Located in Vicario, Mexico, CIDA is a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes. The center’s success rate is five times higher than similar facilities in Mexico, due in large part to the dreams of the CIDA director Tom Martin, and his late wife Cherilyn.
According to Tom, “Cherilyn found her niche in Mexico. The church, women and mission outreach proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle in her life.”
When Cherilyn passed, her dream became Tom’s. And in April, we set out to contribute as well.
Our goal for this project was twofold. First, we replaced the roof of the bodega. The new roof insures that all of the resident’s possessions stored in the bodega are now protected from the rain. Then, we painted the inside of a recent addition to the women’s dormitory. Giving color to this room completed the new build and provided women with proper separation from the CIDA’s detox room.
Adding beauty and function at CIDA will make an impact on the treatment and the lives of those at CIDA. For some of the men and women, CIDA is their permanent home. In order to leave after undergoing treatment, they must be accepted back by their families. One of the young women we met, set to leave the day after this project, expressed fear that she would die at home due to relapse. A man helping us with the roof said he knew he would die at CIDA – he had no family to take him back.
Even after our project was complete, there was plenty of work to be done at CIDA. We picked up trash, cut wood and our female volunteers spent time with the women at the center. They crafted – and connected. Our volunteers offered encouragement and showed love. The compassion and the dignity they showed the women at the CIDA was especially recognized by Tom because the ladies at CIDA were his wife’s passion.
As volunteers, we were just as grateful for the experience.
Thank you to our volunteers, and to the other amazing sponsors Mastin Labs, Chat Books, Totally Rad Inc., Lens Pro, and The International Academy of Wedding Photographers! And thank you What If for allowing us to be part of this.
Here’s an excerpt from an email written to us from Tom.
“Thank you is not enough to tell you the way I feel about what your group did for our CIDA family and, especially the compassion and dignity your women showed our ladies because the ladies at CIDA were my wife’s passion. I live about thirty miles from CIDA and I cried all the way home and off and on for two more days every time I thought about it.”
Encouraging cards provided by the Hello Happiness Card Co.