Crossing the Border: Hearts, Heads, and Hands

Husband and wife team Susan Porter Robinson and Douglas

By Susan Robinson and Mireille Rita Grovier, photo by Patricia Palacios Cortez and Jay Grovier

A few years ago, members of St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, Delaware, came to San Miguel de Allende for a mission trip. Their purpose was to help with Centro Infantil San Pablo’s (CISP) very impoverished three-, four-, and five-year-old students from the campo. Not surprisingly, the members fell in love with the children and now many members sponsor their education. In addition, each year, the women of St. Peter’s buy or knit hats and mittens for the children.

On Friday, February 6, 2015, husband and wife team Susan Porter Robinson and Douglas Craig brought bags of the hats and gloves from Delaware to distribute to the eager children. The morning’s event blossomed into a Christmas celebration all over again. Accompanied by Patricia Palacios Cortéz, director of the school, and starting in the three-year-old classroom, each child received his or her hat and mittens individually. Squeals of delight, huge grins, and shouts of “Gracias, gracias” greeted Paty and Susan at every turn as they moved from classroom to classroom fitting every child with his or her new clothes and explaining colors and designs. For the five-year-old students, who are learning words and phrases in English, gracias also became “Thank you.” A chorus of “I love you” was also the reciprocal gift as the children hugged the grownups.

That morning the children had walked a good mile to school in a very cold temperature.

Many of their little hands were icy as they were fitted with their gloves. But the joy in the classroom was warmth itself and nowhere moreso than in the hearts of the givers.

Glancing back as they departed each classroom and in the patio when classes were recessed, the visitors saw the children playing with their new gifts and modeling them for their friends. Indeed, that cold February morning ended in a veritable Paris fashion runway.

The generosity of the parishioners of St. Peter’s Church is much appreciated by the faculty, staff, and volunteers of CISP. More importantly, the event will long be remembered by these children, for whom each gift becomes a miracle in their challenged lives. For anyone interested in sponsoring one of the children at CISP (at the equivalent of US$40 a month), please contact Barbara Espinosa at


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