“Sponsor a Student” Fundraising Campaign: Introducing Johana


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Johana, Age 12

Johana’s Story

Johana stopped attending the local elementary because other students bullied her for her hearing disability. She also struggled profusely to keep up in a learning environment that didn’t take her hearing problem into consideration. Now she attends the PEACE Alternative School where she is making strong academic progress and feels respected and safe.

 Johana in her own words

“My name is Johana and I was born in Puerto Vallarta. I have a hearing disability and I have to use a special device. I attend the alternative school because I feel protected here; everyone cares about me and respects me enough not to tease me.  If I had a super power, it would be to fly so I can feel the wind blowing all around me. When I grow up I want to be a teacher at PEACE and work with children like me. What I like about my school is that they respect me and do not ask me why I cannot hear or make fun of me. I would be really sad if PEACE didn’t exist. PEACE is the reason that I love school again!”

“Johana is very smart. She is always smiling and laughing. She has a great heart.” PEACE Alternative School Teacher, Jenni de la Torre

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Please help us continue to provide a holistic education to this wonderful student!! Help us help Johana, by sponsoring her education for one month for just $150 US! Or sponsor Johana’s education for a year for just $1,350 US! Together we can make a huge positive impact in her life! Every dollar counts!

To donate please visit: https://donate.peacemexico.org/ and note “Johana” and the amount you would like to donate in the blank donation slot. Thanks!

For more information please contact ceci@peacemexico.org

“Sponsor a Student” Fundraising Campaign: Introducing Betzaida

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Betzaida, Age 14

Betzaida’s Story

Betzaida has two brothers who both do not attend school and she was falling into the same pattern. After missing classes for awhile, she was too far behind to re-enroll in her grade level and was losing motivation. She now attends the PEACE Alternative School because she wants to go to high school someday and hopes to set a good example for her brothers.

Betzaida in her own words

“My name is Betzaida. I was born in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and I am 14 years old. I study at the alternative school because I want to finish junior high and go on to high school. When I grow up I want to be a good person to everyone. If I had a super power it would be to fly. My idea to change the world would be to stop polluting our planet.  What I like about school is that the teachers teach us very well and do not pressure us.”

“Betzaida is a calm and peaceful student. She helps to calm others in the classroom and always turns in high-quality work. She also has beautiful handwriting.” Teacher, Jenni de la Torre

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Please help us continue to provide a holistic education to this wonderful student!! Help us help Betzaida, by sponsoring her education for one month for just $150 US! Or Sponsor Betzaida’s education for a year for just $1,350 US! Together we can make a huge positive impact in her life! Every dollar counts!

To donate please visit: https://donate.peacemexico.org/ and note “Betzaida” and the amount you would like to donate in the blank donation slot. Thanks!

For more information please contact ceci@peacemexico.org

“Sponsor a Student” Fundraising Campaign: Introducing Chez

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Chez, Age 15

Chez’s Story

Chez is originally from Punta de Mita. Formerly enrolled in junior high, he struggled with behavioral issues and substance abuse. In addition, a mild vision problem was causing him to fall behind his classmates and eventually led him to quit school.  Since beginning the PEACE Alternative school he has stopped using drugs and has become an outgoing and enthusiastic student. He is truly a delight to have in class. He arrives at school everyday with a great attitude, ready to learn. We are so very proud of him!

Chez in his own words

“My name Jesreel, but I like being called Chez. I was born in 1996 and I am 15 years old. I go to the alternative school because I have really wanted to study and could not go to public school because I was too old to take classes at my grade level. When I grow up I want to be a professional chef, because people like to eat delicious things and I want to make them! If I had a super power would be to fly to travel around the world. My idea to change the world is to take care of each person so that nothing happens to us. What I like about school are my friends and my teachers.”

“Chez is kind to others, happy and compassionate. He loves to share his thoughts and ideas with the class. He makes everyone laugh and is a natural leader.” Teacher, Jenni de la Torre

Chez is very polite, he is a great friend to others and he stand up for what he believes is right.Teacher, Ali Elias

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Please help us continue to provide a holistic education to this wonderful student!! Help us help Chez, by sponsoring his education for one month for just $150 US! Or Sponsor Chez’s education for a year for just $1,350 US! Together we can make a huge positive impact in his life! Every dollar counts!

To donate please visit: https://donate.peacemexico.org/ and note “Chez” and the amount you would like to donate in the blank donation slot. Thanks!

For more information please contact ceci@peacemexico.org

“Sponsor a Student” Fundraising Campaign: Introducing Karen

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Karen, Age 14

Karen’s Story:

Karen attends the alternative school because she had fallen behind in her studies and was too old to be admitted into public school at the appropriate academic level.  She comes from an  unstable home-life and benefits greatly from the stability she finds at the alternative school. Karen always has a smile on her face despite the hardships she has faced. She is extremely caring and  always willing to help others. She is very bright and she is a great role model to other Alternative School students.

Karen in her own words:

“My name is Karen and I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. I am 14 years old.  I study in the alternative school because I love being here, I feel safe and comfortable. If I had a super power it would be to fly in order to save time on the road.  My idea to change the world would be to make a public message of peace and observe a minute of silence to reflect on everything. That way, people would realize that we do not have to fight.  What I like about school are my friends and the atmosphere of friendship. I do not like having to say goodbye to my friends when they graduate.”

“Karen is very outgoing. She always participates in class and asks questions. She is intelligent and organized.”  Alternative School Teacher, Jenni de la Torre

“Karen is very generous, she is always helping the other students in class.” Alternative School Teacher, Ali Elias

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Please help us continue to provide a holistic education to this enthusiastic and deserving student!! Help us help Karen, by sponsoring her education for one month for just $150 US! Or Sponsor Karen’s education for a year for just $1,350 US! Together we can make a huge positive impact in her life!

To donate please visit: https://donate.peacemexico.org/ and note “karen” and the amount you would like to donate in the blank donation slot. Thanks!

For more information please contact ceci@peacemexico.org

PEACE launches “Sponsor a Student” Fundraiser!

This week, we are kicking-off our  Student Sponsorship Program!   Did you know that the PEACE Alternative School serves as the primary education center for 19 students between the ages of 8-16yrs old? Each of these students has a different and compelling story.  Some come from abusive homes, or large families that can barely afford to put food on the table.  Some struggle with behavioral, physical or learning disabilities   Some have gone their whole lives without setting foot into a classroom and need the chance to catch up with their peers.

These children woud be forgotten if not for the PEACE Alternative School, and your support!

Please help us to ensure that each of these students is given the opportunity to receive an education and better their lives!

Each week we will be introducing a new student in a effort to secure sponsorship for this child to receive a holistic eduction for one year. The cost for school for  each student every month is $150 US or $1350 US per year.

Last year, four Alternative School Graduates were enrolled in the local high school  while another four students were reintegrated into the public school system!  Please help us prepare more students for a bright future!  No child should ever be forgotten!

Background Information on The PEACE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL:

Identified Local Challenges:

The PEACE Alternative School began in response to a number of challenges facing local students.

In the Punta de Mita area, there are significant number of children that drop out of school or have never attended formal schooling.  Some children cannot be integrated into school because they do not have basic literacy skills, social  skills or previous experience in formal schooling.  In addition, public schools in the area lack special education departments and families can´t afford to commute to nearby cities.  As a result of these issues, a number of children  are excluded from formal education.

Program Theory:

 The PEACE Alternative School provides “at-risk” students with a holistic education that includes:

  • Instruction that includes emotional alphabetization and character development.
  • Support in creating positive habits.
  • Ongoing psychological and academic support
  • Hands-on activities that keeps them involved and motivated.
  • An emotional link with grown-ups that care.
  • Predictable schedules, clear and guided objectives.
  • Diversified instruction.
  • A hot, nutritious meal every school day

Outcomes and Impact:

The students from the PEACE Alternative School:

  • Are reintegrated into formal schools or work towards  graduating from primary and secondary school through the state certified INEA program
  • Continue their higher education.
  • Build self-esteem
  • Learn the skills to become life-long learners.
  • Have skills in conflict resolution and can express their feelings.
  • Become positive and active community members.
  • Have a safe learning environment and are kept off of the streets

*For more information please contact ceci@peacemexico.org

*If you would like to sponsor a student, please visit https://donate.peacemexico.org/

Thank you!

Socially conscious businesses step-up to support PEACE!


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We would like to express our gratitude to local businesses, Casa Parota, Cheeky Monkey and Stone Contractors for joining us in our efforts to increase educational and economic opportunities that support an improved quality of life in local communities. PEACE Mexico depends on the support of corporate sponsors, volunteers and patrons to carry out our mission. These exemplary companies have invested in pro-environmental, pro-Mexico, pro–economic growth efforts through PEACE by becoming corporate sponsors for the second year in a row!  Please take note of their names and give them your patronage. (Click on the logos above to visit their websites.) We are so pround to have them on TEAM PEACE!

Through the PEACE Corporate Sponsorship Program, businesses in Mexico, the US or Canada can receive a tax-deduction as well as a number of great benefits, including publicity. PEACE has sponsorship opportunities to fit your business size and needs. We need your support! Please join us in making positive change in local communities!

Please visit http://www.peacemexico.org/donate/corporate_sponsorship for more information  or contact ceci@peacemexico.org

Local communities unite to help families in need through PEACE’s “Action for Food Drive!”

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The “Action for Food Drive” was begun in September to support the PEACE Protectores program, in which people struggling to put food on the table, meet with members of PEACE and identify work projects in their community such as removing graffiti from buildings, cleaning trash, painting schools, weeding public areas, etc.  Two hours of volunteering on the project gives each person a food basket containing 10 meals.

Thanks to the wonderful response from good citizens throughout the Bay, PEACE collected a total of 2533 food items in September to help local families through the difficult month, often referred to a Septihambre (hungry September).

Community members rallied to the cause and as a result of generous donations of non-perishable food items as well as a few monetary gifts through our Paypal account we are able to provide 4, 940 meals to lessen the impact of such a tough time of the year!

In addition, food basket recipients will carry out 988 hours of community service!

A heart-felt thank you goes out to the local businesses who served as drop-off locations for the food drive:  The Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, The Bucerias Art Walk Plaza in Bucerias, and The Octopus Garden and Philo’s in La Cruz.

We would also like to thank, the Punto Burros community and EVERYONE who contributed to such a meaningful cause!

MIL GRACIAS!!!

PEACE Welcomes Cecilia Paredes as Director of Operations

Dear Friends,

We would like to introduce you to Cecilia Paredes. She has recently reconnected with PEACE Mexico as Director of Operations.  Cecilia’s dedication to international community development stems from her direct experience in a variety of cultures.  She spent her childhood in Eastern Europe, Romania, former Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic and has lived in Mexico, Honduras and India.  She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and brings five years of experience driving positive social change in the Bay of Banderas community.   She is committed to taking PEACE to the “next level.”  Ceci has already hit the ground running–shaping our Education, Environmental, and Animal programs with her enthusiasm, experience and commitment.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to PEACE Mexico and its mission to increase educational and economic opportunities that support an improved quality of life. With your personal dedication and investment in the Bay of Banderas, we have transformed lives in this community and delivered social impact in the seven short years since we started down this path to success.  Our programs have achieved measurable results annually, including:

  • More than 85,000 hours of education
  • Over 12,000 hours of community beautification
  • 60,000  meals in return for hours worked improving the environment
  • More than 40 tons of recycling and trash kept out of streams, rivers and ocean
  • 4,000 spay/neuters each year, drastically reducing the canine and feline overpopulation problem

As you may have heard, Molly Fisher, PEACE’s founder, has received an offer from Worldfund, a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise the quality of education in Latin America in order to transform lives and break the cycle of poverty.  Molly will serve this mission as Assistant Director of Worldfund Mexico, based in Mexico City.  One of her main responsibilities will be to oversee the Worldfund LISTO program which provides intensive training to Mexican public school principals. LISTO aims to improve student learning outcomes by fostering leaders who create effective learning environments that value student, teacher and parent input.

Moly will be continuing in her role as President of the Mexican Board of Directors of PEACE, and will also be joining the US Board. She sees her work at Worldfund as an extension of the spirit and vision of our work together in PEACE.  She makes this move now with full confidence in the continued impact of the strong organization we’ve built together.  This change ensures that PEACE will not suffer from “founder’s syndrome” and that new energy, ideas, and perspective will enliven and strengthen our community.

Molly began full-time at Worldfund on October 1st.  She will continue to participate in the strategic planning and direction of our organization and look forward to sharing in the continued development of PEACE for many years to come.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us at PEACE should you have a question, want to donate or need further information.

Contact info: ceci@peacemexico.org

nova@peacemexico.org

Over 600 local students unite in the name of World Peace!


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It was early in the morning on Friday September 21st  and from a distance the highway in Punta de Mita appeared to be painted bright white.  A closer look revealed over 600 students from eight local schools, marching hand-in-hand, dresssed in white. They were demonstrating, along with others around the world, in the name of International Peace Day, a global event established by the United Nations in 1982.

Local students of all ages carried hand-made banners and white flags, singing and chanting as they marched.  Electricity filled the air.  Their signs read: “ Peace begins with a smile!”  “PEACE comes from the inside, don’t search elsewhere!” “Imagine all the people living in PEACE.” “No More War!” “YES, to PEACE!”  “There is no way to peace, peace is the way!” Especially moving, was a group of kindergarteners from Corral de Risco who were yelling tirelessly, “The children want PEACE! The children want PEACE!” Each participant wore a “peace ambassador” sash, a symbol of their personal commitment to peace for the year.

In a part of Mexico often plagued by violence from narcotraficantes, the demonstration was especially poignant.

The march ended at the Sports Center in Corral de Risco, where students took part in a variety of activities including: kicking “goals for peace” singing songs, and lining up on the field to create the word PAZ (peace).

The demonstration was organized by PEACE Mexico and led by alternative school teachers and students, in collaboration with peaceoneday.org.  Organizers from “Peace One Day,” sent their congratulations for making the largest student demonstration for International Peace Day ever in Mexico!

A big thanks to all teachers, students and volunteers who helped to send this powerful message of peace!

Mil Gracias to the Punta Mita Foundation for helping to sponsor this unforgettable event!

For more information on “Peace One Day” please visit:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/peaceoneday
Twitter: twitter.com/#!/peaceoneday
Youtube: www.youtube.com/peaceoneday

*photographs and article by Nova Pennison

PEACE’s Action for Food program hits the ground running in Puerto Vallarta!

PEACE’s Action for Food program hits the ground running in Puerto Vallarta!.

via PEACE’s Action for Food program hits the ground running in Puerto Vallarta!.

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