Volunteer to help children in rural areas outside of San Miguel de Allende

By Lexi Stickel

The Rural Education Institute works in two rural communities outside of San Miguel de Allende. Twice a year, on Day of the Dead and in late December, guests from San Miguel venture out to the La Palma community center for annual Day of the Dead and Christmas celebrations. These events are unique and special experiences as the community of La Palma comes together to serve traditional foods, such as tamales, pozole, and atole. Through these events people from San Miguel get to experience traditional Mexican celebrations and interact with the children of La Palma firsthand.

Beyond these events, the Rural Education Institute wants to invite the people of San Miguel to come experience the programming firsthand and volunteer in La Palma or Jalpa. Currently, the organization is looking for more fantastic volunteers! For those with basic Spanish language skills, the organization is looking for volunteers to assist in the classroom. Volunteers assist the staff with classes or lead specific workshops if the volunteer has any special skills to offer (art, gardening, leadership skills, photography, etc.). There is also the opportunity to volunteer in the “reading corner” — reading Spanish and/or English books with small groups of children.

If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please come to the Rural Education Institute’s next volunteer meeting. It will be held on Thursday, February 6, at 4pm at Vic’s School (4 calle Margarito Ledesma, colonia Guadalupe) located directly across the street from Via Organica. If you cannot make the meeting, please email the Rural Education Institute of Mexico at info@ruralmex.org. No long-term commitment is needed!

As Mexico has become the second largest economy in Latin America, there remains a stark inequality in the country’s education system—rural Mexico’s children simply do not have the same opportunities as their urban counterparts. The problem is partly financial (there are few high schools in the campo, and the government does not provide transportation for rural children to attend urban schools), and partly cultural (in rural areas, literacy is low, and education is not always a priority). The Rural Education Institute of Mexico exists to help fill this gap, and to give rural children the incentive and means to go on to high school, and beyond.

Our skilled volunteers travel and work in rural community centers, providing programs that introduce children to a world outside the campo. We build libraries and help children improve their reading. Children learn art, drama and English, among other subjects, and are taught to use computers that we supply. We also provide opportunities to children so they can meet the costs of going to high school—about US$700 per student per year—by awarding scholarships.

For more information about the Rural Education Institute of Mexico, please visit our website at www.ruralmex.org or call us at 415-124-1357.


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