Warming up theYucatecan winter

The Fenix Quartet

This year in Merida, winter fell on a Saturday… yesterday in fact! Yes, a few times annually, our hot, steamy weather is shoved away by a humungous cold front blowing in from up north, and we thin-blooded provincial folk feel like we’re freezing to death!

But any weather that’s a novelty is fun, isn’t it? The people we spent last evening with had lots of stories to share about the horrendous weather endured in their former places of residence – Ohio, Illinois, and New York.

Despite the unusual crispness in the air, the fund raising dinner for “Brazos Abiertos,” held at the home of Cristobal    Ponce Patron and Josefina Miranda de Ponce exuded warmth and conviviality.

Chef Paul Lindemuth and his team who flew here from Chicago, prepared a feast fit for kings that included Beef Wellington – one of my favorite entrees, and one I haven’t enjoyed in years.

The Fenix Quartet, members of Yucatan’s Symphony Orchestra played classical as well as contemporary selections, and as always, their music made the event truly special.

Henry Ponce, one of Merida’s leading architects welcomed us to his parent’s home. His work is immediately recognizable for the use of water accents and clean minimalist lines. Henry’s designs work with the Yucatecan climate; his rooms feature free flowing air and lots of light.

Dr. Carlos Cabrera, the director of “Brazos Abiertos” warmed our hearts by telling us about some of the special cases the foundation is helping, and he hinted about  future fundraising plans for the organization… something about a theme night at a hacienda with dancing and divas???

Looking around at the splendid setting, feeling satisfied after a wonderful meal, and content in such pleasant company, I thought of all the work the organizers did to provide us with such a treat…

One of the people at our table smiled and posed a good question: “If those who donated their funds and time to provide this party had simply given the money and skipped the event, wouldn’t the organization be just as well off?”

I was reminded of another annual fundraiser in our city: The Red Cross’ Pre-Carnival Women’s’ Dance.  “The ladies spend a small fortune in costumes, choreography, musical arrangement, etc., etc.” I observed, “Wouldn’t it be better to just donate to the cause and be done with it?”

“No,” said the state delegate for the Red Cross, “Donating our time and creativity, as well as our material resources is much more an act of love than simply writing a check. And as well, these events provide employment to scores of people. We rent a city venue,  buy from local merchants and our community gets to attend and have a great time.”

Another woman who overheard me ask the question put her hand on my arm and leaned closer. “God wants us to be good… but he also wants us to be happy!”

Sounds like solid reasoning to me!



Filed under Vida Latina

10 responses to “Warming up theYucatecan winter

  1. Gordon Crofoot MD

    I am so proud of Brazos Abiertos, Fundacion BAI, Carlos, Luca & all of the volunteers and supporters in Mexico and the US. Sure looked like a fabulous event for a great cause. I am so sorry I was not able to attend.
    Thank s to all.

  2. Paul Lindemuth

    Joanna, thank you for introducing yourself to me on Saturday night. It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you also for your very kind words and recognition of our passion and desire to share our talents with all in attendance.

  3. Nita Lindley

    Congratulations to all of the generous contributors and guests. Wish we could have been there. BAI does amazing work and it is gratifying to know that people recognize and support them. Thanks to all who worked so hard.

  4. Wow! Wish I had known about it. A lovely event and such a worthwhile cause.

  5. It was a lovely event which raised much needed funds for Brazos Abiertos HIV testing and education. So happy you and Jorge could join us last evening…it did get pretty darn chilly toward the end!!

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