The International Friendship Club (IFC) just spent $138,000 pesos on making good things happen. Our Home Tours has had a very successful season showing visitors and residents some of the lovely homes here and part of the program’s revenues have now been allocated to our Education Committee to improve the lives of local Mexican residents who need help.
The Education Committee examined the reports of the organizations that were supported last year, asked for proposals from them and from new organizations, visited each organization, assessed the needs for the next twelve months and then allocated this year’s budget to the organizations that met the committee’s criteria.
It is exciting to know that the International Friendship Club has decided to support the following organizations this year:
Biblioteca Los Mangos, is the only library of its kind in Bahia de Banderas. It receives only 11% of its funding from city, with the balance of its costs being met from private donations and income from room rentals. The library not only lends books to children and adults and provides a dozen computers for public use, but is also a cultural centre that offers classes in flamenco, music, juggling, ballet, yoga, chess and much more. The library will use IFC’s donation to upgrade its computer and wifi systems that are used by its members, the public and conference attendees.
The American School is a private school that encourages its staff and teachers to help others in the community who are less fortunate. The IFC donation will be used by the American School to help build and furnish libraries in schools in poor, rural areas where books are hard to find. Teaching children to read is a core component of this program. Their program is called Leer y Crecer (Read and Grow).
The British American School also interacts with schools in outlying areas of Puerto Vallarta and plans to use part of IFC’s donation to help with the Me To We program. The remainder of the education grant will enable children from BAMS to visit and interact with the children in the villages to help them with their reading and writing.
In January we provided materials for a rudimentary kitchen for the kindergarten in the colonia of La Pedrera; one of the poorer parts of town.
The area of Volcanes is also economically challenged, but the Volcanes Community Project provides classes in English, Math and Computers to kids who attend its classes voluntarily to learn those skills not taught in their regular schools. The IFC grant will be used to help pay the cost of teachers’ salaries.
SETAC is an organization in Puerto Vallarta dedicated to helping the community deal with HIV and AIDS. This year’s grant from IFC will be used to provide supplies for teaching sex and safe sex education to pubic middle and high school students aged 12-17.
The Vallarta Youth Orchestra helps children to overcome problems suffered from physical, mental and sexual abuse by instilling in them the sense of self worth that comes from practicing and performing in an orchestra. Here they learn discipline, teamwork and musical ability as well as an appreciation for music. The IFC donation will be used to purchase child-sized violins and a percussion set.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens admitted more than 300 students at no charge during December and January and representatives of BVG also visit local schools to educate the children on the need to preserve our environment and local habitats. This year, our funding will be used to help pay for the bussing and lunches of the children brought to the gardens from city schools..
Alas Escuela De Canto serves over 60 children who have been referred to it by parents and other caregivers who are at a loss to handle the special needs of their children. Challenges faced by the children include domestic abuse, depression, parental alcohol and drug addiction and social behaviour disorders. Kharla Barragán, a trained singer, dance instructor and psychologist decided to use the power of dance and song to positively turn lives around of children in need and has founded this school. Financial support from IFC will be used to help to purchase musical instruments.
Many tourists, seasonal residents and ex-pats that live here year ‘round consider that Puerto Vallarta is a small slice of paradise. It’s good to be able to share a little of our wealth with those who live here in less than idyllic conditions by taking a Home Tour or participating in other IFC’s activities.
If you would like to support programs for the children of Puerto Vallarta you can do so by donating to IFC ( http://www.ifcvallarta.com/class_custom1.cfm ) or by taking one of our Home Tours ( http://www.toursforvallarta.com )
The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Insurgentes Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone: 322-222-5466. Website: ifcvallarta.com Email: [email protected].