These Abuelos Are Not Your Grandma’s Grandparents
Juan de Jesus Breene - Pulse News Mexico
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May 4, 2022
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When most people think of retired expats living in the likes of Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende or Puerto Vallarta, they tend to image well-heeled seniors who live several months of the year in high-end condos and villas.

Retired grandparents — abuelos, in Spanish — typically do not begin charities in their overseas vacation homes.

But then, there’s Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, who founded Vallarta Abuelos three years ago.

When she started working on the renovation of her new home in downtown Puerto Vallarta, at the time a less-than-touristy neighborhood, she got to know some of the local girls and boys during construction.

What she did not know at first was that many of the kids were at-risk, born to chemically-dependent parents, struggling single moms and oft-homeless victims of abuse.

Over time, these kids began to hang out at her home and to tell her their individual stories.

Torn by what she had heard from these children, Weiss-Armush decided to meet with some of their grandparents, who were often raising them for absentee parents.

Seeing their desperation and dire economic needs, Weiss-Armush decided to create her own philanthropic organization, Vallarta Abuelos, which has since evolved into a full-fledged and legally recognized charity serving 900 at-risk girls and boys.

Today, Weiss-Armush and her crew of retired-in-Vallarta abuelo volunteers do what every grandparent already knows how to do: make sandwiches, do craft projects, help with homework, teach English, match a child’s passions with potential future careers, hang out, give advice to parents, plan birthday parties, help with sports, go for pizza.

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