Working with the Volcanes Village
It really does take a village to raise a child. This means that an entire community must work together to ensure that children grow in a safe and healthy environment. Every single person, institution, and program in that community has a special role to play.
Since the inception of the Volcanes Community Education Project, our goal has been to work hand in hand with the community to create a better environment for all people, especially children, living in the Volcanes “colonia” and its surrounding areas. We believe that education is the key to raise people out of poverty, but we also know that there are other problems that must be addressed as they arise in order to create optimal conditions for education to thrive and have the impact we envision.
“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African Proverb
The current pandemic has caused many problems around the world – economically and socially. But it has also given the opportunity to many of us to show what we are made of, to rise above the crisis and find different solutions to the problems the pandemic has caused. In many places, like in Volcanes, people have risen to the occasion heroically and wholeheartedly worked together, in a common humanity, to ease the pain and suffering of those who need it most.
Many of you reading this newsletter have contributed in big and small ways to make all this teamwork a reality. Your contribution is just as important, maybe more, as those of us here on the ground doing what we can to help. These are a few ways in which our “village” has answered the call.
I – VOLCANES STUDENTS FIGHTING THE VIRUS
It has been very gratifying for us to see two of our University students, students who you helped with scholarship money to ensure they finished school, graduate and be at the very forefront in fighting the Covid-19 virus.
Our very own, Doctor Paco and Registered Nurse Kennya, are currently working in hospitals to help people deal with the Covid virus. Kennya was assigned an internship at a Covid-19 section of a hospital in Guadalajara and Paco is interning at a hospital here in Puerto Vallarta, in a Covid ward as well. These two students are a product of our project, a shining example of what a “village” can do when they work together to raise a child. These two students are now back to save the village from a deadly virus. Talk about poetic justice.
Of course, we are very worried for them because we know this virus is highly infectious and deadly. But we are proud that we are sending out these types of heroes into the world, heroes who will help us change our communities and the world for the good. Every single one of you should be proud as well. ALL OF US had a part in their success.
II – THE FOOD BANK TEAM
Another way in which we have stepped up during the pandemic is through our food bank. We have written many articles updating everyone about the food bank in the last few months. But this has been one of the most important activities we have done to date. Without the food bank many families would have gone hungry and struggled mightily because of the pandemic.
The food bank has been a total “village” effort. Every one of us, including the readers who have participated, deserves credit for the herculean effort to keep people fed during this time. Thousands and thousands of pesos have been spent, and hundreds of hours have been worked, to ensure the people in Volcanes and the surrounding colonias have food on their table in a time of desperate need.
Our teachers have worked together with our students and members of the community to package and distribute the 500 food packages we distribute monthly. Individual donors and members of Rotary Clubs in Canada and the U.S. have stepped up and collected necessary funds to keep the food bank going for the last five months. We have distributed over 2,500 food packages in that time. We will continue the food bank going until it is no longer needed and as long as we have the funds to do so. If you can make a donation to our food bank, please do so.
III – FACE MASK PRODUCTION
Months ago, the state of Jalisco made it mandatory for people to wear masks in all public places to reduce the spread of the virus. Many people, especially here in Volcanes, did not take the order seriously or did not have money to buy the masks.
Our Sewing School stepped up to the plate and has been very active in the production of masks, with over 600 produced per week, and we have been distributing them to different government and non-government organizations (police department, the Red Cross, local buses, hospitals) and to individuals here in Volcanes who do not have one. Six sewers, a manager and a clerk have been working long hours to ensure the production continues. Rotary Club members have donated material for these masks to be produced. Everyone working together to solve the problems which have risen due to Covid-19.
These are the different ways in which our Project has worked with the community during this pandemic. Again, all of us, you included, deserve the credit for making sure the the village is working to raise our children in the right environment.