We have been supporting education of many youth and adults since 2016 in the towns and villages around San Pedro Itzicán.
The Brigada youth (led by Anita Torres) who we first worked with, were taught leadership skills, encouraged to volunteer in the communities for the betterment of all, and stay in school and try to get a career. These youth are the future leaders of their communities.
Thanks to support from St Andrew's Anglican Church in Riberas, we were able financially help more than 60 youth, so that they could attend school.
In 2019, the Mexican Government introduced the educational "beca"(grant) program for low income families, designed to encourage students to stay in school. This was great, but then Covid closed the schools and for many children, on-line learning was not possible, and they gave up school.
Very few families in these areas have a computer or access to a television to watch the educational programs. So the kids were doing their homework on their cell phones when they could get internet access. The Poco a Poco community center office, when it reopened, at least provided internet and some of the students, access to computers to keep up with their work.
September 2023: One of our "stars" is Xochitl. We helped by financing her high school expenses and her training as a paramedic. She is now attending the University of Guadalajara to become a registered nurse. We are all so proud of her! Thank you Margrita for being her mentor.
These youth have many challenges in planning their futures, and the pressure is on them to support their families by working. Their parents can't afford education for their children, and don't always understand its value.
If a student actually passes the high school exams, they can't imagine taking a 4 year course. So most opt for shorter college programs. But they still struggle to complete them.
(Their general education level is lower than many of the local areas.)
With the help of two sponsors and Work, Play, Love, we help six adults with their auxiliary nursing training. But now they have to complete their volunteer training hours...