This summer, a group of 19 Montview members and friends visited IPODERAC to spend time with the boys, celebrate their school graduations, and get to know the organization. Below are letters from three of the travelers.
"Nineteen Montview members and friends traveled to central Mexico for a week in July to “convivir” (‘live with’) the boys and staff at IPODERAC, a nonprofit home for street children Montview has supported since 2002. For over 50 years, the home has been life changing for the boys, ages 5-22, who choose to live there.
Longtime Montview member Mary Buckley made the arrangements. We broke into small groups and were assigned to a house where we talked, played and helped the boys with chores. Our gift was a framed photo we took of the boys in each house. We shared pizza and ice cream and celebrated their graduations with the local community.
We were struck by the boy’s politeness and the way older boys guided younger boys. After high school graduation, the boys move to the final house, where they get jobs or continue their education.
We also toured the construction site for the girl’s home, which opens in December, guided by the incoming director, Paola. She described the unique empowerment program for girls ages 9-14.
Montview youth built the soccer field, which needs upgrading, and Montview’s last capital campaign contributed funding for a guest house. Currently, annual mission funds provide scholarships for the older youth.
IPODERAC is meeting a great need by providing a home and education where the children learn good values and life skills. All of us left with a greater appreciation of this special program."
- Peggy and John Gonder
"Someone asked me, “What does IPODERAC mean?” Well, I must admit I don’t know the literal meaning of the word but to me it means many things. After visiting IPODERAC with 18 other beautiful souls from the Montview congregation in July, I have several ideas.
I think it means a place of beauty, education, safety, compassion, reliability, trust, and independence. To the seventy boys (chavos) who live there, I think IPODERAC means home. The well rounded education and care these previously homeless and abandoned boys receive from the excellent staff and volunteers is nothing but outstanding. Each of the six homes for the boys, ages 5 to 18, have a live-in educator as well as part time volunteers. The boys learn how to live together with respect for each other and their community. They are supplied with the necessary information to grow into skilled and responsible young men well prepared for their future.
There is an award-winning cheese factory on site run by three Cheese Masters who produce every type of cheese you can imagine. They use milk from the resident goats as well as purchased goat, sheep, and cow milk. The cheese is sold in Mexico, Europe and perhaps one day in the U.S. The money from the cheese partially supports the existing boys home and the soon to be girls facility.
Yes, the in-construction girls facility is well under way and the first building will be completed by December of this year and ready for the first occupants. One of the current leaders at IPODERAC is the new Director of the girls facility. She already has wonderful plans for great success with the young women in their new site.
I am so thankful that I was privileged to participate in this wonderful mission trip to IPODERAC and see what amazing work is being done. During the graduation ceremony our group helped put together, several of the boys politely stood up and thanked the Montview group for the on-going support our church provides. There continues to be a great need for our mission support for the existing boys facility, the new girls home, and a new, expanded cheese factory. Thank you for this eye-opening opportunity."
- Mary Jo Bush