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 program gave these youth the opportunity to visit other places, such as Ajijic and Chapala, where there are many 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.
Since then, Xochtil has been the main medical person in San Pedro, helping people through Covid, renal failure and minor medical emergencies as well. She was a volunteer at the Tepehua Community Center in Chapala, helping and learning from the nurse and doctor there.
And now (2022) is studying to pass her entrance exams to apply to medical school. We are so proud of her! If she gets in and succeeds, she will be the very first doctor from San Pedro, and the first woman for sure! (We are also supporting another young lady who wants to become a lawyer.)
In November 2021, we found a donor who would support Samuel and Clement finish their on-line high school studies. They have to take exams and tests in Poncitlán as part of the program, and they received coaching from Fernando, the teacher who comes to San Pedro for the literacy classes. But they have found it to be a struggle as they lack understanding of the fundamentals of maths and science.
If you are interested in helping a student, please contact us as soon as possible. Any support you can provide is most gratefully accepted.