Thanks to Incredible YOU!

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to thank you!!!! You all are terrific! So many people are buying and selling tickets for the fundraiser “Chicken Breakfast”! We’ve already received dozens of bags of gently used clothing to hand out to those in need on Christmas, and the silent auction and Christmas Bazaar items are coming in, too.

A special shout-out to Post-n-Ship in the Golden Zone, where you can purchase tickets for the breakfast on December 12th and drop off any donations. Click on any photo below to enlarge it or view a caption.

Also a big special shout-out to Vecinos con Cariño. They are selling tickets, buying tickets, and they have donated a whole lot of stuff to help us bring joy to the nearly 3000 families we hope to feed on Christmas. For any of you looking for a meaningful charitable organization to join, I urge you to take a look at VCC. I am really impressed with the numerous worthwhile projects in which they are involved: schools programs, helping migrant families in Teacapán, and an upcoming inter-condo-complex competitive “Food Fight.” They also are making good on their vision to help other charitable organizations, including their aid to Desayuno de los Pollos, or the Chicken Breakfast/Christmas Eve morning handout of food and goodies to those in need.

More on VCC after the first of the year. For now, THANK YOU and Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

Definitely Feeling like the Holidays!

P1220962Thank you all for so generously helping out Desayuno de los Pollos. Today I went out with Roger, Sue and Dave on a toy shopping spree. We each pitched in several hundred dollars of our own money, but we used some of what so many of you have kindly donated for toys also.

I’m guessing what we purchased today is going to bring smiles to the faces of 500-600 children, babies and teenagers this Christmas. We bought art supplies, games, toy cards, puzzle books, baseball bats, balls… While I felt bad to contribute to ruining our planet by buying cheap stuff from China, it was sooooo much fun to pick out the gifts, trying to balance girl, boy and gender-less items (difficult task, I might add)… I trust it lightens a parent’s worries a bit, as well.

Many thanks to Importaciones Sanfri, who gave us a 20% discount on our purchase, because they knew the toys were going to needy kids. Today’s outing definitely put me in the spirit of the season! Thank you all!

If you would like to contribute to buy toys, chickens, or anything else, please click on the “Donate” button on the upper right of this blog, or email me at We look forward to seeing you all on the 24th around 7 am!


“Chicken Breakfast” 2014!


Last year we fed 2300 families, in Mazatlán’s poorest colonias: La Felicidad, Ampliación Felipe Angeles, Universo, Quinta Chapalita, Nuevo Milenio, Jardines del Valle, Villa Tutuli, Nuevo Cajeme, Montebello, Francisco I. Madero, Ladrillera, El Basurón, El Conchi 2, and the Ex-Hacienda de Urias. It’s a Christmas tradition dating back to 1990, spearheaded by our friend Yolanda Medina. It is the absolute BEST way we’ve found to celebrate the holiday here in Mazatlán. We are so grateful for this annual opportunity—locals and expats coming together, working shoulder to shoulder, to reach out and bring a smile to those less fortunate. I’ve met so many wonderful people through Desayuno de los Pollos, and have witnessed such strength of spirit. 2014 will be our eighth year participating. You can view photos of last year’s event here.

How did this whole effort start? And why in the world is it called “chicken breakfast” or desayuno de los pollos?

“It was Christmas Eve, and daughter María Yolanda’s days were numbered. Yolanda and her late husband, Modesto, were in no mood to eat, let alone have a Christmas dinner with all the fixings. But that night, a woman knocked on the hospital room door and peeked to see if there was someone with the patient. She came in to hand Yolanda and Modesto a box with a hot Christmas dinner — roll and all — and told them Merry Christmas and that God was with them. Yolanda never forgot that gesture.”

Yolanda, her husband and extended family started repeating that gesture for others, and over the past 25 years the project has morphed into two main parts:

  1. The handing out of whole chickens, 10 days’ worth of food, plus clothes, toys and candy, to inhabitants of Mazatlán’s poorest communities. This event takes place each December 24th.
  2. A fundraiser breakfast (not chicken! Usually eggs, chilaquiles, beans, breads, juice, coffee), held to raise money to buy the food. This event takes place each year in early December or late November.

Read the full story of the Chicken Breakfast here.

Would you like to join in this incredible effort? There are so many ways you can help!

  • Attend the fundraiser breakfast on the Saturday the 29th of November starting at 8:30 am (serving till 10:00 or so), at the cruise ship port (API on Agenda Emilio Barragán). Tickets are 150 pesos per person and include a full, home-cooked breakfast, a holiday bazaar of handicrafts and baked goods, a silent as well as a live auction, and a whole lot of socializing and fun. You can buy tickets by contacting me, Dianne Hofner Saphiere, or one of the many other people around town who sell them (Yolanda, Jorge and Isa Medina; Jeanette Leraand, Barbara Narvesian, Lana Reid…). If you can’t attend the breakfast, you can still make a donation. 100% of what you donate will go directly to helping, as everyone involved is volunteer. You can browse photos of last year’s breakfast here.
  • Help us gather great things for the live and silent auctions! Each year Jorge Medina makes at least one wrought-iron table for auction. We often have artwork, and many gift certificates to hotels, restaurants and shops around town. Last year we had an original artwork by Armando Nava, and a 2-night all-inclusive stay at El Cid Marina in the silent auction. You can view just a few of last year’s great prizes here. Many thanks to everyone who donates to support this cause! If you know a business that would like to participate, you can download blank gift certificates here. Once you fill it out, be sure to get it to me, Isa or one of the other key people so we can put it into the silent auction. Thank you!
  • Be a cook! Cut vegetables the night before the breakfast (November 28th), or be one of the cooks on the morning of the 29th! We’ve had several of our cooks move away, so we are in need. It’s a great way to learn to make some Mexican staples, and to meet some new local friends.
  • Help set up and clean up the breakfast (setting out plastic chairs and tables the night of the 28th, and stacking them up after the breakfast on the 29th). My husband Greg is still gimpy, so we will be short-handed this year and could use your help.
  • Help pack food into smaller packets (e.g., bulk rice and beans into baggies), during the week prior to December 24th. A group gathers at the Medina family home in Quince Letras nearly every evening.
  • Gather gently used or new toys and candy, to hand out to the children on the 24th. Last year we had so few toys, the sadness on the kids’ faces just broke my heart.
  • Gather your gently used clothing, shoes, blankets, and jackets to hand out on the 24th. Please get these to us ahead of time, so we can sort things in preparation for the big day.
  • Bring your truck or large vehicle on the 24th, to help us transport the frozen chickens, foodstuffs, and all the Santa-hatted people out to our poorer colonias. Again, please let us know ahead of time, so we can plan. Thank you!
  • Join us on the 24th, to be in one of the six or seven caravans of cars and trucks that go to the poor outskirts of the city to hand out food and goodies! Directions can be found here.
  • Donate any amount that moves you. We are all volunteers, so 100% of what you gift goes to help those who need it. Just click on the button on the upper right side of this VidaMaz blog.

It is a terrific event, and we very much look forward to joining in with those who participate in this annual tradition, as well as welcoming those who are new to it! If you have children or grandchildren with you, it’s especially important to teach them to reach out in this way, and to let them see how simply other people live. We look forward to having you join us.

Get Your “Chicken Breakfast” Tickets Now!

One of 11 routes...

One of 11 routes…

Every year since 1990 (that’s 23 years!), thanks to Yolanda Medina and her entire family plus friends, over 2000 families in the very poorest areas of Mazatlán receive a whole chicken, 10 days’ worth of food, some gently used clothing, toys and candy for the kiddos.

Waiting my turn

Waiting my turn

This is a truly multinational effort, with loads of locals, foreign residents, snow birds and even tourists joining in. It’s quite magical. It is our favorite event of the year. The joy of being able to bring such joy to people! Won’t you join us or help out? There are options for nearly everyone. Here are a few:

  1. Buy tickets for the fundraiser breakfast on Saturday December 7, 2013, from 8:30 am at the API/cruise ship dock. Your ticket, which costs 150 pesos, will include breakfast, a raffle, and entrance to a Christmas Bazaar and Silent Auction. Tickets are on sale at the Mazatlán Membership Library in the Centro Histórico, as well as at Post-N-Ship in the Golden Zone (across from DHL and Aeromexico, next to Dolce Mami). You can call me at 118-4114, or Jorge Medina, in English, at cell phone number 6691-10-0744, and he’ll get you tickets. Quite a few foreign residents will be selling them as well.
  2. Can’t make the breakfast? Please give a donation! 100% of your money goes to buy food for those in need, as all of us who work on this project are volunteer. People who are out of town asked if they could please donate, so I’ve set up a link on the right of this blog, right under where readers subscribe. Just click on “Donate” and you can do so via PayPal. I know recipients will appreciate your help!
  3. Collect your gently used clothing, toys, and stuffed animals, buy some candy to give the kids, donate used blankets or coats, and bring it by Jorge’s shop, Quince Letras Wrought Iron (corner of Francisco Villa and Tampico, just down the hill from the Church of Cristo Rey /Christ the King church), downtown.
  4. Make items for the Christmas bazaar—craft items, sewn items, canned goods, pies, cakes. 100% of the money collected at the bazaar goes to buy food for those in need.
  5. Donate items for the Silent Auction. Do you own a restaurant or know someone who does? Do you own a spa or frequent one? How about a hairdresser? Do you make stained glass or paint, or…? Please, help us collect items to be sold in the Silent Auction. It’s a great way to promote a local business, and for such a good cause!
  6. Solicit donations of foodstuffs with a shelf life: rice, beans, pasta, canned tuna, tomato puree, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, instant coffee, and cookies are most welcome!
  7. Join Yolanda the week of December 16th, to pack bulk foodstuff into smaller portions, so we can be ready to go on the “big day,” December 24th.
  8. Let us know you have a truck and are game to drive it on December 24th. We (almost) always need more vehicles in which to transport the frozen chickens and food sacks.
  9. Join us on December 24th! That is the day we will meet early in the morning at Quince Letras to assemble ourselves into routes, pack up the items we’ll need for that route, and then drive to the colonias to hand it all out. Show up at 7:00 if it’s your first time; 6:30 if you know the drill.

Want to know more details about this project? Other posts on this blog about Breakfast of the Chickens: