News from Around Banderas Bay | July 2009
|PEACE Summer Camp Opens in Nayarit|
Harold Sokolove - PVNN
PEACE Mexico opened its first annual summer camp for middle school and high school students last week. The camp is being held in Punta de Mita, Sayulita and La Cruz and focuses on teaching youth about entrepreneurship.
|Thanks to your donations, more than 150 Banderas Bay area children are attending the PEACE 2009 summer camps. For more information or to make a donation, please visit PeaceMexico.org.|
Students also participate in a variety of activities and take English and art classes daily. Staff includes 9 Mexican teachers supplemented by 6 volunteers from the United States.
The camp is open to all kids, generally ages 12 to 18 years old, from Bucerias, La Cruz, Punta de Nita, Higuera Blanca and Sayulita.
The camp is 4 weeks long and costs $50 pesos per week to attend.
On the first day of camp, students visited the Centro Universitario de la Costa (el CUC), where they were welcomed by six local business people. Each entrepreneur shared their experiences with the students during a panel discussion.
Students will meet with the business people again at the end of the summer camp when they will present their own ideas for businesses they would like to start.
Each of the entrepreneurs that spoke with the students has had the experience of creating a business from the ground up. One of the business people works with a local manufacturer and distributor of specialty ice creams.
Coincidentally, that business was conceived of over a decade ago by students participating in a similar business plan competition.
"The camp is so fun and we are learning so any things like English and how to have our own business. The camp is very creative and we can use our imaginations. We are making many new friends and have new teachers. If I was not at camp I would be bored and without anyone to talk to or anything to do. I would not be able to learn all of these new things..." says Emmelin Abigail Flores Cazarez of Punta de Mita, who is entering the 3rd year of Secundaria.
During the camp, each group of students will create a business plan for a business that they would like to launch. Through an interactive and fun curriculum, they will complete a marketing plan and a plan for starting and operating the business.
On the final day of camp each group will pitch their ideas at a business plan fair and will solicit funds for starting their businesses. PEACE will disburse small amounts of money to help students get their business ideas off the ground and will continue to provide support to the students going forward.
"Small and medium businesses are such an important part of the economy in Bahia de Banderas," said Molly Fisher, the director of PEACE Mexico. "Our hope is that students that participate in this summer camp will be better positioned to contribute to their communities and improve the quality of life of their families."
In total, almost 100 local public school students are participating in the summer camp. A group of volunteers from the US are teaching the English classes and the rest of the classes are being taught by local teachers and university students.
The camp has been made possible through the support of schools and businesses and generous donations from the supporters of PEACE.
PEACE would like to extend a big thank you to the recent guest speakers:
• Miguel Cuevas - Materiales Muro
• Fernando Valerio Echeagaray - Asesor Financiero en Casa de Bolsa Scotiabank
• Jorge Oswaldo Patiño Martínez - Distribuidor Helados Le Cascarie
• Roldan Flores Rodriguez - Tortillería y Purificador de Agua del Real
• Carmen Chavez Gonzales - Lonchería Carmen en La Cruz
• Claudia Beja - Ensaladas y Baguettes
Ms. Fisher reminds everyone that PEACE is still in the midst of a funding shortfall and many of its projects are on the line.
"If you have ever considered a donation of any size to PEACE, now is the time," says Fisher.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit PeaceMexico.org.
A Banderas Bay non-profit organization, PEACE acts as an umbrella organization for four charitable programs, Casa Comunidad, Ayuda Los Animales (Help The Animals), a Women's Co-Op (Manos de Mujeres Unidas) and Community Pride. It is a U.S. non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which accepts tax-deductible donations and a Mexican Civil Association that issues facturas for donations. For more information, please visit PeaceMexico.org or click HERE to read more about PEACE