My name is Andrew Lee, and I am an American English instructor living and teaching in Ensenada, Mexico. I am also a recovering alcoholic and addict.
Just as in my native USA, people are suffering in their millions from drugs and alcohol down here. Crystal meth and heroin, in particular, are mauling the population. Just like us, these wonderful people are humans: they cry, they laugh, they bleed red. And they suffer from addictions, just like us.
However, unlike us (and I am referring to their neighbors to the north, US), they have practically no resources. Mexico, contrary to it's quasi-recent elevation to the status of a "developing country", is still very poor. Everything is in scarcity. Everything.
I am currently teaching at the Francisco Delgado Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Colony 89, Ensenada. We are a certified charity in Mexico. This is a twelve-step-based program. We operate under the principles of AA and NA. We work the steps. We work with altruistic counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and medical doctors. These same professionals are poor, as well, but they dedicate their time, for free, to their people, these addicts, these people who desperately need help.
But there is a much larger rate of recidivism here in Mexico in relation to the United States, and here is why: lack of education, lack of vocational training, and lack of external resources. So, for one suffering (one suffering not only from our disease, but also from poor-to -no schooling, with virtually zero financial support) it is crucial that our Mexican addicts receive training during their stay at this treatment center, or we all know exactly what is going to happen when they leave. Here, we have teachers and classes to advance these men in obtaining their CENEVAL, which is equivalent to getting a GED in America. We teach them English. We marshal our resources as best we can, and we teach them the same. We train men in carpentry and welding and fixing shoes and general labor, and then we send these men out into the community, especially to the poorer parts, and we donate the skills of our well-trained recovering addicts - our new, humble, loving, responsible, and productive men.
The intention of this GoFundMe campaign is to raise money for a very specific project. We are not asking just anyone to throw their money at some charity they've never heard of and for nothing in particuar. I am aware that not only does this campaign ask for money, it asks that you send money to another country.
I've been in and out of the program for years in America. Every time I get clean up there, I immediately receive support from, like, ten directions. Some awesome job falls in my lap. The "miracle" happens. For these people, however, no matter how spiritually fortified they are, if they don't have a positive or promising financial situation awaiting them when they complete here, they're in real trouble in terms of relapse.
So, we have created the "Unidad de Tratamiento Francisco Delgado" training workshop. In this building (the property has been bought, the architect has been paid, the blueprints have been completed, and our workers have begun the work) our guys in recovery will have a proper space where they can learn viable trades, live comfortably in the dorm we're buiding, with clean bathrooms and showers. They will have a recreational space to enjoy sports like basketball. They will have an American-styled facility in which to train and learn. They will walk out of there speaking English and contributing to their communities. They come here barely alive. They leave here thriving.