PV's Sister City Santa Barbara Seeks Funding for Volcanes Sewing School
Gil Garcia, Roberto Najera, and Margaret Saavedra of Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City attended a course at the Oxnard Mexican Consulate on the process on how to electronically submit a 3x1 Social or Economic impact project for funding consideration by Mexican department of Social Services.
Three for One (3x1) funding matches the Sister City contribution (the one part) with 3 parts: 1 part each from Mexico’s Federal, State, and Local Governments.
This prepares us to apply for the community of Volcanes Sewing Business Building 3x1 Project in Puerto Vallarta for low income mothers so that they can acquire employment skills, earn wages and help their children to remain in school.
The poor of Puerto Vallarta can’t afford to live in areas close to the expensive shoreline. They live in areas pushed up as far up into the mountain jungle as possible where city services end. Areas further from the shore take longer to commute to work thus rents are lower. The most remote of these areas is the Colonia or township of Volcanes. Maps depict a suburban neighbourhood with an orderly grid of streets yet the true reality is unpaved mud packed roads which are nearly impassable during the rainy season. They cannot show the streetscape of shacks and shanties that make Volcanes one of the city’s poorest areas.
Everywhere in the small community are homes without electricity, telephone, running water or toilets. Without employment, the families struggle simply trying to feed themselves and their children.
In late 2013, Art Fumerton of the Volcanes Community Education Project (VCEP) found out about a Canadian Charity working to teach poor women in countries around the world. They agreed to teach sewing skills to a group of Volcanes mothers in three separate two week training sessions held over the course of several months. Between training sessions, the trainees could continue to practice at the School to improve their sewing proficiency. At the end of their training, the graduates could then seek work within the greater community, work from home with the assistance of a micro-loan or join together in their own sewing company.
Instead of doing the training in a temporary location, the VCEP and Volcanes area leaders wanted an un-used and abandoned day-care building to be re-furbished into a permanent Sewing School. This would allow local women to continue using the facility after their training to start their own Sewing Co-Op while also permitting the continued use of the facility to train women from other areas later on. This small building became the start of permanent jobs within Volcanes for these women by allowing them to bring their toddlers with them to spend their day in the incorporated day-care.
To learn more about the Volcanes neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta, visit Volcanes Project.
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