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Reflections of LLL from Mexico's Founders

Edited by Diane Beckman
Cary, North Carolina, USA
Translation by Norma Escobar
Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 37 No. 1, February-March 2001, p. 23

Greetings from the Founders of LLL of Mexico, who gathered together at the end of 1999. One of the Leaders, Mari Carmen Mariscal, was working on her master's thesis on support groups and their value and asked us to reflect on what La Leche League had meant to each of us over the past quarter century. It is our wish to share this conversation with other Leaders around the world as we move ahead into a new millennium.

Edith Catarrivas, was the first to speak:

"Hay mujeres que no se sienten capaces de enfrentar su nuevo paper. Los grupos de apoyo de la Liga de Leche permiten a la mujer que se sienta satisfecha con su paper de madre y que sea una madre 'gustosa, Ilena de satisfaccin y no sucumba ante la presión de consumísmo y la desinformación que inhibe el instincto maternal."

"There are many women who have trouble taking on their new maternal role. In Leche League, a woman can find satisfaction as a mother. She can learn to enjoy her role. This will help her resist the pressures of consumerism and poor information which inhibit natural maternal instincts."

María Eugenia Dobrowski added:

"La Liga de la Leche me dió una oportunidad de crecer junto con mis hijos sin dejarlos y a valorar el trabajo voluntario en el que una persona da sin esperar y acaba recibiendo el triple."

"La Leche League gave me the opportunity to grow together with my children without having to leave them on their own. It taught me the value of volunteer work, where a person gives without expecting anything in return, and yet she receives three times more than she gives."

María Elena Barba shared:

"La Liga de la Leche me enseñó Io que es la verdadera liberación de la mujer, que no implica la separación de los hijos pequeños de la madre y que promueve un equilibrio en la familia."

"La Leche League showed me the true meaning of women's liberation, which doesn't involve the separation of mothers and small children and at the same time promotes a well-balanced family."

Renate Ahlers offered:

"La Liga de la Leche utiliza las técnicas de educación de adultos para enseñar relaciones humanas y superación penonal porque además de la información sobre lactancia, da a las madres seguridad en su papel y enseña a vivir para servir ayudándonos entre nosotras como iguales."

"La Leche League uses adult education techniques to offer us human relations enrichment training while helping us to grow as individuals. In addition to providing technical knowledge of breastfeeding, we are able to offer mothers a greater security in their new role."

Here Lourdes Bravo de Garza added:

"Entender mejor a las personas por medio del curso de relaciones humanas de la Liga de la Lecbe me dió una gran confianza en mi misma."

"HRE helped me gain confidence in myself as I learned to understand other people better."

Paulina Allen de Smith, formerly Chairman of the Board of La Leche International Board of Directors and LLLI Executive Director, shared her feelings with us:

"La Liga de la Leche me ba dado mi profesión actual, nunca me imaginé que estaría a cargo de una oficina con tantos empleados. Pero más que nada enrriqueció la Liga mi vida familiar y mi relacidn con mi esposo y mis hijas con las que tengo una comunicación abierta, con gran respeto a su libertad. La Liga me enseñó a ponerme en los zapatos de otro, a practicar la empatía y a ayudar a los demas a desarrollar sus puntos buenos."

"La Leche League provided me with a profession. I would never have imagined being responsible for an office with so many employees. But above all, La Leche League enriched my family life and my relationship with my husband and daughters - we share open communication and a great respect for individual liberty. La Leche League taught me to put myself in another person's shoes, to practice empathy, and to help people develop their own abilities."

María Asunción Suárez concluded:

"Mi vida hubiera sido muy diferente sin la Liga de la Leche, ella marcó la relación de familia que tenemos mi esposo y yo con nuestros hijos con el hincapié que hace tanto en la importancia en Io emocional como en el compartir. Al vivir intensamente esta relación, los niños satisfacen su hambre emocionaly los problemas en la adolescencia son mucho menores. Encuentro además que mis hijos, al haberme visto en mi trabajo de voluntaria, han también desarrollado ganas de servir a los demas con la convicción de dar Io recibido."

"My life would have been quite different without La Leche League. LLL, with its emphasis on sharing and caring, molded the way my husband and I relate to our children. It is through caring relationships that children's emotional needs are met and their teenage years are much easier as a result. I also see that my children, having observed my work as a volunteer, also wish to serve others, with the conviction of giving back what they have received."

We hope very much that the next generation of Leaders here in Mexico and abroad will discover the same success and satisfaction we have experienced, and the same treasured friendship - whose sweetness was due in large part to variety.

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