Even though most everyone agrees that education is the key to living a productive and satisfying life and that it should be available to every child, that is not always the case for Puerto Vallarta kids. Many come from single parent homes, homes with five, six or more children or homes where the breadwinner makes only enough to provide the very basics of life.
Those circumstances make it impossible for the children, no matter how bright and eager to learn, to continue their education past the mandated junior high. That is where Becas Vallarta, A.C. and the America-Mexico Foundation, Inc. come in. Together they have sponsored thousands of young Vallartenses through junior high, high school, university and even medical school.
Becas Vallarta, A. C. is a non-profit, tax-deductible Mexican foundation charged with fund raising and administering the scholarships program for students in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The America-Mexico Foundation, Inc., founded in 1961, is a non-profit USA tax deductible foundation (under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code) that donates all funds raised to finance those scholarships.
These two non-profit organizations have as their only purpose raising funds to provide scholarships for as many Puerto Vallarta students as possible.
Working with no office, no telephone, no computers or copiers, these organizations manage to meet the budget of over $150,000 USD each year. All of this is done by volunteers - Mexican, Canadian and American - working in harmony to make Puerto Vallarta, and yes the world, a better place by having an educated populace.
Scores of professional and business women and men in Puerto Vallarta have received their educations through the America-Mexico Foundation. The quality of leadership in this city has been greatly enhanced by these former scholarship students.
In late August each year, all scholarship students meet at Los Mangos Library (designed pro-bono by former scholarship student Salvador "Cachi" Perez) with the all-volunteer members of Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.
Mariel de Fregoso, the President of Becas Vallarta, talks with each group, junior high, senior high and university, praising them for their past good work and reminding them of the obligations they accepted when they won their coveted Becas Vallarta Scholarships. Two other meetings are scheduled for everyone during the year, a Christmas Party in December and a meeting which includes new students and their parents in June.
In order to qualify for a scholarship a student must live and attend public schools in the Puerto Vallarta area, show real financial need which is verified in the schools they are attending, maintain a grade point average of 8.5 (of a possible 10), attend required meetings with the foundation members, be good citizens in the school and community and help with foundation functions when asked. But once a student has earned a scholarship, the foundation pledges to continue financial aid until the educational goal is met as long as she or he continues to fulfill the prescribed obligations.
At the August meeting, all junior high scholarship students receive certificates (in lieu of cash) to take to local stores to buy their school shoes, uniforms, gym clothes and tennis shoes. At this meeting they are also given all of the school supplies needed for the year - paper, pencils, pens, dictionaries, calculators, notebooks and more.
Another former scholarship student, Maestro Hector Ulloa, a long time teacher in Vallarta's public schools and the owner of two book stores, Papelería Los Profes #1 in Palos Secos and #2 in Bobadilla, gets the school's required lists of needed supplies and with the help of his son, packages everything and brings what looks like a truck load to the library each year. Naturally he gives the foundation a price far below what we would pay in regular stores. The school year cost for each junior high student is approximately $160 USD.
Each of the 14 junior high schools with which we work has a foundation member who is responsible year-round to work with the directors of the schools, the social workers, the students and their parents. Pat Bendix, Linda Azcarate and Blanca Ortiz are the members who, during the school year, make many trips to the schools, pay close attention to the student's grades and what is happening in their lives that might affect their ability to complete their schooling.
Students in all high schools are supervised by President Mariel de Fregoso and in all Universities by Buri Gray. They work with individual students, advising, listening and giving the annual stipend in installments. Each school year senior high students receive $550 USD and university students receive $700 USD which they may use for whatever cost is most pressing - registration fees, books, clothing, transportation, food.
In addition to working with the students, foundation members are always working to raise money to pay for those scholarships. The need is great as we not only want to sustain the girls and boys we now have in the program, but hope to bring in even more.
Want to be a part of something really big?
Can you think of anything bigger than being responsible for seeing that a bright, ambitious young Puerto Vallarta girl or boy has a chance to get the education she or he desires, but just can't afford it? It takes very little for you to do just that!
You can do it by sponsoring a junior high student for one year for only $160 USD, a senior high student for only $550 USD or a university student for only $700 USD.
Imagine! That is probably less than one might spend in a year on chocolates! All you have to do is write a check, fill out the form, send it in or go to Guide Star where you can make your donation by credit card. Piece of cake, no? In these uncertain times your donations are more important than ever.
We think we have the most efficiently run charity there is as we have no paid staff, no office, no equipment, no telephone. But we are so lucky that we have an abundance of volunteers and supporters whom have been helping local kids get their educations for almost fifty years. Join us please!
Mail from the USA or Canada:
America-Mexico Foundation, Inc.
Becas Vallarta, A.C.
PMB 130-380, 2163 Lima Loop
Laredo, TX 78045
Phone: 011 52 (322) 221 0789
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR
Mail within México:
America-México Foundation/Becas Vallarta, A.C.
Blvd. Fco. Medina Ascencio #2189 Edificio
Andrea Mar Local 7 Y8
Puerto Vallarta, Jal., México CP: 48319
Phone: 011 52 (322) 221 0789
To use your credit card, click here to visit GuideStar and press the "Donate Now" button.
"The miracle gift" of a donation to the scholarship fund is the perfect gift for a birthday, anniversary, to say get well soon or simply honor a friend or family member. It tells the recipient they are special to you and honors both of you as caring people. Becas Vallarta sends a letter telling the person being honored of your donation.
Gifts such as bottle of wine, flowers and chocolate are great gifts but helping to educate and shape the life of one of Vallarta’s brightest but neediest kids is an exceptional one.
Being a Partner for Change can have a different meaning and application to each of us depending on our role, our location, our clients, our relationships. But no matter where you are or who you are, you can be a Partner for Change. Click here to get started today.
|Becas Vallarta to Host ’Dinner With a Cause’ Fundraiser|
Becas Vallarta A.C.
Join us for our ’Dinner With a Cause’ fundraiser, to be held at Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant. The proceeds from the event will go towards our scholarship projects for under-income students. Read more >>>
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