Amigos del Magisterio

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Amigos del Magisterio was born by Lyle & Phil Rioux when they observed the colony of Magisterio, otherwise known as the Puerto Vallarta dump, where the poorest of families live in abject poverty.

In this part of Puerto Vallarta, the residents exist by sorting garbage at the dump. There is no more stock-piling at the dump now, there is no more room. But in Puerto Vallarta almost no recyclables are sorted at the home or business, it all goes into the same recipient.

Therefore, the dump is overloaded but much of it is recyclable material. So the Magisterio people sort through the refuse to find plastic, glass, metal and paper which they are able to sell for a pittance. The remainder of the refuse is loaded onto semi-trailer trucks and taken to a new dump out of town.

If the recyclers received a decent income from their collected materials, it would be not as bad. Unfortunately, the area is tightly controlled and the real income is not passed down to the sorters.

The dump workers make between 50-70 pesos a day, $4-6 in North American terms. They cannot relocate because they cannot afford to and cannot live further away, they cannot afford the bus fare to go to work or the housing further away.

Our support comes from many sources, tourists who come to Puerto Vallarta, friends and families of the organising committee, some staff of the Canadian Grain Commission in Winnipeg, Club Richelieu in Ottawa, special collections at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Maria Reina de la Paz Churches in Puerto Vallarta, to name a few.

We also have a corporate sponsor, Frigorizados La Huerta, vegetable farmers who also freeze their product. They have many lines of frozen foods in Mexico and export the world over. And they are nice people with big hearts. They donated 1300 bags each containing pizzas, lime pies, cheese fondue and 4-5 kilos of vegetables. These we distributed to the schools.

Every year a considerable number of people work with us, from a board of directors coming from all walks of life, mostly North American tourists to people helping with distribution and packaging.

We organize the only project that is 100% donation. No overhead! All our expenses are covered by the volunteers. Even the expenses for the trucks we use for the deliveries, are covered by the truck owners. Given the need, we are all happy to give of ourselves.

Ours is, so far, a winter project operated by tourists. Our contribution is much appreciated. Hard to believe, but without good caring souls, there would be starvation in this part of our beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta.

A Short History of Amigos del Magisterio

In 2007, Father Jacques Landry from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada was in Puerto Vallarta Mexico enjoying the winter and doing Catholic ministry at Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe Church. Often tourists would give him money "for the poor." He approached us in order to decide how to spend these funds for the utmost benefit of the poor. We also discussed at length where this aid would be focused.

At the time we travelled to Puerto Vallarta with our truck and fifth wheel trailer so the truck would be useful to bring loads of food to any location.

We are semi-retired farmers from Manitoba Canada and are not strangers to volunteer work. We have been married 45 years and have 3 children and 7 grand-children.

We investigated what to purchase and settled on the Mexican staples of rice, beans, cooking oil and sugar. Sugar because the poor gather flower petals and herbs and brew "teas" which are more palatable when sugar is added. Sugar is also used for babies and small children. We also observed many pockets of abject poverty in Puerto Vallarta. But the poorest without a doubt is in Colonia Magisterio, also known as the garbage dump.

We discussed this with several neighbors at Tacho's trailer park and friends and family members in Puerto Vallarta, at home and elsewhere. Soon many wanted to pitch in and a project was born.

Last updated: September 12, 2017 · Charity ID: 519

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12Aug2017
Poverty Found in Shadow of Affluent Mexican Resort Communities

Daily Republic

At our hotel in Nayarit’s Nuevo Vallarta locale, we enjoyed air conditioning, fine cuisine and hospitality. In the mornings, we drove to neighborhoods with dirt roads, flooding, mosquitos and wandering cattle.

19Jun2016
Puerto Vallarta June Newsletter from American Legion Post 14

American Legion Post 14

Greetings from sunny and warm Puerto Vallarta. Please enjoy the latest newsletter from American Legion Post 14. Feel free to pass this newsletter along to friends, relatives, and other Vets.

16May2016
Small-Town American Physician and Company Bring Patient Care to Vallarta's Poorest

Advocate Tribune

After a few trips to Puerto Vallarta, Dr. Carter and his wife Hazel wanted to find a way to help while they were in Mexico. Hazel came across an organization that was working to help the people in one of the poorest areas of Puerto Vallarta.

06Apr2016
Solidarity Foundation Helps the Puerto Vallarta Families at the Dump

Drake University Newsroom

For those families who live near the city dump in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, even the most humble of these goals have traditionally been out of reach.

28Mar2016
Appnovation Partners with the Isa Mundo Foundation in Puerto Vallarta

PR Web

Volcanes is a low-income neighbourhood situated in the mountains about 30 minutes away from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The school is not equipped with computers and teachers struggle with large class sizes.

26Sep2015
Tourist Interaction with Local Communities Spurs Giving, Survey Finds

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

More than half of American travelers said they did volunteer work or donated to a cause at a destination they visited within the last two years, according to Tourism Cares.

20Apr2014
Vallarta Yacht Club Awards Dee Cokerham with Jim Ketler Service Award

Vallarta Yacht Club

This award is given annually to the person that has displayed active and positive support for the mission and goals endorsed by the Vallarta Yacht Club to benefit the greater Banderas Bay Community.

26Mar2014
Amazing Grace Church Celebrates Third Season

Amazing Grace Christian Church

Our big news concerns the authorization we received in January from the Mexican government to form a legal not-for-profit foundation. AGM is the entity that will now provide the physical support to the families located in Colonia Majisterio and Bosques de Progreso.

19Feb2014
World Housing Launches One-for-One Real Estate Gifting Model at Vallarta Dump

Yahoo Finance

Currently, World Housing is involved in three landfill communities based outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Manila, Philippines; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As World Housing grows, the goal is to expand its areas of influence to include other communities.

24Jan2014
Steve Buczek's 11th Annual Puerto Vallarta Leather & Bear Week 'Beef Dip 2014'

Beef Dip

We have planned exciting events for the week and have worked close with our travel partners to arrange for affordable air and hotel fares. This year, Beef Dip 2014 will take place from January 26th - February 2nd, 2014, in sunny Puerto Vallarta.

08Dec2013
Winnipeg Family to Spend Their Winter Holiday Helping PV's Children

Winnipeg Free Press

The Liscum's trip to Mexico in January is more than a Winter holiday. They will travel to the Puerto Vallarta area to help out people much less fortunate in creating better futures for the children.

20Mar2013
Another Season at the Puerto Vallarta Garbage Dump

PVM City Paper

For the seventh consecutive year, a group of concerned tourists, Amigos del Magisterio, have organized a food drive to help this community. This year over 140,000 pesos were raised (about $11,500 USD). You can help!

29Apr2017
Dia del Nino Is a Big Deal for Orphans in Mexico

KPNX

Besides Mother’s and Father’s Day, children have a very special day too. Dia del nino, or children’s day, is an annual celebration held on April 30 throughout Mexico.

16Sep2016
Musician Carlos Santana on Helping, Healing and the Song Inside Us All

Las Vegas Weekly

Santana sat down with the Weekly to discuss his charity work, his return to the House of Blues and motivation after more than 40 years as a world-renowned guitarist

16Aug2016
Poll Ranks Family as No. 1 for Most Young Mexicans

Mexico News Daily

The family has long been a cherished institution in Mexican society and a poll of young people aged 12-29 indicates that it will remain so for some time to come.

19Jul2016
By Changing the Way It Measures Earnings, Mexico Cuts Poverty Up to 33 Percent

The Associated Press

Anti-poverty groups in Mexico accused the national statistics agency of arbitrarily changing the way it measures income surveys so poverty appears to be less of a problem.

29Apr2016
More Than 21 Million Mexican Children and Adolescents Live in Poverty

Bernama-NNN

About 21.4 million children and adolescents, of a total of 40 million people, are currently living in poverty in Mexico and of them, 4.6 million are in extreme poverty.

25Apr2016
Rafael Ruiz Velasco: Mexico's Poverty Relief Programs Are a Failure

PanAm Post

Mexico’s poverty is a problem. About 50 million Mexicans live on less than US $5 a day, and about 2.5 million are in extreme poverty, living on less than US $1.25 a day. But the situation affects all of Mexico.

08Apr2016
Supermarkets to Donate Unsold Food in Mexico to Combat Widespread Malnutrition

CCTV America

In Mexico, a non-profit food bank is working with supermarket chains to provide unspoiled food to those most in need.

13Mar2016
Official Told Recipients of Anti-Poverty Program to Respond 'No' to Hunger Surveys

Agencia EFE

A Mexican official urged recipients of anti-poverty assistance to indicate on two surveys that they had not suffered hunger in recent months, an audio recording uploaded to local media revealed.

29Feb2016
Latin American and Caribbean Nations Join Efforts at Mexico Conference to Eradicate Hunger

teleSUR

Delegations from Latin America and the Caribbean have arrived in Mexico City to attend the 34th regional conference of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

20Feb2016
Mexico's Crusade Against Hunger Doesn't Work to Eliminate Food Poverty

Animal Politico

The National Crusade Against Hunger has not met its target due to flaws in the design of the strategy. So concluded the Superior Auditor of the Federation following a performance review.

01Dec2015
John Irving Tells the Story of a Mexican 'Dump Kid' Who Learns to Read

Off The Shelf

Novelist John Irving, author 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' and 'The World According to Garp', discusses Juan Diego, the lead character in 'Avenue of Mysteries' who is a self-taught reader raised in one of Mexico’s dumps.

17Oct2015
National Aid Programs Guarantee Food for 4.5 Million Needy Mexicans

Agencia EFE

Some 4.5 million Mexicans living in poverty benefit from government programs that put food on their tables, President Enrique Peña Nieto said while leading a World Food Day ceremony.

17Aug2015
'Las Patronas' Are Making Mexico's 'Train of Death' a More Humane Place

Global Voices

Las Patronas consists of a group of women that prepare huge pans of rice and beans which they deliver in bags, along with portions of bread and water to the US-bound migrants as the train passes through La Patrona.

11Aug2015
Emilio Godoy: Anti-Poverty Programs in Mexico Are Losing the Battle

Inter Press Service

While most of Latin America has been reducing poverty, Mexico is moving in the other direction. New official figures reflect an increase in the number of poor in the last two years, despite the billions of dollars channeled into a broad range of programs aimed at combating the problem.

08Aug2015
New United Nations Goals Could Easily End Global Hunger in 15 Years

TakePart

Last night, 795 million people went to sleep hungry. That’s a larger number than the populations of the U.S. and Europe combined, and the effects of not having enough food makes hunger the No. 1 public health risk worldwide - greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

20Jun2015
Cost of Basic Food Basket in Mexico Three Times Greater Than Minimum Wage

La Jornada

To purchase the recommended basic food basket - which includes 40 products for the daily intake of two adults and two children - but without considering living expenses, Mexican workers would require a daily income of 210 pesos, the amount of nearly three minimum wages.

05Jun2015
Marianela Jarroud: Latin America's Relative Success in Fight Against Hunger

Inter Press Service

The Latin American and Caribbean region is the first in the world to reach the two global targets for reducing hunger. Nevertheless, more than 34 million people still go hungry.

12Apr2015
More Than Half of Mexican Children Live in Extreme Poverty Conditions: Unicef

El Universal

More than half of the 40 million children and teenagers who live in Mexico are under poverty and some 4.7 million of them are under extreme poverty conditions, according to Unicef, that urged the authorities to make indigenous children a priority.

29Mar2015
Living Water Restores Dignity for Community at Oaxaca Garbage Dump

Mission Network News

Extreme poverty forces Dionila Pasos, a single mother of seven, to live and work in a garbage dump near Oaxaca, Mexico. But today, Dionila and her kids have safe, clean water pumped right into their home, thanks to Living Water International.

21Mar2015
86,402 Seconds in Mexico Changed an Impoverished Community for a Lifetime

WorldClothesLine

International philanthropist Mallory Brown and NFL player Mike Martin traveled to Mexico and changed one community's future with a 24 hour Crowdrise fundraiser.

11Mar2015
Voluntourism: Spring Break Can Be a Time to Give

Mother Nature Network

More and more young people are passing up the revelry and choosing a different type of spring break experience. A style of travel known as voluntourism has become an exciting alternative for more young travelers - and for more travelers in general.

01Dec2014
UN Recognizes Mexico for 'Notable Progress in the Fight Against Hunger'

The News

Mexico and 12 other countries were awarded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for their advances against hunger, after achieving the international objectives before the 2015 deadline.

30Oct2014
The Power of 5 Campaign Fighting Childhood Malnutrition in Rural Mexico

AmwayVideos

Around the world, millions of children die from malnutrition. The Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign was created to bring awareness to this growing issue and provides a way for people around the world to join together to make a difference.

27Jun2014
Mexico Tried Giving Poor People Cash Instead of Food. It Worked.

Vox

A new study adds to a growing pool of evidence that cash transfers actually aren't "wasted" on frivolous things and do improve poor peoples' lives in observable ways.

04Jun2014
Without Hunger Crusade to Provide for 5.5 Million in Poverty in Mexico

Worldbulletin News

Mexico's president Enrique Pena Nieto expects to provide food supplies to 5 million people living in extreme poverty in 2014, he said this week.

26May2014
Stats Paint Sad Picture: Nearly 53 percent of Mexican Youth Are in Poverty

The News

In a country plagued by obesity, more than half Mexico’s children go to bed hungry at night or worrying about where their next meal will be coming from.

01Apr2014
Here's What Happens to Kids When They Get to Eat Before School Every Day

Upworthy

If you feed kids breakfast before school, they have a much better chance of doing well for their entire lives.

20Nov2013
Universal Children's Day Is a Global Celebration of Service to Children

TimeAndDate.com

The United Nations' Universal Children's Day is an occasion to promote the welfare of children and an understanding between children all over the world. It is held on November 20 each year.

03Jul2013
If You Had to Live in a Mexican Dump, Wouldn't You Try to Flee, Too?

Diocese of Salt Lake City

The Nogales, Mexico, dump is not only a workplace, it is home for more than 100 people who live in shacks cobbled together from the garbage that surrounds them. It is a neighborhood with men, women, children, grandmothers all working the same job – sorting garbage for materials to sell.

15Apr2013
UNICEF Report Reveals Shocking Cost of Malnutrition and Outlines Unprecedented Chance to Defeat It

UNICEF.org

Stunting is low height for age in children. A new report by UNICEF reveals the high prevalence of stunting in children under 5, but also outlines the tremendous opportunities that exist to make it a problem of the past.

06Apr2013
Government Considers Enlisting Troops in Mexico's Fight Against Hunger

Inter Press Service

The Mexican government is considering using the armed forces to collect socioeconomic data from the low-income households that will benefit from the National Crusade Against Hunger.

05Apr2013
Eric Odell's 'The Road to Juan's House'

New Age Marketing 101 TV

The Road to Juan's House is the story of Juan Boca Negra who lives in a shack village on the outskirts of a Mexico City dump with his brothers and sisters. It is a story of hope as he receives education so that one day he can leave his shack in the garbage dump for a better life.

04Apr2013
United Nations Reports the Majority of Poor in Mexico are Children

UNICEF Mexico

More than 20 million children and adolescents in Mexico are estimated to live in poverty, and five million of them in extreme poverty, the United Nations Children’s Fund reported in a joint study with the Mexican Government.


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Magisterio Colony
Puerto Vallarta
Mexico

Contact: Lyse and Phil Rioux

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CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

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