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12/1/2013 10:58:00 AM
Oregonians back Mexican mission
Tarahumara Children's Hospital Fund photo
Tarahumara celebrate feast of Santa Teresita patron saint of the hospital in Creel, Mexico.
Tarahumara Children's Hospital Fund photo
Tarahumara celebrate feast of Santa Teresita patron saint of the hospital in Creel, Mexico.

Backers of a Jesuit-run mission for a tribe in remote northwest Mexico held a benefit dinner and auction this fall in Portland. The Tarahumara Children's Hospital Fund event drew 200 people who heard the mission director, Father Guillermo Estrada Jacques, speak about the work among native peoples.

Father Estrada Jacques said the most pressing need this year is to replace aging hospital playground equipment, which was built nearly 20 years ago. With some of the other important projects like the x-ray Room, oxygen equipment, ambulances and even food staples taken care of in recent years, the priest told Oregon supporters the time was finally right to take on the project.  

Many of the young patients spend weeks or even months at the hospital during recovery and the playground equipment represents the only option they have to exercise and improve their chances of recovery.

Father called it "a means of wellness for a people who spend their lives outdoors." The new playground will be installed during the next year, thanks to $38,000 from Oregon. Overall, the dinner and auction raised $96,000.    

Benefactors of the mission also are launching an endowment fund. A million dollars has been pledged and $10,000 in cash given.

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