LELA the Pig supports the nuns at Sanatorio Mazatlan

DSC04866During the month of October 2015, LELA the Pig turns towards the oldest hospital in Mazatlan “Sanatorio Mazatlan”. The hospital is run by 7 nuns, who take care of patients from all backgrounds.

DSC04865Sanatorio Mazatlan was the first hospital in Mazatlan, managed by the Sisters of the Holy Heart of Jesus since 1934.  This congregation of nuns originates from Guadalajara, Jalisco and their founder is the first Mexican saint Maria de Jesus Sacramentado. In those days there was no public hospital available and every patient was treated at Sanatorio Mazatlan. Until 1980 the first public hospital opened for the public and the work load for the nuns decreased.

Currently Sanatorio Mazatlan has 15 hospital beds, 2 operating rooms, intensive care and X-ray facilities. The nuns work day and night shifts, prepare food for patients, tend to spiritual needs and administrate the hospital. Sanatorio Mazatlan depends completely on donations and they do no receive any government funds. Patients without healthcare insurance are attended without charge.

Currently the Emergency Room is poorly equipped. Your generous donations will go towards purchasing two neccesary pieces of equipment for the work of the nuns. You’ll be proud to know that each $1USD-bill helps to buy a defibrillator and a heart monitor. These machines will help save hundreds of people’s lifes! LELA the Pig will reveal how much she collected at the end of October. You can follow her every move on http://www.lelathepig.com or http://www.facebook.com/lelathepig.




LELA -“And this little Piggy made us smile all the way home”

LELASeems like our lives are always running at such pace that we forget how and where we fit in the big picture. Between the television and radio we count our blessings as all the news floating around  is continually stapling us to negative swirls of political and moral judgment. 
Cozumel humane societyAt Salsa and Salsa we count our blessings everyday as we see the faces of everyone on vacation anticipating having a good time. We know where you come from and how your lives are difficult and challenging. We know that the little time we share with you is and could maybe be the only hardy laughter you have all week.
We understand the pace you live, juggling families and pay checks and the unexpected cost of misfortune. And we can see in your presence how important our job really is when we start the shows.


DSC08652Like you, we have an important job to do in the 3 hours we spend together and creating joy and laughter is an essential part of our show. Since we make it look easy, the truth is, the demand on keeping up the energy of 100 passengers at the same time can be daunting, especially when we add the those free-flowing margaritas to the mix.

But we have a secret and now at the end of 2014, I am going to divulge the Salsa secret for the first time.

Salsa Lela

Enter Miss Lela:

You know who she is and have seen her at our shows and this mighty ceramic pig has now just about stepped over 60k in donations for a different charity every month. ( www.lelathepig.com)

The secret to our show and the enthusiasm we have in our presentation day after day is that we are part of something much more important in this world, its unabashed kindness. This is the excitement when Lela gives back. We have learned that the true joy to a happy fulfilled life is to give. When we see your smiley faces donating and posing for pictures, even kissing Lela’s nose, we realize that the truth is not in what we get everyday but in what we give and giving of ourselves is what Lela stands for in her joyous way.

Back2BackAll of the Dancing Chefs are continually determined to make this world a better place and to create beauty in the hearts of people where at times hope and humanity are lost.
Next time you have a chance to make a difference, just do it. Don’t think to hard about why and who and how people end up standing next to roadways or begging at stores. Think about how 50 cents or even a dollar can restore faith in someone who is down on their luck. Next time you leave all that food on your plate in a restaurant, don’t be embarrassed to ask for a to go bag. You will see and find someone,when you least expect it,to give it to. There are people waiting for your help ,whether you see them or not they exist on this planet and if everyone just took a few moments and gave just a little we would see more smiles and more open hearts.

Teach your children by example, take them with you to the goodwill bin or to the food bank or soup kitchen. Our children are the future and can make all the difference just like Lela has for thousands of people around the world. Make 2015 the year you do one thing every month for someone else without anyone knowing.

lela christmasFrom all the Dancing Chefs we want to thank you for your heartfelt donations. We want you to know that every place you have touched has inspired someone, whether it was an orphanage or individual: you have made a difference. So if you are still reading this then we want to wrap our arms around you for 15 seconds and give you a big hug of thanks. You inspire us to give so much!



Happy New Year and Happy Giving !
The Dancing Chefs from Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel and Mazatlan 
Leonique, Maaike, Stephanie, Chris, Suzanne, Joy, Karla, Laura, Daphne, Linda, Jenny, Cherine, Heidi, Melissa, Leonie……..

‘Angels’ receives help from LELA the Pig

LELA the Pig is flying all the way to Greece during February 2014. Thanks to your generous donations LELA can help out the disabled, abandoned and injured animals that “Angels Animal Shelter” takes in. Here is their story: 

Hand & Paw

Angels”-  Shelter & emergency care for disabled, wounded & abandoned animals

“Angels”: because the village where we live is called ANGELOCHORI, which literally means “Place of the Angels”…

We are just a (single) mom and her daughter doing this voluntary work. We love animals. Unfortunately in Greece there is no (state or municipal) funding available for shelters or organizations that take care of these emergency strays…  So you can imagine that with so many animals all my salary goes into their care.

Our shelter currently hosts 15 dogs and 7 cats, all of whom have either health problems or are too old to be placed out in families. And besides these 22 permanent residents, we also take care of any other animal that is wounded/hurt/abandoned/ etc. etc. and needs temporary healthcare and shelter. Of course we also take in other strays for whom we try to find permanent or foster homes.  We are able to place most of the young(er) dogs that come in either in foster care after they get well or we find them permanent families (“FUR”-ever homes) – mostly abroad. We have treated birds (owls, ravens, pigeons, etc.) but also hedgehogs and turtles. In our (Greek) village they call us the “crazy Dutch”, but whoever of our co-villagers – AND BEYOND our village –  have a problem with an animal – or finds an injured or a stray animal, they call us right away (even if it is in the middle of the night (or they just “dump” them in our garden as they know where we live).

My small car turns into an animal ambulance WAY TOO OFTEN ! And my veterinarian doctor who has become a real good friend over the past 8,5 years is always there to help…

It so happens that our vet also consults us on problems with animals and it has happened that we had to turn our living room into a clinic to tend to an operated dog around the clock because her veterinary clinic couldn’t handle the intensive care that animal would need.  We sometimes have drips hanging from a clothes hanger to the curtain railing in our living room, cleaning wounds, administering shots and providing intensive care to very serious cases.

Of the 15 dogs we take care of right now, 4 are heavily handicapped (2 dogs with 3 legs, 1 dog with paralysis of her hind legs and 1 huge dog who is in need of an operation to redress his severe hip and knee dysplasia on both hind legs…) and 3 have permanent health problems for which they need to take medication for the rest of their lives. That leaves us with 7 dogs with major health issues and 8 dogs that are quite healthy but so old that nobody wants to adopt them anymore. Most of these 8 ‘healthy’ residents were previously abandoned by their previous owners and found on the road (some of them hit by cars, but managed to get better in the meantime).

Of the 7 cats we have 2 cats with serious health problems… 1 female called Sahara (her fur skin has the color of the Sahara desert) because she is spastic and a male called Paul who is almost 13 years old and has diabetes. Leonie gives him 2 shots of insulin a day.  We took Paul in with his “brother” Oscar almost a month ago. They belonged to a colleague at work who died of cancer last  October. Both Oscar and Paul had no place to go (who wants old cats – especially if one needs to get shots twice a day for his diabetes problem?) Greece is a very tough place for animals…. It’s heart breaking what we have to deal with most of the time….

All the animals that we have are under constant veterinary care. And that costs a heap of money.

Now, with the winter in full bloom we need to be able to provide our animals (plus all the extra ones that come and go) with dog beds and blankets to keep them warm. I need to refurbish a place – or if possible build a new shed – for the “intensive care unit” outside my house in the garden with infra-red lamps that give off heat. I need to be able to keep on providing stray animals with anti-rabies vaccinations (rabies has returned to Greece after an absence of almost 100 years)….

There is always SOOOOO MUCH to do, that I can’t begin to even describe it.

Thank you sooooo very much for helping us in February.

Lots of love to all of you !

Eleonore & Leonie

LELA the Pig helps 18-year old brain cancer patient

LELA the Pig has helped many different charities, big and small. When the story of Nicole Rochin from Mazatlan came to our ears, we were deeply moved and decided that LELA the Pig would support this young woman in her struggle against brain cancer. Here is her story:

Nicole RochínHello Dancing Chefs,

My name is Nicole Rochín and I just turned 18 years old in the summer of 2013, on July 3rd. Soon after that, I started feeling sick with very strong headaches. I went to the ISSSTE, which is a government hospital in Mazatlán. I got an IV, was given some medicine and I was sent home with the diagnosis of a migraine. Days later nothing had gotten better; the headaches were going from bad to worse and it had become unbearable. I wasn’t able to hold in any food and I wasn’t hungry either. I went back to the hospital two more times and they gave me the same diagnosis.

I went back to the E.R. on July 22nd. This time however the doctors noticed that in addition to my headache, I didn’t have much balance and I was unable to walk a straight line. They checked me into the hospital to run some tests because they couldn’t give me a reason as to why I was having all these problems with a simple migraine. The doctor asked for a C.T. scan and found that my unbearable pain was caused by my skull being filled with fluid which my body was producing as a defense mechanism against a tumor close to my cerebellum.

NicoleI finally got a diagnosis!!! Unfortunately, Mazatlán’s ISSSTE doesn’t have the equipment to remove the tumor, and on top of everything else, my family doesn’t have the resources to put me in a private hospital. So instead of one major surgery, I had to get two surgeries. One to place a valve that would drain the liquid out of my skull and a second to remove the tumor.

The same day I was schedule for the first surgery. Early morning on July 23rd, I got the first surgery where they place a valve. Thank God everything went well. The unbearable headaches were finally a thing of the past. I got my balance and appetite back also.

Unfortunately, the Public Health System lacks of a lot of services and equipment, especially in a small town like Mazatlán. Mexico City was the only place I could get the next surgery.

So I had to start the process to get on a waiting list to get a date for the second surgery. By August 7th my mom and I were in Mexico City and I was in the hospital waiting for my turn to get the surgery. During that time the tumor had started messing with my body again. I lost strength and mobility in my right side because of the pressure the tumor was putting on the nerves due to its growth.

On August 12th I was finally on my way to the O.R. The surgery lasted seven hours. The good news is that I survived and I didn’t have any brain damage. The bad news is that due to the location they weren’t able to remove all of it and that it is a Medulloblastoma (a highly malignant brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum).

Within a month my life and priorities had changed completely. Now I had to recover and focus on getting radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I had to set aside my first semester at the University and now I’m in Mexcio City waiting to start the treatment. ISSSTE has a high demand from patients, very little personnel and lack of space, so the wait to get tested, treatment or even medicine takes forever. Sadly, cancer is not the kind of illness that will wait for ISSSTE to have time, space, resources or personnel to start developing. I’m aware that in order to win this battle I have to be treated fast!

For that reason, I’ve been getting some tests in private institutions like M.R.I. and topographies, each test ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 pesos. I have to get them every four to six weeks. I don’t have any family in Mexico City, so having my mom with me has turned into a financial struggle.

nicole rochinI have to attend a Neuropsychologist to get evaluated for any possible damage produced by the surgery or the treatment, but I’ve been putting it off because money has been running really low and each consultation is about $1,000 pesos. Frequently the medication I get prescribed has run out at ISSSTE’s drugstore and I have to buy them myself.

Right now I’m waiting for my turn to start radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I constantly go to the hospital (ISSSTE) to check if I have a date set up, but nothing yet. I’m always hoping next week will be the lucky one and I will get a date.

Words can not express the gratitude I feel for all the support that you gave me this month. I really appreciate all and each of your donations, this is very meaningful to me and my family. With the help of God I’ll be strong enough to continue this journey. This will not keep me from smiling and enjoy my life. Thank you so much. I’ll keep you all in my heart.


Nicole Rochín.

LELA the Pig helps patient with rheumatoide arthritis

LELA the Pig (www.lelathepig.com) is always on the lookout for causes worth supporting. Many times we receive helpful suggestions from guests who visited us at Salsa and Salsa (www.salsaandsalsa.com). In September 2013 the Dancing Chefs found a cause closer by home, to be more precise: on the island of Cozumel! This month we did not collect donations for an organisation but for a woman who has chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Here is her story:
Lulu“My full name is Marie de Lourde Cienfuegos Lopez. I’m 43 years old. When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I have received many treatments from anti-inflammatory medication, chemo therapy and inmuno suppressors. Currently I’m taking Arava-20mgs with an aproximate monthly cost of $1600 pesos. Apart of this I also take:
  • Meloxicam 15mgs
  • Cartigen NF
  • Calcort 6mg
  • Vitamins, collagen and calcium

Due to the fact that I’ve been sick for so many years, the arthritis has affected my knees. Therefore I have osteo arthritis now and in the long term I will need a prothesis in both knees. On daily basis my knees are painful and swollen. Currently I’m seeing a doctor in Cancun who applies laser and electro therapy to create a inter-articular space in my left knee. Afterwards he will inject plasma and tissue from knee to create a kind of cushion, so the bones won’t deteriorate any further. My leg will begin to regenerate and I will have more flexibility and movement. This treatment will take aproximately 5 months. 

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the people who have donated to LELA the Pig for their generous donation. Thanks to your help I will be able to continue with my treatment.


Maria de Lourdes Cienfuegos Lopez”


She also shared a short poem with us, which we translated from Spanish:

Salsa LelaSome people are like umbrellas,

that protect us from the storm.

Even when you’re far away,

their love will keep you warm.

When the world is cold and grey,

and it’s hard to finish the day,

It’s good to know that you are there.

It’s good to know that you care!


LOVE from Lela the Pig


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