I am often asked how this all began. The only honest and fair answer that I can give is that it depends on whom you ask and how much time you have. The simple version of the story is about a group of tourists who, at a familiar crossroads, turned right instead of left and consequently ended up in Santa Rita. From my own experience, I can tell you about driving through Santa Rita for the first time and being overwhelmed as the images of poverty flooded my view. On that first afternoon in Santa Rita, I asked Daniel to stop the vehicle and we got out of the van to mingle with the people. We were received with gracious and grateful smiles. On that particular day, we had a cooler packed with sodas and snacks because we knew most of the day would be spent in the van driving to the Mayan ruins that scatter the Yucatan. We gave them all that we had in our vehicle. We gave them the food and beverages, yet I still left feeling ashamed. How did I not have more to offer them? From the moment that I first reluctantly left that village, I knew that I would return. But this is only one version of the story.
If you ask Pastora, a Mayan woman who has lived in Santa Rita all of her 78 years, she would tell a very different story. She would tell you about a poverty-stricken village on the Yucatan Peninsula, and how most of the villagers believed that their God had forgotten them. You would hear about a vacant Christian church where she and her friends spent many hours for 3 solid weeks praying for relief; praying for the elderly widows and people of Santa Rita. She would tell you that there are no coincidences in life, only events full of purpose. “Nosotros rezabamos por ustedes aqui” she would later tell me… “We prayed you here”.
– Kevin Flannery – President and Founder of MMF