The Importance of Helping Others:  Food Banks In Cozumel

by Liliana Macotela

Cindy y su equipo

We have reached our fifth month of “confinement” this August and this condition has modified our being and our doing. Before the pandemic I had a business devoted to art and culture; I painted on silk and created handmade notebooks to sell at Galería Azul, and was about to start planning Otoño Cultural de Cozumel (Cozumel Cultural Autumn)


With the support of family and friends’ monthly donations , since April my husband Greg and I have been helping in some of several community kitchens as well as families with limited economic resources. My business has now become a warehouse storing products we give to community kitchens.


For us it is very gratifying and admirable to see how other people who love Cozumel, have decided to risk their health, have sacrificed their recourses and energy to give food to those who, at this moment and due to the pandemic, cannot work.


Cindy Tec is one of those citizens who, along with her family and friends, operates a community kitchen in Miraflores neighborhood, feeding dozens of families who currently have no work. They cook in their home patio in a rustic hearth using wood instead of gas. They put a lot of work and love to have the daily menu ready. When the time comes, people line up at Cindy’s door, waiting for their turn to get the food that has been prepared. Everyone comes with their containers to take the freshly made food and enjoy it at home.


Another worthy example of generosity, leadership and love for the Island of Cozumel is Brenda Briceño’s community kitchen in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood. Making use of “La casa de los abuelos” (grandparents’ home), with the means available, they outfitted a kitchen where they daily feed over 100 families.


Brenda y su equipo

The same goes with the girls of Yantra Foundation, who donate food and food dispensaries to families with limited economic resources. It is remarkable to see how many hands of women and men have made it possible to meet the foods needs of many cozumelenians. It must be mentioned that all this has been done without the support of the municipal or state government; everything has been done with the help of citizens and private sector.


I feel very happy helping Cozumel in this way. This pandemic has given many of us the opportunity to be a bit more useful in our community, to be more humane and care less about ourselves. Thank you to all who are helping Cozumel at this time.


If you have the possibility to help the community kitchens, please do so. It doesn’t matter how or how much you can contribute; you can also volunteer. The most important thing is to make sure that children, adults and handicapped who are currently in a difficult situation, are not alone and may be able to face this moment with the essential.


Liliana Macotela


For a more complete list of ways to help Cozumel please check out this post.  

Lo importante que es ayudar a otros. Bancos de alimentos en Cozumel

por Liliana Macotela


Yantra y su Equipo

Este mes de agosto, llegamos al quinto mes de “encierro” y esta condición en el mundo  ha modificado nuestro ser y nuestro hacer.  Antes de la pandemia yo tenía mi negocio de arte y cultura, pintaba sobre seda y hacía libretas artesanales para vender en la Galería Azul, y estaba por planear el Otoño Cultural de Cozumel.


A partir de abril, junto con mi esposo Greg, nos hemos dedicado a ayudar algunas de las varias cocinas comunitarias y a familias de bajos recursos, gracias al apoyo de familiares y amigos que cada mes están aportando donaciones.  Ahora mi negocio se ha convertido en bodega para guardar los productos que damos a las cocinas comunitarias.


Para nosotros es muy gratificante y admirable ver cómo otras personas que por amor a Cozumel, han decidido arriesgar su salud, sacrificar sus recursos y su energía para dar alimento a quienes en este momento, por la pandemia, no pueden trabajar.


Cindy Tec es una de esas ciudadanas que junto con su familia y amigos operan una cocina comunitaria, y todos los días ofrecen comida en la colonia Miraflores, para decenas de  familias que hoy no tienen trabajo. En el patio de su casa cocinan en un rústico fogón y usan leña en lugar de gas. Mucho trabajo y amor ponen para tener listo el menú del día. Cuando llega la hora, la gente se forma en la puerta de la casa de Cindy, esperando su turno para recibir la comida que se ha preparado. Cada persona llega con sus contendores para poder llevarse la comida recién hecha y la puedan disfrutar en casa con su familia.

La cocina comunitaria  de Brenda Briceño, en la colonia Emiliano Zapata, es otro digno ejemplo de generosidad, liderazgo y amor por la isla de Cozumel. Usando “La casa de los abuelos”, con los medios que tuvieron a su alcance, acondicionaron una cocina donde diariamente dan alimento a más de 100 familias.


Lo mismo pasa con las chicas de Fundación Yantra, quienes donan comida y despensas a familias de bajos recursos. Es admirable cuántas manos de mujeres y hombres han hecho posible atender las necesidades de alimentación de muchos cozumeleños. Es importante comentarles que todo esto ha sido sin apoyo del gobierno municipal o estatal, todo ha sido gracias a la ayuda de los propios ciudadanos y de la iniciativa privada.


Me siento muy feliz de poder ayudar de esta manera a Cozumel.  La pandemia nos ha dado a muchos la oportunidad de ser un poco más útiles en nuestra comunidad, de ser más humanos y de preocuparnos menos de uno mismo. Gracias a todos los que ayudan en este momento a Cozumel.


Si tienes posibilidades de ayudar a las cocinas comunitarias, por favor, házlo. No importa cómo ni cuánto puedas aportar; también puedes ser voluntario. Lo más importante es asegurar que los niños, adultos y personas con alguna discapacidad, que hoy están en una situación difícil, no estén solos y puedan sobrellevar este momento con lo básico.


Liliana Macotela


Para obtener una lista más completa de formas de ayudar a Cozumel, consulte esta publicación.

Greg Dietrich

Greg first came to Cozumel in 1988 to scuba dive and enjoy the beaches of the east side of the island. He immediately fell in love with the island and its people. His dive master convinced him he should look into buying a house here… turns out his other job was as a real estate agent. Long story short, he bought a house here on that very first visit. Greg came back to Cozumel at least twice a year for the next 10 years.

In the spring of 1998, Greg had a successful glassblowing related business in Seattle Washington, the city that is known as the glass art center in the United States. In March, on the first night of his much needed vacation in Cozumel, he met Liliana Macotela. This encounter changed everything.

By the end of that year, he had sold his business, packed up his engraving machine, and moved here to the island. He opened his working studio/gallery, called Galeria Azul, in the downstairs of his home. He is still there to this day engraving and painting, and in general, enjoying his life here with his wife, Liliana.
Greg Dietrich

Latest posts by Greg Dietrich (see all)


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