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Cute as a Kitten and Smart as a Whip

By Mireille Rita Grovier and Christine Esther

Young girls and boys working together in San Miguel de Allende are not only using math but are also combining this skill with entrepreneurial expertise, generosity, and love. Eight-year-old Madeline Garcia Nieto, “Maddy,” initiated a lemonade stand to raise money for abandoned cats and kittens. To achieve her goal, Maddy has put together a team of friends to work with her. The members of the team are Tristan Jackson, Vanessa Montenego, and Federico Romo. Maddy named her lemonade stand “bee sweet,” using as her logo a half lemon with a bee in the center.

Maddy, a native of San Miguel, is bilingual and bicultural. Half the money she earns will go to Santuario Felino Rey Ashoka, a local cat shelter ( It is from this shelter that Maddy recently adopted her calico cat, Callie, and where she also spends time helping in the rescue effort.

The other half of the money from the lemonade stand will go toward teaching Maddy and her friends about the importance of math, accounting, and sharing, thus giving them an entrepreneurial experience. The glow on their faces is a testament to the self-confidence and joy they give and receive!

On Sunday, June 26, following the morning Eucharist at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Maddy’s dream with her team came vividly to life. On the church lawn her lemonade stand, with popcorn and cookies also for sale, awaited churchgoers as they exited the sanctuary. The response was overwhelming! Members of the congregation lined up, not only to purchase the delicious refreshments, but also to donate to the kitten rescue cause. Maddy’s and her team’s efforts promoted camaraderie, lively conversations, and many photos being taken. Even more importantly, they provided these young entrepreneurs with the experience of success and the knowledge of having contributed to the welfare of helpless animals.

Maddy is the great granddaughter of San Miguel’s beloved Rev. Nancy Anderson, a Church of Religious Science minister for many years. Maddy is living proof that love and compassion are hereditary and that one young girl’s dream can change lives

Photography by Jay Grovier and Amber Nieto.


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