In 2019, the Mexican Government started a grant program ("beca") for low income students who were studying in primary, secondary and high school, as well as full-time university students (at certain institutions).
But many of the students who finish high school in these rural, close-knit communities, cannot think far enough ahead to plan for 4 years of study at a university, and the cost of transport, accommodation as well as fees and books, are beyond their means, even with assistance. Many have rarely been outside their own towns.
Being part of the Brigada has given these youth the opportunity to visit other places, such as Ajijic and Chapala, where there are educational possibilities, without going to a major city, far from family and friends. So it has given them confidence to aim higher!
Here is Xochtil at her graduation ceremony in becoming a paramedic with Cruz Roja (Red Cross), with her grandmother and her sponsor in December 2019. St. Andrew's Outreach Program also helped Xochtil with her High School expenses.
Here are some of our Brigada students, José, Daniel, Belen and Francisco, who all graduated from high school in 2019. (Francisco Nava and Anita Torres in attendance.) These students were also helped by the St. Andrew's Outreach Program.
Here are Daniel and José with Francisco and Anita, at their enrollment in December 2019, at the UNIR in Ajijic.
Daniel and José are not eligible for the new Mexico "beca" system because they will not be full-time students and they are too old (23 and 22) to enroll full-time. They both are being trained to become teachers, and want to return to their communities to work.
St. Andrew's Outreach Program also helped with their enrollment costs.
If you are interested in helping a student, please contact us as soon as possible. It costs over 140 pesos a day to get to school each day for some of these students, and books are expensive. Any support you can provide is most gratefully accepted.