“For the Embassy, being able to team up with the Canadian Forces to help support the work of La Esperanza was a terrific way for us to give back to the Mexico City community.”
-Ambassador Sara Hradecky
For many people in Mexico, a roof over their heads and a clean place to sleep is still not something they can take for granted. With the help of the Canadian Forces, the Salvation Army in Mexico helped improve conditions at the La Esperanza shelter, which gives hope and assistance to vulnerable communities in the heart of Mexico City.
Over the past couple of years the Embassy has developed a growing relationship with the Salvation Army, providing support and donations to shelters like La Esperanza.
The Salvation Army is doing important work to support communities in need across Mexico through the provision of day care facilities, shelters, and programs for abused women and at-risk communities.
While Mexico is making great strides in growing its middle class, nearly half of the country’s population of 112 million continue to be affected by extreme poverty.
This includes the large migrant population whom are often targets of violence and crime. Hundreds of thousands of migrants are estimated to cross Mexico each year, many en route to the United States or Canada in search for a better life.
This critical situation makes contributions and assistance from shelters such as La Esperanza essential to support and improve communities struggling with poverty.
Embassy staff and Canadian soldiers traded in their bearskin helmets and red serges for a less traditional garb of coveralls and gloves.
Their volunteer efforts provided the soldiers and Embassy staff an opportunity to learn more about the Salvation Army and see another side of Mexico where communities experience challenges, but also work together to overcome them.
The volunteers and soldiers, most of whom are Afghanistan veterans, helped paint and clean La Esperanza shelter, which provides essential food and lodging to over 60 homeless individuals. The shelter was also very appreciative for the donated clothing collected by Embassy staff.
The soldiers from the Canadian Forces platoon were in town at the invitation of the Mexican National Ministry of Defence.
The Canadian Forces 2nd Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment (the Vandoos) represented Canada in the Mexico National Day parade to commemorate the milestone 100th Anniversary of the Mexican Army.
Though Canada’s military relationship with Mexico is young, our friendly relationship continues to grow quickly.
Soldiers were impressed by the rich Mexican culture and the exceptional hospitality and generosity of the Mexican people.
They were particularly amazed by the sheer size, complexity, and pageantry of the Mexican military parades.
As one Senior NCO said, “This will the biggest parade of my career!”