PEACE Release - December

Becci Burchett - PEACE
December 10, 2011

Ellie Higgins and Rachel Price, Girl Scouts from troop #32232 in Lafayette, CA, flew to Mexico to deliver, in person, their gifts.

'Tis the season to be naughty or nice. As donors and volunteers, YOU will determine if we'll be rockin' around or having a silent night.

Sometimes people assume that because we do so much, we don't need additional donations. The reality is that we have to fundraise continuously to be able to run all of our programs each month.

We're currently lacking funds to complete 2011 and we need to raise our entire 2012 budget of $500,000 USD. By donating now, you will allow PEACE to focus more on community development projects and less on fundraising. Every extra minute devoted to strengthening PEACE programs results in healthier and better-educated communities, thereby increasing the quality of life for all.

When you donate, the stars will be brightly shining in our eyes and you will get a sentimental feeling. So have yourself a merry little look at our donation opportunities below, cause all we want this holiday season, is YOU!

• $25 - To spay or neuter an animal
• $50 - To sponsor four beach/river/road cleanups
• $100 - To feed 20 families through the Work for Food program
• $500 - To sponsor the PEACE community center for one month
• $1,000 - To sponsor a mobile-classroom teacher at the animal clinics for one month
• $5,000 - To sponsor two PEACE Mobile Animal Clinics + animal classroom
• $10,000 - To send 100 children to after-school programs for 6 months

One of these things would certainly be a meaningful gift for both your loved one and the recipient. Our alternative school students will make an ornament for every donation given with the donor's name on it. We hope to deck the halls with your generous contributions!

Thank you for giving here!

Other ways to have a PEACEful holiday:

Give green! Purchase unique, hand-made products created with mostly recycled materials, while supporting Mexican artisans. Visit the PEACE Boutique in Plaza Romy, PV - located at Ignacio Vallarta street #228 between Madero and Cardenas streets.

Bring in the new year with less clutter – donate gently used clothes and items to PEACE! Contact for more information.

Upcoming Events:

Save the date for our most fabulous event of the year! Enjoy stunning settings, renowned artists, and delicious catering for an important cause.

ArteVida - Creating PEACE through Art:
• January 20th, 2012 at Casa China Blanca in Punta de Mita
• March 30th, 2012 at Casa Corona in PV Centro

Other Events:
• PEACE Home Tour Every Tuesday until March 27th Plaza Romy - located at Ignacio Vallarta street #228 between Madero and Cardenas streets.  10:30 am – 1:30pm $35 USD
• Paddle for PEACE, December 11th, El Baracuda, PV 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, 200 pesos
• PEACE Open House, December 16th, Casa Campesina, Punta de Mita, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Free
• Sea Monkey Luau for PEACE, December 16th, Sea Monkey, PV, 6:00 pm, 500 pesos
• Paddle for PEACE, January 8th, Nuevo Vallarta, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, 200 pesos
• Paddle for PEACE, January 29th, Bucerias, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, 200 pesos
• Paddle for PEACE, February 12th, La Cruz, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, 200 pesos

Community Spotlight:

Adriana Giselle Martin del Campo Jensen, 31 years of age.

Where are you from? - Guadalajara, Jalisco

Tell me about your education and work experience. - My Mom is from Maryland, USA, my Dad is from Jalisco, Mexico. I have one sister who is married to a Spaniard, and my husband is from Argentina. We have a daughter, Mia, who is one year old. It's a very international family!

What is your background experience? - My Mom is an educator, and I started working as a teacher's aide when I was 18. During high school, and throughout university, I was part of a theater company and I am certified to teach drama and elementary education, which I did for four years. I've always been really passionate about indigenous communities, so I studied social anthropology in university. I started working with indigenous communities in Oaxaca and Guerrero and I traveled every other month to do interviews and studies. I also taught drama workshops for the local children. After university, I taught fifth grade until I was invited to launch a private school, Costa Verde, in Sayulita with my mother and husband in 2006. We designed the curriculum, provided consulting and did all of the paperwork to get it up and running.

When did you start working for PEACE? - I started working for PEACE in the Summer of 2010, after becoming familiar with the programs while living in Sayulita. I believe that the social aspect of education is essential, and was impressed by PEACE from the start.

What do you do for peace? - I am the Co-Director of Casa Comunidad, PEACE's education program. I work on curriculum development, program structure and evaluation, and I also coach teachers.

Why do you think PEACE education programs are so important? - There are a lot of reasons. PEACE programs not only approach students, but they approach public school teachers, and provide ongoing training for them. The rigid national curriculum structure can be very limiting, and teachers often feel tied down to a set of benchmarks. Experiencing non-formal education is a very impactful experience in which they can learn and grow as teachers.

There is also a lot of research behind what PEACE does. Education can be very challenging in the local communities because people are constantly moving around. The area has changed so rapidly in the last 20 years. It is important that curriculums are renewed and adapted. PEACE taps into all of these things and is able to create opportunities to give developing communities essential educational tools. We're striving to embrace the enriching diversity and change instead of seeing it as a conflict

What do you think is unique about PEACE? - PEACE is a very inclusive organization and the staff is very devoted to what they do. It's really a place where very creative people have grouped together. Unlike many single-focused nonprofits, PEACE has a holistic, balanced mission, with education at the center of each initiative.

What is your dream for PEACE? - I hope that we'll continue strengthening and growing our programs. I hope we'll be able to find constant funding for what we do, and I hope PEACE can serve as an example to other communities that are also going through this rapid change.

Youth Helping Youth:

How California Girl Scouts are Making a Difference.

Smiles and squeals energized the PEACE Casa Campesina as alternative school students watched boxes of donated school supplies, toys, and sports equipment pour into their classroom. This joy is thanks to Ellie Higgins (14) and Rachel Price (15), Girl Scouts from troop #32232 in Lafayette, CA, who flew to Mexico to deliver, in person, their gifts.

Ellie and Rachel are passionate about helping children from the local villages in Punta de Mita, and encouraged four other girls in their troop to initiate the effort. The fundraising drive and delivery was their answer to 'Silver Award' requirements, which challenges Girl Scouts to decide on an issue they care about, develop a project, execute the project, and reflect and celebrate the experience.

"They had no idea of the scope of their project when they started, or how much each of them would benefit from the 'one on one' with the children," said Judy Parks, Ellie's grandmother and long-time resident in the Puerto Vallarta area. "The hands-on experience left lasting impressions on these young teenagers."

Not only did the alternative school receive needed resources for high-quality educational activities, but like so many other generous PEACE volunteers and donors, Ellie, and Rachel shared a life-changing experience of growth and learning.
If you would like to be a PEACE volunteer, contact or find donation information here.

Successful Events:

Over 200 people had a blast running and peddling for PEACE last month during the 6th anual carrera for PEACE! We rocked out with a DJ, and enjoyed a dress-up photo booth, cookie decorating, massages and coloring stations. Thanks to our fantastic sponsors and attendees, we were able to raise over 120,500 pesos towards our much needed community programming!

Not only did we indulge in delectable varieties of chili at the second anual Bucerias Chili Cook-Off, but grooved to a live band and chatted with our Bucerias supporters last month!

PEACE will spend $46,250 USD in Bucerias in 2012 through the implimentation of summer camp, after school program, work for food program, and four animal clinics, in additional to small loans and financial education classes from Sé Más Microfinanzas.

It is wonderful to see Bucerias financially supporting PEACE programs within their own community. The chili cook-off raised 14,441 pesos and we hope to see much more continued support from our Bucerias friends!

We cannot express our gratitude enough this holiday season for the incredible support we experience from wonderful donors and volunteers. We would like to encourage everyone to take control of this beautiful time of year and focus on what's truly important – love, generosity and compassion. This holiday season, YOU have the power to make a real difference, and experience the true joy of giving. Thank you for reading, thank you for attending our events, and thank you for giving!

Warm Regards,

Becci Burchett
Development Director

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