Please help San Pedro Itzicán and the local villages

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During the COVID-19 outbreak, we had to cancel many of our educational programs in San Pedro Itzicán.  Since January, 2021, our Kid's Community Kitchen continues to operate because it is vital to these families - we are now providing food to 310 children, five days a week.  We are also providing ESL classes (via Zoom), Literacy classes for adults and youth, and we continue with sewing and jewelry making classes (outside), and despensa and drinking water distribution to renal patient families.

Since 2016, Poco a Poco projects have supporting various initiatives, in order to help the people in San Pedro Itzicán and the surrounding villages.  Poco a Poco does this by facilitating and supporting projects that are lead by the local community. As much as possible we leverage knowledge from available sources in the community, in research, in government and from project leaders from around the lake.
 
Poco a Poco works on creating small, start up projects to enable local people to earn a living, and encourage and enable children to attend school.

We believe that a "A hand up - not a hand out" approach is the best way to help.  This often involves providing training to people who have asked for help and have an interest in learning. The local people, especially the women, want to create local work and activities so they can earn money, and be there to look after their children.

The town of San Pedro Itzicán is located in the Municipality of Poncitlán, in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, on the edge of Lake Chapala.  
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San Pedro Itzicán is located on steep hills (the centre of the town is located at 1,500 metres), with a steep hill down to the lakeshore.  The lakeshore is deep at that point, unlike other parts of Lake Chapala. Farming is limited because of the hills and rocky landscape.

The scenery is stunning in this area as it is unspoiled and rugged.  Many local roads are barely usable and its best to have a SUV or something similar to get around.  Though few people in the town have cars at all.
                    Poco a Poco volunteers work alongside and in very close cooperation with the Brigada Program
                    (“Brigada Estatal de Proteccion Civil y Bomberos J. Trinidad Lopez Rivas, A.C.”).
 
Poco a Poco helps many activities and programs that benefit the communities around the town of San Pedro Itzicán.  The people there really need your help and support.   These are indigenous communities, who are extremely poor, lack education and services.  Health issues, malnutrition, and little work, together with many social issues, make it hard for these communities to survive.
 
Poco a Poco San Pedro also create new initiatives and opportunities as requested by the community (see the Poco a Poco project list).   
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After school programs 3
Jose with writing group
Bracelet training
Shopping bags from sewing program
Rodrigo and students
Happy to get dispensa
Anita and Dr Salvador
Anita helping young girl select glasses.
New knitting group in San Pedro 1(450 x
First attempts in the oven
The population of the town of San Pedro Itzicán (in 2019) is around, 5,200 people.  (In 2005 there was a population of 4,246.)  But including the other towns and small local villages, the population is around 19,500.  The towns and villages include:  Mezcala, La Peña, Agua Caliente, Cuesta de Mezcala, Chalpicote, La Zapotera, San Sebastián, San Juan Tecomatlán, Tlachichilco, Ojo de Agua and Santa Cruz el Grande.  

However, when you visit the town and villages, you are struck by just how many children are there - so the population has increased dramatically in the past 16 years.  Sadly more than 300 of those children have been "abandoned", so there is no one to  register for school, and do not have a stable home to live in.
 
In the 2005 Census it was reported that the average number of years that the population attended school in San Pedro, was only 4 years.  Nearly 12% of the population is illiterate - more women than men.
dance costumes 2019
Cosecha
Ron teaching ESL
Rodrigo and thank you sign
Reforestation project 2018
Distribution of food to vulnerable
Dog walking training