The Coopers, Jack and Joyce, along with Patricia Kent Fernandez became aware of Juan Pablo II early in 2013 when we donated left over equipment and materials from the construction of Condominium Las Ventanas to a garage sale organized by Susan Bonnet. Since then, and especially since Susan became ill, we along with others have become more and more involved, participating in physical repairs to the facility, and most recently in last year’s Christmas celebration. Here is some of what we have learned:

 History: Juan Pablo II has been present on the Island for a long time. Prior to its present location, it was in a small house on 30Av. donated by a local family. Several years ago a local woman donated a parcel of land north of the transversal highway that eventually became the property of an international organization known as “Caritas”. This organization was created in the Vatican and is the arm of the Catholic Church that deals with and in some cases funds charitable organizations. Through Caritas and the Quintana Roo State Government, the facilities that presently house Juan Pablo II, were constructed. These facilities, which are capable of housing eighteen residents, currently serve only nine.

Problem:  At the present time, Juan Pablo II, is only funded by donations and payments from the residents due to recent funding cuts by Caritas, local and state governments. The Home is running at a deficit of approximately $2,000.00usd per month. Many payments have already been delayed, but staff and suppliers must be paid to continue operations. Juan Pablo II is in a very grave situation. Fortunately, after meeting with the Mayor Fredy Marrufo, we received his support and the promise of city funding to allow operations to continue through May, 2014.

Goals: The Board of Directors of Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, have been offered a long term lease on the property and facilities, from Caritas, for a token amount. This will allow our organization to collect and control funds for the operation of this essential program and to ensure its’ stability and growth into the future. Our attorneys, working pro bono, are preparing the new corporate documents and sorting out the details of our association with Caritas and the Nuns. With present income bolstered by expanded donations, more residents, and hopefully, sponsorship by a charitable institution, Juan Pablo II can continue to expand its operation and be an ongoing benefit to Cozumel’s elderly.

Immediate Needs:  Cozumel’s government and our local population have been outstanding in giving their time, energy, and support to Juan Pablo II. In addition, each member of the Casa Hogar Juan Pablo Board of Directors has made a financial commitment to the effort to save this necessary service for Cozumel. However, we need help from our friends and associates. Please take a moment to let us know if we can count on your good will and financial support. Without you, we feel that Juan Pablo II could be a lost cause.

For more information, please contact:  Patti: 987-876-1331 or 869-1113 patti@comcoz.com , Joyce: 573-365-6321USA, cooperlakeozark@gmail.com

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…

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