Mexican Schools Project

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

The Mexican Schools Project is a grass roots organization that assists rural Mexican communities south of Puerto Vallarta in addressing their educational priorities.

We cooperate with local people to meet the basic needs of school-age children, remodel existing schoolhouses, provide healthy school bathrooms and ensuring clean water supplies.

We provide basic academic supplies and promote self-determination through sustainable education.

Upon arriving in Puerto Vallarta, Bob Johnson volunteered at a community bazaar organized by the owners of the River Cafe Restaurant, Margarito and Eva Larios, to raise money for Family Services Mexico.

Afterwards, the four met to discuss where they could donate the 175 pounds of school supplies that they had brought from Canada. Margarito and Eva connected them to DIF (Family Services Mexico) and to many of the small rural communities in Cabo Corrientes.

Since then, we been involved in many projects for the Mexican schools, just south of Puerto Vallarta.

Past Projects by Mexican Schools Project

Below is a list of just some of the projects we have undertaken over the past years.

Guess the first would be Corrales where we first stayed in 2002/03.

After Margarito showed us Cabo Corrientes after the hurricane had hit, we delivered school supplies and other items to 6 villages and could see that they needed much more than what we brought. I asked Margarito if there was a chance we could go stay in a village for a while to fix the school up.

He met with the Elders of the area and we were given the okay to come and stay and work on the school.

We hauled paint and building supplies in and Margarito supplied all new windows. What a 2 weeks that was - we knew no Spanish. Margarito made little cards up for us with the spanish for phrases including "Where is the bathroom?" and "We are hungry", and we made out just fine - everyone was so helpful.

We slept in one big room for all 10 of us kids, grandmas, chickens and you name it. We soon found out that the roof leaked as a fluke rain storm moved in for four days. We were lucky to escape on the washed out roads and overflowing rivers with our lives, but that is a whole other story.

In 2004/05, we went to Aquiles Serdan. This was our first buiding project with the government, the community and the teachers all involved and what a disaster it started out to be.

The government had contacted us and wanted to know if we were interested in helping with building projects, bathrooms, etc, and we were! It was the first time that the government had actually helped in the rural areas for years - usually money did not trickle down this far.

The project was to fix up the existing school and bathroom, build a set of stairs to the school and the teacher wanted a small platform where he could do plays and events with the children.

Well, everyone wanted to do their best so the government sent out a huge workforce including engineers. They decided the stairs to the school should go up the same side as the bathroom was on - the only thing was the kids had been using the other side since the beginning of time. The teacher was beside himself and the townspeople wanted to do the work. We got everyone together and everyone had a good laugh as everyone was trying so hard - and the kids still go up the side of the school with no stairs.

We visited Tehuamixtle in 2005/06 to remodel the existing school and build new washrooms. The state of the washrooms for this school in the tiny fishing village consisted of 4 poles and some heavy black plastic. The whole community was out to rebuild the school and help build the new bathrooms. This was our biggest project to date.

In 2007, we went to Tehuamixtle to build a new Kindergarten school. This was a project we wanted to do for so long as this stick school just kept getting beat up by the winter storms every year until there was almost nothing left. Scorpions are also a huge problem in wooden and thatched structures like this, especially if young children get bitten.

I was invited to a Christmas party that I will never forget in this 8 by 10 structure. The teacher never let anything get her down. What an amazing time everyone had!

The Manta and the Rogue Wave was another great experience. We had been staying in Tehua at the schoolteacher's house and were asked if we wanted to go out and help check the fishing nets in the morning. Being an old fisherman who can not swim,  I jumped at the chance but remembered I had no life jacket.

The 5 of us went to sea and all was going as planned until the captain spotted a net he did not recognize. We tied onto it and tried to bring it in with no luck and noticed that whatever was in the net was trying to bring us into the sea. The motor was burning blue smoke in reverse, the Captain was yelling for someone to cut the line and in a hurry, and I looked down in the water and noticed a huge manta much larger than our boat that was caught in the net and pulling us down.

Finally, like an elastic stretched to the max, we were cut free. Everyone looked at each other just glad to be alive when out of nowhere, a rogue wave hit the boat and sent everyone flying.

Not a good day for the captain as he broke his arm, but it is a story they still tell when they are telling fish stories -  and we still go out and check nets together.

How You Can Help the Mexican Schools Project

Where do our donations go?

Donations are solely used to provide basic school supplies, as well as the paint, cement and other materials needed to repair schools, and are deposited in a trust fund.

If you wish to donate to this project please send your donation to:

Mexican Schools Project
Box 266
Merville, BC
V0R 2M0

If you would like to get involved in our projects, send an email to Bob for more information on our current projects.

Last updated: August 17, 2017 · Charity ID: 916

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The Mexican Schools Project, led by Comox Valley resident Bob Johnson, works to meet the basic needs of school-age children in Cabo Corrientes, a remote area south of Puerto Vallarta.

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Every weekend and every day after school, a retired professor named Sergio and his friends volunteer their time to run crafts, reading and fun activities. It is their effort to improve the lives of the children in their community.

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

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