scales in decision making.

In 2011, Fox News Latino stated,” Mexico is the largest market for erectile dysfunction aids in the developing world, with about 200 million dollars in sales every year since 1998. Mexico was chosen to try ‘Viagra Jet’ tablets that can be taken without water at the moment needed.” Instant erection. Contraceptive use and Viagra are more common in urban areas of Mexico, ignoring the Church, among educated women/men, than in rural sectors, where education is lacking and availability of contraceptives and Viagra in various forms, unavailable.  

The Tepehua Centro Communitario is slowly introducing small industry to women, teaching them how to package and sell, introducing education concerning maternal health and benefits of family planning. They have also started a savings system, whereby the women can save a few pesos every week, not to be touched except for education or extreme emergencies. 

Tepehua Centro is a charity organization, what they do for the women/ children is free. An organization called FINCA, The Foundation for International Community Assistance, started a women’s program in Mexico. If women wanted to start their own business, they could borrow money at six percent a month. The loans were small. This started in Mexico’s Southern Sierras, known as Microcredit or Microfinance. It is not charity, it is business. The loans are only for women, who have the capacity to carry through with a business deal.

Quote from Lifestyles, “In Mexico, the best run little village lenders have grown into something closely resembling a bank. That is something rare in Mexico. Banks are for the middle and upper classes.” Most of the small loan institutions started in Mexico in 1990’s, modeled on Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, run by Muhammad Yunis. Village banks based on the Yunis model have started around the third world, all to help women. These are services no poor person ever had in Mexico before. They relied on local barrio loan sharks, who loaned 1000 pesos for emergencies and 100 pesos a month in interest until the loan is paid back.

Village Community Centers like Tepehua Centro Comunitario can be started in any barrio in Mexico. It takes a small group of people, with compassion and the ability to lead and the willingness to help other women rise above the hand they have been dealt. The poverty trap is brutal when there is no place to turn but inwards.

Tepehua Community Center applauds local dentists and doctors who have stepped forward to donate valuable time to the Center’s Clinic, and to all volunteers who give their most valuable of assets: time. An organization is as strong as the volunteers. The women of Tepehua are rising above themselves. They are forming strength by working together as a village—  helping a village help itself.


Profiling Tepehua Part One
Profiling TepehuaPart One By Moonyeen King   The barrio of Tepehua is just West of Chapala. One of five barrio’s, each as poor as the other.
Profiling Tepehua Part Two
Profiling Tepehua Part Two By Moonyeen King   Indigence: a level of poverty in which real hardship and deprivation are suffered, and comforts
Profiling Tepehua
Profiling Tepehua By Moonyeen King Part III     Maternal Mortality in Mexico has an Indigenous face. Official statistics demonstrate Indigenous
Profiling Tepehua
Profiling Tepehua By Moonyeen King Part Four   “The Church has always maintained the Historic Teaching that deliberate acts of contraceptives
Profiling Tepehua
Profiling TepehuaBy Moonyeen King  April 2022 Profiling Tepehua March 2022 Profiling Tepehua February 2022 Profiling
Wordwise With Pithy Wit - January 2011
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
Victoria Schmidt
  VICTORIA SCHMIDT   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. 
Moonyeen Patricia King
    MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING   Column: Profiling Tepehua   Website:   Settled in Mexico 13 years ago.  The
Ken Masson
  KEN MASSON   Column: Bridge by the Lake   Website:   Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge
Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez
  ALEJANDRO GRATTAN-DOMINGUEZ   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Wrote/directed first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only