Julie Schmidt

Julie Schmidt

 – Julie Schmidt’s roles with DFG are to lead the team members who cut the fabric for the menstrual management shields and to distribute the materials to the volunteers who sew the shields for the kits we distribute to girls.

​”Educating and empowering girls and women Lakeside is life changing.  It is an honor to be involved with this amazing organization.”​


Cathleen and Sam

Cathleen and Sam

 – Putting together a shield kit for the DFG program has very specific guidelines for the pattern and sewing assembly. And putting in the snap closure, or “snapping” as it’s called, is one of the most challenging parts.

Two volunteers, Sam and Cathleen are expert snappers and Sam’s husband helped to make the snapping machine work better for the group.

Sam, a summer volunteer with Days for Girls in Courtney, B.C., attended a Days for Girls Lake Chapala fundraiser/friend raiser at a neighbor’s home in 2017 and immediately got involved. She knew that Cathleen sewed and decided to “grab her” to volunteer. When Darlene Macleod expressed the need for “snappers” for the kit shields, they replied “we can snap.”

Sam grew up in Alabama and immigrated to Canada in 1976, she is  a retired communications consultant and a self proclaimed computer nerd. She has been spending winters in Ajijic since 2010. 
Cathleen was born and raised in Delaware and came to Ajijic via Seattle in 2008. She has a background in real estate and owns Chapala Property Managment & Concierge.
Sam and Cathleen met in 2010 while Cathleen was their property manager. They have been friends ever since.
Sam’s husband decided to help and perfected the snapping machine to make it easier and faster. 
Important to both is the camaraderie of the group working in a very tangible way with shared values. They express the motivation of empowering girls and women. The importance of education, a sustainable product and most importantly women helping women. As girls learn about their bodies through the FLUYE education program, the shame and taboo transform into confidence and self esteem. The importance of education takes on a new meaning and a shift towards a positive mindset on what it means to be female. With a look to the future and the hopes of helping girls and women move to their place at the “table,” become more active and assume leadership roles in their communities, their country and our world. When women step in to help women and girls — there is a change in the community. This is the impact and power of Days for Girls Lake Chapala. 
When asked for a word that describes how being a volunteer with Days for Girls Lake Chapala makes them feel — Sam’s word is purposeful, and Cathleen expresses hopeful.

​From all of us at Days for Girls Lake Chapala, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to Sam and Cathleen.


Norma Yau

Norma Yau

 – ​​I found Days for Girls in my hometown of London, Ontario, Canada.

I belong to BPW (an international business and professional women’s group) and as chair of the programs for our local club’s dinner speaker series I am always looking for ideas and themes that involve women and girls. An article for Days for Girls came across my reading screen and I found the thought of what they were trying to do to help girls in remote areas of the world manage their menstrual periods very interesting.

Imagine my surprise about one year later when a friend in Lakeside, also from Canada but nowhere near where I live, started explaining what she was doing for her new project in the Ajijic area. I told her it sounded like this Days for Girls program I had read about and yes, it was the same organization. How connected is that? Bev Letourneau, Sewing Team Leader, you are amazing.

Days for Girls, Lake Chapala Mexico, does things a little differently than the worldwide organization, but not much. Imagine this:  helping or donating to this organization in Lakeside you are assisting girls in the remote and underprivileged areas of Lakeside. We who visit often only see the beautiful, prosperous side of this area, but there are still areas and people that need our help.

Donate, assist, stayed tuned for more information.  Whatever your choice, just be involved.


Debbie Mitchell and Cindi Williams​

Debbie Mitchell & Cindi Williams

 – Love in every stitch we sew” friendship grows for Days for Girls Lake Chapala

Debbie is from Littleton, Colorado and is a crafter extraordinaire. Back in Littleton she owned and ran a very successful vintage shop. She moved to west Ajijic with her husband in March 2016. 

Cindi is from Edmonton, Alberta and had a 26 year career with Alberta Canada’s 2nd largest school district in Education Administration. Her and her husband found a home in west Ajijic 2 1/2 years ago.

As fate would have it they both moved to the same community, and it is there while walking their family pets Honey and Sadie they struck up a friendship. Both were looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity. 

Debbie was introduced to Days for Girls in October 2016 by a friend, and was encouraged to attend a meeting in May 2017. She invited Cindi and after that first meeting and a distribution with Hana they were like most of us – hooked and committed to the mission and work of Days for Girls Lake Chapala!
Cindi started cutting the PUL, sewing shields and became a runner to pick up and drop off the pieces. Debbie sews the pockets on to the shields.

Important to both of these women is the direct impact Days for Girls has on the daily lives of the girls. As the girls learn about their bodies through the FLUYE education program, the shame and taboo transform into confidence and self-esteem. The importance of education, empowerment, self-assurance and pride the girls are receiving from all the women and men that take part in Days for Girls – sends a powerful message of unity and understanding that moves across language, borders and cultural differences to a place of deep connections.

When asked for a word that describes how being a volunteer with Days for Girls Lake Chapala makes them feel — Debbie’s word is United, and Cindi’s is Blessed.

From all of us at Days for Girls Lake Chapala a sincere and heartfelt thank you to Debbie and Cindi.

 From Debbie Mitchell:
–Why is this important to you?  There are so many reasons why DFG is important to me.
 I went to a distribution and saw for myself these young girls receive this powerful information about their bodies it was a game changer for me. Most showed up nervous and unsure what we truly were all about. By the end of the afternoon the enlightenment and pride I saw in their face was overwhelming.  If I can make a difference in just one gir’ls life it would be enough for me. The love our team has for these girls is in every stitch we sew.

–One thing about you that would surprise people?
I was a Parachute Rigger in the US Navy.

From Cindi Williams:
–Why is this important to you?  Days for Girls is important to me in many ways.  I guess most important is that I come from an Education career in Canada and I am a firm, firm supporter of education being the key to anyone’s life.  If we can help these young ladies continue with their education, it truly will make the world/Mexico a better place. They are our future and to have the confidence in themselves will help us all in the end.  

 –One thing about you that would surprise people?  
I am finding I have a “bit” of an artistic self!!!  Shocking, absolutely shocking! 

Cheryl Stordahl

Cheryl Stordahl

“Distribution Central”

Cheryl was born in Rhode Island.  When she was little she moved with her mother to the San Joaquin Valley in Hanford, California. She was raised by her mother Evelyn and grandmother Annie. Both women have been big influences in her life.

She has been married 51 years to Tom and was a full-time working mother with three sons. Her career as an Account Supervisor with a small staff for a multi-family real estate company encompassed 300 accounts in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. She refers to herself as a “bean counter”.  That is a lot of beans and enormous responsibility to keep all the balls in the air. Within days of retirement four years ago they moved to Ajijic from Indianapolis, Indiana.

When asked to share something that would surprise people, she recounts breaking her foot when she crashed a motorcycle she was test driving.

After arriving in Ajijic, she looked for two years for a volunteer opportunity that would speak to her heart and make a difference, while allowing her to utilize her exceptional skills as a “bean counter.” In February 2018, she brought those talents and gifts to Days for Girls Lake Chapala and shortly after became our Distribution Coordinator. Cheryl manages and coordinates volunteers for the menstrual management kit distributions with Hana. Through her excellent management skills and ability to keep a lot of balls in the air all at the same time, our distributions have increased and provided Hana with volunteers to assist her.

The girls learn the importance of education, empowerment, self-assurance and pride through their connections with Hana and the DFG volunteers. The FLUYE education program and the menstruation kits have built bridges that connect us and unify us in a way that crosses language, borders and cultural differences to a place of “conexiones profundas.”

Cheryl says the biggest challenge has been the summer months when so many volunteers return north. Please keep this in mind to help out DFG in the summer, as Hana and our distributions continue throughout the year.
From all of us at Days for Girls Lake Chapala, a sincere and heartfelt thank you.  We are most grateful for the talents and gifts you bring.