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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Community Services 

International Friendship Club Improving Kid's Lives
The IFC Cleft Palate Program


Since 1986, the IFC has funded a Cleft Palate program that provides free medical consultation and treatment to underprivileged children born with a cleft palate or harelip. Your donations are instrumental in creating new faces for the children.
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to spend time on your vacation or, if you have enough money, to live here full-time or as a snowbird for six months or so. It's also an easy place to help improve the lives of Mexican kids, many of whom don't have enough to eat, have been abandoned by their parents, are offered poor standards of education or are sick and need medical help.

The International Friendship Club, or the IFC, as it is known by in these parts, is a club of English-speaking residents and visitors who volunteer their time, homes or money to help kids around the Bay of Banderas.

This article shows you how you can help the IFC and how IFC supports the health, education and culture of Mexican children.

How you can help:

1. Take one of our IFC Home Tours that start on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 and run to April 10, 2019. Tours depart from the Sea Monkey Restaurant, located at the foot of Aquiles Serdan on the beach on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 am, and last approximately 3 hours. (NO Home Tours on December 25th and 26th, January 1st and 2nd.) Tickets are $700 pesos and should be purchased in advance online or at the Office. Each tour visits four beautiful and interesting homes in and around Puerto Vallarta. You will travel with our knowledgeable and outgoing docents on luxury buses but, being PV, many homes require good physical ability to climb stairs and to walk on cobbled streets.

2. Another way to help IFC is to allow us to show your home to the patrons of our Bus Tours once, twice, or as often as you would like and on dates convenient to you from mid-November to mid-March. The homes are open to the tours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and each tour is accompanied by two or three docents. If you would like to help us help children by lending us your home, please email ifctourspv(at)yahoo.com for details.

3. You can volunteer. The IFC raises over $2,000,000 pesos each year and gives all of the profits to support charities and programs. It does this with only one full-time staff member (who is excellent!) and all of the rest of the work is done by an army of volunteers.

4. You can attend a lecture, take a Spanish lesson, teach English to Mexicans, relax at yoga, play social bridge or simply show up to a party or to the Friday social. The club charges for all activities and the money is used effectively to help children around Banderas Bay.

Where does the IFC money go?

The IFC was started in 1986 by a group of ex-pats who provided free assessment, surgery and continuous follow-up to babies and children born with cleft palates and cleft lips. That care was necessary then and is still necessary. It is the flagship program of the IFC. However, the club now has its own dental program that provides free dental care to the children in and around Boca de Tomatlán, a small village south of Vallarta, and a program that teaches English to children and adults for free.

Some, but by no means all, of the charities that IFC supports with financial and material donations include the Volcanes Community Education Project (after-school math, English, computer and reading), SETAC (HIV education and prevention and baby formula to moms who are HIV positive), Salvation Army (food for impoverished families), CANICA (supplies and support of children with cancer), Pasitos de Luz (day care for severely handicapped children), Corazón de Niña (Orphanage) and I AM PV Music Association (provides instruction in jazz and classical music to children). In all the IFC supports over 20 programs and charities and the help that it gives improves the lives of countless children in Vallarta.

Everyone is welcome to attend any of the activities of the IFC. Please come and meet us!

For more information about the IFC please visit ifcvallarta.com or visit the clubhouse/office located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank. Office hours are 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Monday to Friday. The phone number is (322) 222-5466. For information on the Home Tours and to order tickets, check out toursforvallarta.com.


•   B E L O W   T H E   F O L D   •


Making the Lives of Children in Boca de Tomatlan Better
John Warren

Christina Martell was passionate about making the lives of children in Boca de Tomatlan better, whether by improving their access to dental health or to education. She knew that she could not help everyone, but she could help some, and she worked tirelessly to do that.

Seaver Foundation Reveals Results of VCEP Interviews
John Warren

This week, the IFC's John Warren follows up on last week's article regarding the Seaver Foundation's 2018 interviews of Puerto Vallarta kids that participate in the Volcanes Community Education Project after-school program. Here, he reveals some of the evaluators' findings.

What Do Vallarta Kids Think About the VCEP Program?
John Warren

In 2018, professionals from the Seaver Foundation, an English charity that does evaluations of children's programs around the world, spent two weeks in Puerto Vallarta interviewing students at the Volcanes Community Education Project to find out what they think of the program.

You Can Change a Child's Life, Without Changing Yours
John Warren

In one of the poorest colonias in Puerto Vallarta people have formed a cooperative community around the Volcanes Community Education Project. This after-school program, which offers students classes free of charge, has been achieved without any government financing.

Vallarta IFC Supports Charitable & Community Projects
John Warren

Last season, the International Friendship Club gave over 1.2 million pesos to Puerto Vallarta charities and community programs. The IFC raised the funds by running their Vallarta Home Tours, and through fees for membership and social activities. Learn how you can help.

Learn about the IFC's Huichol Scholarship Fund
John Warren

Five Huichol college students from an indigenous community in Jalisco's Sierra Madres recently received scholarships of $5,000 pesos each from the Vallarta International Friendship Club's Huichol Scholarship Fund. Learn more at the IFC at 10:30 am on Friday, January 25th.

IFC Home Tours 'A Wonderfully Different Thing To Do'
International Friendship Club

One of the most popular tourist activities in all of Puerto Vallarta is the IFC Home Tour. So put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to enjoy a fun-filled day of discovery, while giving a helping hand to the less fortunate in the Banderas Bay area.

The Second Best Time to Save Our Planet is NOW!
John Warren

Thanks to a donation by the International Friendship Club, American School of Puerto Vallarta students are collecting plastics, shredding them, and molding them into usable products. This is one part of the school's program that teaches our children the importance of sustainability.

40 Graduate from the IFC's English Outreach Program
John Warren

From January to March, the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club provided free English classes, twice a week for ten weeks, to any Mexican who wanted to learn English. Ten young kids and thirty teenagers/adults made up the Class of 2018, and they all graduated last week.

International Friendship Club: Open Hearts and Open Homes
John Warren

What sort of person would open their heart and their home to a group of total strangers to visit for an hour or so a few times a season? The homeowners who support the Home Tours run by the IFC are all very kind and supportive of the less fortunate people who live in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta IFC: Changing Lips and Saving Lives
John Warren

Thirty years ago, a group of caring expats noticed that children with cleft palate conditions were not able to get the care they needed in Puerto Vallarta. Motivated by a desire to help, they formed The International Friendship Club to raise money and support a Cleft Palate program.

IFC Home Tours 'A Wonderfully Different Thing To Do'
John Warren

One of the most popular tourist activities in all of Puerto Vallarta is the IFC's Home Tours. So put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to enjoy a fun-filled day of discovery, while giving a helping hand to the less fortunate in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas.

Musicians, IFC & IAMPV Working to Improve Kid's Lives
John Warren

Grammy Award winning cellist Donald Moline will be playing recitals Feb 17 & 24 to benefit the Instituto de Artes Musicales Puerto Vallarta. The International Friendship Club also supports IAMPV because fostering cultural activities for kids is an important part of the club's mandate.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours Help Local Charities
Tony Whittle

The IFC has been offering Vallarta Home Tours for more than 30 years. If you like to visit gorgeous homes and enjoy architecture, art and seascapes, this tour is for you. Consistently rated as 'Excellent' on Trip Advisor, tours run every Tuesday and Wednesday through March 21, 2018.

IFC Supports Clinica de Rehabilitación Santa Bárbara
John Warren

'Look Up or Fall Down.' That's a good motto for getting around in Puerto Vallarta, a town of cobbled streets and uneven steps. But what happens if you fall and cannot afford to get help for your pain? That's when the Clinica de Rehabilitacion de Vallarta - Santa Barbara can help.

IFC Celebrates Another Successful Year of Helping Kids
John Warren

It seems that at this time of year everyone has something to celebrate. Members of the International Friendship Club have much to celebrate after another successful year of providing help to Mexican children and would like to thank everyone who contributed to its success.

International Friendship Club: Helping at Christmas
John Warren

Bob Hope had this to say about Christmas, 'My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?' We don't, of course, but Christmas can be a sad time for children, even in Vallarta.

Vallarta Int'l Friendship Club: Happiness From Giving
John Warren

Thomas S. Monson wrote, 'Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting...' Here in Puerto Vallarta, IFC members practice those principles by raising money to help Mexicans obtain better health care, better education, improved social services and enriched cultural programs.

Dental Amistad Clinic Opens in Boca de Tomatlan Dec. 5
John Warren

Join the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club on December 5 for the blessing of Boca de Tomatlan's new Dental Amistad clinic. Opening ceremonies will take place from 12:30 to 1:00, followed by an open house. Local dancers and other entertainment will start around 3:30 pm.

International Friendship Club: 'From a Small Acorn'
John Warren

The International Friendship Club started offering Puerto Vallarta Home Tours 31 years ago as a way to raise funds to support the fledgling Cleft Palate Clinic. For the 2017-2018 season, the IFC Home Tours will run every Tuesday and Wednesday morning through March 21, 2018.

International Friendship Club Brunches and Lunches
John Warren

'Tis the season to eat and be merry for members of the International Friendship Club in Puerto Vallarta. The first event on the IFC's 2017-2018 social calendar is the Opening Brunch at The River Café on November 12, followed by a Light Lunch & Fashion Show at El Dorado November 15.

International Friendship Club: A Warm Welcome to All
ifcvallarta.com

The International Friendship Club welcomes visitors and old friends back to Puerto Vallarta for another season of having a good time while doing good. Last year IFC members had a lot of fun while helping children in the Banderas Bay area, and we expect to do the same this season.



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