By Annette Lagunes
When Rosie asked me to write about my years in the Junior League and what the League had meant to me, the first thing that came to my mind was, “What would my life in Mexico for 52 years have been like without the Junior League?” The Junior League gave purpose to my life. In the League, I became committed to a better Mexico.
It all began when in 1971, I received a formal invitation from The Junior League of Mexico City inviting me to a tea. I knew very little about the League but I was excited and anxious to attend. Since I had married and come to Mexico I had lived in the Colonia San Rafael and I did not have many friends. I had two children at the time, ages one and three.
The tea was a truly elegant affair. As you say in Spanish “de manteles largos”. I was fortunate that an older American woman in Mexico City, Myrtle Lubbert, had taken me under her wing. Little did I know that when she had me over for lunch or coffee with some of her friends, they were members of the Admissions Committee and they were considering issuing me an invitation to join the Junior League. Fortunately, I passed the test!
That day marked the beginning of a way of life for me. The League taught me that women, working together, can make a difference in society. Most of my good friends are women I met and worked within the Junior League.
With each project or leadership position in the League, I made new friends!
The Junior League gave me confidence in myself. When I look back on the workshops and courses I attended in the US and Mexico, I can appreciate how I was being prepared in leadership and organizational skills.
I have been involved in other community organizations and I appreciate how important it is to be able to organize with goals and objectives, to formulate a plan of action, to run a meeting with order, to manage a conflict in a group, and finally, to cultivate those leadership and organizational skills in those you work with.
Women of the Junior League of Mexico stand out in many organizations in Mexico today.
My passion at this time is my work with Kardias AC. I am on the Board. At Kardias we are dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery to children free of charge. Congenital heart disease is the second cause of death for children under the age of three in Mexico taking 6,500 lives each year.
A highlight was when in December 2019 my son Sergio, himself a survivor of congenital heart disease, marked the founding of the USA Kardias Board with an event at the beautiful Astor House, the historic mansion which has been headquarters for the Junior League of New York since 1936.
What would my life in Mexico have been like without the Junior League?
My contacts and experiences would have been limited. The Junior League of Mexico City gave purpose to my life and contributed to my happiness in this country. My life was full of challenges and experiences shared with outstanding women who became my friends.
Thank you, Junior League of Mexico City, for the opportunities and the memories.