Since 2016, we have seen so many changes and growth of the Brigada leaders. As part of being a brigada leader, they have to stay in school as well as perform volunteer work in their communities.
They are the future leaders of their communities.
The 2019 Mexican Government introduced the educational "beca"(grant) program for low income families, which encourages students to stay in school. This was great, but then Covid closed the schools. So the beca's stopped too.
Few of the youth in these San Pedro Itzicán communities have a computer or access to a television to watch the educational programs. So they were doing their homework on their cell phones when they could get internet access. The Brigada office when it reopened at least provided internet and some of the students access to computers to keep up with their work. But we fear many will drop out of school.
These youth have many challenges in planning their futures. Their parents can't afford education for their children and don't always understand its value. If the youth do pass the high school exams (if they can be persuaded to continue their education), they can't imagine taking a 4 year course. So most opt for shorter college programs.
Full-time university courses are covered by the Government grant program, but shorter college courses are not covered. So the cost, while less than a university course, still entails a lot of transport and book expenses.