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EDUCATION

We have been supporting education of many youth and adults with education 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, first aid, firefighting and search and rescue, and were 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.

We are grateful for the support from St Andrew's Anglican Church in Riberas over the years, and were able to 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 had a computer or access to a television to watch the educational programs, so they did their homework on their cell phones when they could get internet access.  The Poco a Poco community center office, when it reopened, provided internet to the students, but it was hard for them to do.

September 2023:  One of our "stars" is Xochitl.  We helped by financing her high school expenses, and then 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.

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The youth in these areas 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 the value of education.

 

If a student actually passes the high school exams (prepa), they can't imagine taking a 4 year course in any subject.  Most opt for shorter college programs.  But they still struggle, because their education levels are below urban school levels. 

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With the help of two sponsors and Work, Play, Love, we helped five adults with their auxiliary nursing training. 

 

Once they complete their courses and pass, they have to complete their volunteer training hours...  

One student passed the exam is now working!  That is wonderful!

We continue to support two of the students so they pass their final exams.

Because of the extreme poverty of many families, parents do not necessarily encourage their children to attend school as they want them to start working to help support the family.  In the Municipality of Poncitlán, according to 2020 studies, estimates are that nearly 48% of the population did not complete primary school.  So among adults and youth, there is a high illiteracy rate. 

Of course this limits what work they can find.  Many of the girls get pregnant, as that is what they see as their career.  Later, many become single mothers, so they have many challenges and don't have the education to get good paying jobs.

Thus the cycle of poverty continues, because all they can find is work with very low salaries with no benefits, and insufficient money to feed their families.   

We know that education is the key to changing lives.

 

In May 2024 we are helping three students with help from some sponsors.  One student is continuing high school, and two, who are older, are taking adult prepa classes once a week.  But the fees mount up - particularly the exam/graduation fees.  So we need more sponsors.

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