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A super star and a border, a 2013 round-up

By Mireille Rita Grovier, photo courtesy St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lewes, Delaware and Barbara Merritt Espinosa

Paty, Leo and Adrian with Hosts

On February 12, 2013, The Rotary Club of San Miguel presented Patricia Palacios Cortés, Directora of Centro Infantil San Pablo, with their Sixth Annual Farley W. Wheelwright Citizen of the Year Award. Involved in education in San Miguel since 1995, Ms. Palacios holds bachelor degrees in business administration and early childhood education from the University of Guanajuato. Ms. Palacios has created a school that has been described as a “dream” for the disadvantaged children, aged three to five years, who attend.

In November 2013, recognizing the outstanding services that Directora Palacios provides the school, she was invited to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, Delaware. Responding to their invitation, the Directora; her husband, Leonardo Basandua; and the Senior Warden of Saint Paul’s Church, Adrian Ross, were guests of the congregation of Saint Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s companion parish. This congregation has been very supportive of Centro Infantil San Pablo, providing the school with generous financial donations and supplies, members visiting San Miguel and contributing time and effort to benefit the school and its programs, and sponsoring a number of the children.

Our sanmiguelenses began their United States adventure with a brief sojourn in New York City, an evening performance of The Lion King, the musical, and viewing the Statue of Liberty.

During their week’s stay in Lewes the guests visited Primeros Pasos, the school sponsored by St. Peters. These are the children of working parents, many of them immigrants, who are cared for from 6am to 6pm. The children are of varied ages and speak many different languages, thus challenging their caregivers to provide activities of interest to them all.

There was a visit to All Saints Church, another supporter of CISP, and a gift of appreciation for their support.

A special event of benefit to CISP was a dinner, The Taste of Sussex, in the Parish Hall. The dinner included an auction and the result was a gift of US$4,463 to the school.

Other gestures of hospitality included a Thanksgiving dinner, a true sampling of United States history, and a women’s breakfast, given by ladies of the church. These ladies created 60 hats and gloves to send to the children in San Miguel.

All in all, 2013 has been a year of tributes to honor a magnificent and capable young woman, Directora Palacios, CISP’s Super Star. The hospitality in Lewes has demonstrated a maxim that, indeed, love knows no borders.

Centro Infantil San Pablo (CISP) provides early education for underprivileged children. Founded by St. Paul’s Anglican Church and in existence since 2001, over 240 five-year-olds have successfully completed our three-year program. A sponsorship for a child is always welcome. Donations are also appreciated. Advisory Committee Members are often needed. For additional information, go to or email us at


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