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About Us • Our Scholarship Program • Sponsor a Student

Becas Vallarta is a non-profit Civil Association, in charge of raising funds to administer a scholarship program for low-income students with academic excellence in Puerto Vallarta Jalisco, Mexico. Our association is legally constituted, incorporated into the Undersecretary for Development and Liaison with Civil Society Organizations. We’re authorized to issue tax-deductible receipts nationally and internationally, we have a CLUNI code for this purpose.

Our scholarships offer financial support that allows students to finish their degree. We start the process from middle school, high school and university, supporting our students until they finish their degree.

We currently serve communities in rural areas, such as Las Palmas, El Colorado, El Ranchito, La Desembocada, Ixtapa, Las Juntas and to the south of the municipality of Cabo Corrientes.

Our organization has a 60-year history, originating with the work of pioneers Ed and Berenice Starr, who teamed up to raise funds with Selma Gordon and Guadalupe Sánchez de Covarrubias. The group grew with the help of Richard Seaton from Kansas City, and in this way the America-Mexico Foundation, Inc was incorporated as a sister association of Becas Vallarta A.C in the United States.

Our Mission

We transform education through the granting of scholarships and workshops on different topics to low-income students with academic excellence in Puerto Vallarta, mainly in the rural area of this same entity, with the aim of improving their quality of life, being self-sufficient and contribute to the progress of the town.

Our Vision

To be a solid and reliable organization, a benchmark in Mexico for honest and transparent work, with a spirit of service and continuous improvement, which directs all its efforts to reduce school dropouts in our city, through the timely delivery of scholarships.

Becas Vallarta / AMF Scholarship Program

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.

Click to Sponsor a Student now!

Sponsor a Student and Change a Life Through Education

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: 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.

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