While it is true that reading is knowledge, entertainment and imagination, when it becomes the method of leaving a legacy, each page and each letter takes on a different meaning.
For Cande Gómez, a Puerto Rican writer based in the United States, launching the book entitled “Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient” (“Mama’s Secret Ingredient”), a children’s book in English and Spanish, was more than writing a story: it is to fulfill a promise and continue a mission.
“The book was started by my daughter, Blanca M. Vargas. She was Puerto Rican, but she was born and raised in the United States and was very ill for 10 years, because she had a heart attack, her heart stopped. He was struggling with death. But, in the midst of that illness, when he felt better, he would cook in some places that were there in Massachusetts where they fed the ‘homeless’ (homeless). My daughter. so sick. they were going to cook for them and distribute food, ”said Gómez.
In addition to leaving her anonymous mark on the hearts of those she nurtured with her love and kindness, “Maitty”, as she was affectionately known, wanted to leave a legacy for her grandchildren to remember.
“She had this concern to leave them a book, because every Sunday her grandchildren wanted her to come and make a cornmeal cream for them. Anyone, including me, could make it, and the grandchildren said that Mom’s tasted different, tasted better. So that’s where ˈMama’s Secret Ingredientˈ comes from. It is a book of love, ”said Gómez, who after the death of her 49-year-old daughter was left with the task of finding an illustrator and completing her daughter’s project.
Gómez met Ángel Rafael Casiano, who leads the Misioneros de Mi Cristo Roto ministry, a non-profit organization that feeds the homeless in Puerto Rico.
“I had always said that the proceeds of the book would go to an entity that served the ‘homeless’ in Massachusetts, which was where she served, but with the pandemic all of that closed. Then, a friend told me about what Ángel Rafael Casiano does and I identified myself in such a way that I feel as if I had known him all my life, because he is doing such a beautiful work ”, said the woman.
For his part, Ángel Rafael says he is grateful for Gómez’s interest in helping his ministry, which brings food to the homeless every weekend.
“For me it is a great help. I am feeding homeless people on Saturdays and Sundays, and my kitchen is small, and cooking for 80-120 people is not easy. I need to make a large kitchen and a warehouse on the ground floor of the house, ”said Casiano, who began his work with missionary trips in Haiti, which he has extended to the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and Colombia.
It should be noted that Ángel Rafael’s ministry stems from an experience with his mother, when she took out a “little money” to help a homeless person.
“My mother told me that this was a broken Christ. When a figure breaks no one wants it and that’s how they do with these people, they are suffering people with a lot of problems and no one wants them. Hence the initiative of the name of my ministry, ”said Casiano.
Gómez has made an alliance with Casiano to grant him $ 5 for each book he sells, so that he can do the cooking he needs to continue feeding the underprivileged. “I want him to have the money for that beautiful ministry that he is doing. I did another print run and I have about 80 books left ”, he highlighted.
People interested in buying the book and, incidentally, helping Blanca’s legacy transcend her time here on earth and that Ángel Rafael’s mission can continue to grow, can contact 407-552-9964 or send an email electronic to [email protected]. The cost of the book is $ 20 with shipping costs included. And, if you want to cooperate with the Missionaries of My Broken Christ ministry, you can send your donation through Ath Movil at 787-313-3171.