Canadian Priest Looks for Support to Help Puerto Vallarta Students

The Guardian
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October 4, 2015

Some of the children who attend the Volcanes School in Puerto Vallarta

It’s a project that has captured the hearts of his community.

Rev. Eloi Arsenault’s desire to improve the lives of young, impoverished Mexican students has spread to residents of the Evangeline area.

“The community is so excited about this project,” he said.

Arsenault has been travelling to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico — part vacation, part philanthropy — since 2010, bringing with him donations to help support the students at Volcanes School in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

“We are trying to get some funds, again, together and hopefully keep on helping those kids to get a better education in Volcanes. It is a very poor area.”

Money he raises goes to pay the salaries of eight teachers, who, once the regular school day is complete for the 500 plus Grades 2 to 6 students, teach the youngsters English and computer skills.

It is a project the local Mexican community has fully supported.

“They see a better future for their kids and they get involved,” said Arsenault. “We are hoping that within a year or two that they will be able to be sort of self-sufficient because we have started other projects as well.”

Among those projects is a sewing school, opened last year.

“It is working really well. They are hoping to get some contracts with different hotels so that it will bring money into the community so the kids can go to school beyond elementary, that they can go to high school and get a better job later in life.”

Last year, Arsenault collected $24,600 in donations.

He started this year’s campaign with $9,000 in the bank, thanks to donations he collected from the passengers of cruise ships he served on as pastor last winter.

“That was really touching,” said Arsenault.

Arsenault and his committee have sent letters to Evangeline residents and to about 40 Summerside and area businesses, asking them to consider helping improve the future of the impoverished children, who are known as the “Children of the Dump.”

“Whatever comes in we will appreciate,” he added.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Read related: Retired Priest Collecting Donations for Dump Kids' Education Program in Vallarta

  Learn about Cafe Roma's Kids Program

  Learn about Families at the Dump

  Check out Cafe Roma Pizzeria Restaurant and Bar

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