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Return to the Ranch!

By Arlene Krasner

Every February, Mujeres en Cambio returns to the Atotonilco Ranch of Pakina and Jaime Fernández for our annual fundraising fiesta. Join us as we party Mexican style.

Fiesta: Mujeres en Cambio February Ranch Fiesta. Thu, Feb 23, 2pm. The Atotonilco Ranch of Pakina and Jaime Fernández. Purchase tickets in advance, 250 pesos. Solutions, Mesones 57, or La Conexión, Aldama 3

Enjoy the fresh country setting along with guacamole followed by chicken mole, beans, rice and tortillas, an array of salads, and a delicious dessert platter. We’ll have music by the popular Marimba Tono band to set the mood, and a cash bar, offering up some wonderful sangria (among other beverages). You’ll also be able to meet and talk with some of the scholarship girls from Atotonilco.

We are also very pleased to have Kirsten West as our guest speaker. Kirsten, The Culinary Explorer, is an international chef and cooking instructor. For over 25 years, she has been studying the Mexican cuisine, traveling to different regions of the country. Her teachers were many wonderful Mexican home and professional cooks, as well as authorities of the various regional cuisines such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless, with whom she collaborated for eight years.

Kirsten will truly make this event a celebration of Mexico.

Atotonilco was one of the first places we offered our scholarships, so this fiesta is about returning to our roots. Mujeres en Cambio started in 1995 with a mere eight students, and has since provided scholarships to more than 600 deserving, bright and dedicated young women. These students continue to amaze us with their tenacity to stay in school despite financial and familial pressures to seek employment instead of an education.

Over the past 17 years, the goal of Mujeres en Cambio has remained the same—to provide modest educational scholarships to young, rural Mexican women so that they can continue their education.

We also have remained committed to the notion of running our organization as leanly and efficiently as possible. Because of the incredible generosity of our volunteers, we are able to place over 97 percent of the cost of your ticket directly into our scholarship fund.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at La Conexión (Aldama 3), or Solutions (Mesones 57).  Buses (free) to the event will be available at St. Paul’s Church on Cardo at 1:30pm.

Driving directions: Drive north on the Dolores Highway. Approximately eight miles from the Libramiento intersection, just past the Pemex on the left, turn left to Atotonilco. On the outskirts of town, on the right you will see a school behind a chain link fence. Make a right turn at the first road (you will almost be doubling back on yourself). Follow this road to the ranch, through the gates.

For more information, contact Arlene Krasner (, or check our website-

Mujeres en Cambio “Fast Facts”

Objective: To help rural young Mexican women gain an education and thus foster their self-sufficiency, self-esteem, and self-respect.

Members: Entirely composed of volunteers, the membership plans and organizes fundraising events to provide educational scholarships.

Scholarships: We currently support 150 students, promising young women recommended by their schools’ principals and teachers. Continued receipt of a scholarship is dependent upon maintaining good grades. Annual high school scholarships are US$275. College students receive US$1,000 annually.

Finances: We raise and pay out approximately US$75,000 per year. Administrative costs are nearly zero since most are funded by members and interest made on cash deposits.

Legal status: We are a legally established non-profit organization under Mexican law. US tax-deductible donations may be made through “San Miguel Community Foundation.”

Information: Please visit

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