Note: we're a bit shy, but our webmaster wrote the following report and placed it on these pages. Thanks to the generosity and donations of our guests, the Oso is able to sponsor a number of scholarships, provide Christmas for our Tarahumara neighbors, assist in emergencies, help remote schools and do a bunch of other things. None of this would be possible without help from people who stay with us. That is to say, YOU ARE GREAT!

Thanks--Doug and Ana Maria

Our home and our business are one and the same. In the rural setting we live in, our actions are known by everyone in the area. We strive to be good neighbors and are constantly coming across exceptional stories of individual & collective needs that call out for help. Over the years we have undertaken a number of efforts to help both individuals and communities with special needs. Here are a few examples:

We sponsored a train trip to the coast for the students graduating from the local Tarahumara boarding school. Graduation represents the end of the educational system for these kids. Most had never been away from the area and none had ever seen an ocean.

We periodically distribute crutches and canes to needy individuals who otherwise are on their own. We could use another wheelchair if anyone has one that could be delivered to Santa Fe, New Mexico or El Paso, Texas. Our last one was immediately put to use!

Annually, we serve as fiesteros for over 100 of our Tarahumara neighbors. They erect an altar in our lobby and spend Christmas Eve giving their traditional dances to the Christ Child. Christmas morning Tarahumara children have a piñata party featuring candies, health goods, and toys donated by guests. It is an honor to be a part of their celebration and a lot of fun as well!

Old & close friends - Ildefonso & Virginia Frias
Ildifonso & Virginia Frias

The following story deserves a little more detail..

Ildifonso & Virginia Frias live nearby - and "nearby" means at least an hour by foot from here. We first met them years ago when Ildifonso's eyes were clouded over with cataracts and his vision was failing. He was holding a baby lamb and commented that taking care of the lamb was all he was good for, without vision he could do no more.

Cataract surgery was out of the question for Ildifonso because of the cost. About five years ago, we asked our guests for help, obtained some donations, and arranged for his surgery.

Returning to the hotel after the surgery, he had to wear a blindfold and be led everywhere by hand. Naturally he was anxious to return home and so, blindfolded, he was led home on horseback.

Since then, we have purchased a small plot of land within Ildifonso's ranchito. Here we have built a small cabin named "Durazno" which we periodically visit ourselves and with guests - our Trail Rides & Hikes page has details. Now the cabin serves three purposes. We use it when we want a nearby getaway, most of the time it is used as a pre-school for the kids who live in the area, and the night of September 28th it hosts the annual fiesta of San Miguel. See the "Odds & Ends" section of the gallery for photos of the school.

Both Ildifonso & Virginia have become very close to us and recently came in for an unannounced visit. Ildifonso is now eighty years old and still gets around on foot unassisted. We passed along some extra clothing to them and talked them into posing for a photo. He and his wife still live by themselves on their ranchito.

All material is copyright 2000-2009 by Barranca de Urique, S.A. de C. V. unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
 Rancho del Oso,  P. O.  Box 31089,  El Paso,  TX,  79931
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 Updated 11/03/2009