Many women in Mexico are named Guadalupe in honor of the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who many say was Aztec high-priestess Tonantzin and Earth Mother, adapted to the religious needs of New Spain.
Our Guadalupe is a woman in her early forties with thick, luscious long black hair that hangs down to her waist. Most of the time she wears it braided with ribbon in the local Zapotec style. Lupe is a widow and mother of three boys. Her youngest is age eight. She has aspirations for all her children to go to and complete university.
Lupe was just diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor. Depending on biopsy results, the follow-up treatment will be either chemotherapy or radiation. We are waiting to hear. As I write this, I am waiting for flights that will take me back to Mexico today. As soon as I get to Oaxaca, I will be able to find out more.
The cost of the surgeon is 18,000 pesos. That’s about $1,350 USD, a substantial out-of-pocket amount for a weaver who is always working to make ends meet anyway. Then, there will be the cost of treatment. We anticipate that Lupe will not be able to work for a while, so there mayl not be enough to buy food or pay for school tuition and books.
Friends of Guadalupe:
Make Your Gift for Breast Cancer Treatment
Click the PayPal button above to make your gift. It will be deposited into my Oaxaca Cultural Navigator PayPal account and I will convert it to pesos and give your gift to Lupe. If you want to send along messages or prayers for healing, please include this. If you just wish to send money from your account to mine, my PayPal account is firstname.lastname@example.org
Breast cancer does not discriminate and affects women of all ages, at all economic levels and in countries throughout the world. I am certain there are many stories like this one.
Several Oaxaca expat women have pledged to help Lupe with her expenses. If many more of us come together to offer a small gift, we can make a big difference for Lupe and her family and share the cost of her treatment and recovery. Will you join us?
Lupe says she wants to pay back what is given to her by weaving rugs and cleaning houses. We think that’s too much to ask for a friend recovering from this diagnosis and treatment. We believe she needs to concentrate on taking care of herself.
Let us join together to do a small part to repair the world. Thank you, And, can I add your name to the Friends list?
Friends of Guadalupe
For a complete list of donors, click on the link above!
Day 3: Portraits of the Lupita Lazo Family
Today, our portrait photography workshop participants visited three families in Teotitlan del Valle who had graciously accepted our request to take their photographs. One of these is the family of Lupita Lazo.
Several months ago I wrote about Lupita Lazo’s diagnosis of breast cancer (a growing problem in Mexico) and her need for financial help. So many of you responded with gifts of all sizes and we were able to raise over two thousand dollars to help to cover a mastectomy, early chemotherapy treatments and pain medications.
Lupita is hopeful. So is her doctor and her many friends. She has completed four rounds of chemo, with the fifth and most powerful dosage coming up on February 10. There will be three more rounds after that.
The doctor says she is strong. Lupita has changed her diet. She is eating mostly chicken and no red meat, no dairy and lots of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. She tells me that a regular tonic is a mix of beet, carrot, parsley and orange juice. Since she is now unable to work, Lupita’s oldest son Hugo has quit university and is working to help with household expenses. Hugo is twenty years old. Danny is sixteen and Cristobal is ten. Lupe is a widow.
It was a wonderful experience to be with the family today. Lupita is joyful and positive. Her three boys are loving and giving her lots of care, as are her many friends. It meant a lot to us to share this time with them in their home.
For the photographs, some of us are using iPhones and some of us are using digital cameras. In low lighting, we are learning about using the reflector to take advantage of natural light coming into dimly lit interiors. We are not using flash or any artificial lighting, adjusting the settings on our cameras to accommodate each situation.
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Posted in Cultural Commentary, Teotitlan del Valle, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged breast cancer, class, course, family, health, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photography, portraits, Teotitlan del Valle, treatment, workshop