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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living 

Snowbirds Make Teddy Bears for Vallarta Preschoolers

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January 2, 2018

Upon arriving in Puerto Vallarta seven years ago, retired Catholic priest Father Éloi Arsenault was taken by the beauty, faith and courage of even the poorest of the poor communities with this huge city.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - Generous expats from Canada and the United States delivered toys, piñatas and cake to nearly 150 children in two Puerto Vallarta kindergartens for Christmas.

It wasn't the first time: the snowbirds spend their winters in Mexico and have taken the children of the Volcanes neighborhood under their wing, giving them Christmas presents every year.


Father Eloi Arsenault
What had begun as a modest annual party for about 40 kindergarten children became two parties for almost 150 preschoolers.

This year, Father Éloi Arsenault, originally from Egmond Bay in the province of Prince Edward Island, Canada, served as the link between the Puerto Vallarta foreign community and an organization known as "Kuddles for Kids."

The organization was created by 25 women from Summerside, also on Prince Edward Island, and is dedicated to sewing Teddy bears from scratch and donating them to children in less favored regions around the world. Over the years Kuddles for Kids has made and distributed more than 6,000 of the cuddly bears.

This year, 150 of those Teddy bears arrived piecemeal in Puerto Vallarta. Travelers heading south were recruited to help transport the stuffed animals.

With the usual annual donation taken care of, the snowbirds decided to round up the celebrations by organizing a Christmas party for the children. Food, candy for stockings and piñatas, cake and drinks were donated and transported to the Volcanes neighborhood, located in the hills about 45 minutes from the beach.

On December 20, the children were feted in their schools, each receiving a Teddy bear and a stocking full of candy.

Original article