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A shining new light at San Miguel Community Foundation

By Gregory Gunter

“We aim to be a dynamic group,” says Donna Foudray, president of the San Miguel Community Foundation (SMCF), and expansion of their board is part of that dynamism. And since the foundation’s benefactors are the local community, they crave participation from locals who know the region’s needs best.

The Foundation-which provides grants to local nonprofits and also serves as a contribution conduit for other AC’s needing 501(c)(3)-status donation deductibility—is thrilled to announce the addition of their newest Advocacy Board member, Graciela Salazar, a 23-year resident of San Miguel de Allende.

“Youth and education are my passions,” says Salazar, “and I hope to broaden our outreach with organizations sharing those goals.” President Foudray notes that among their annual May grant recipients was Centro Infantil San Pablo, a preschool/kindergarten providing high-quality education to underprivileged Mexican children as a pilot program adapted from the US Head Start model.

Salazar’s enthusiasm for education stems from her family background, where a university education was a given, encouraged and nurtured from a young age. But she knows education is only a stepping-stone to the ultimate goal: giving a student the business goals to maintain a self-sustaining career.

The Instituto Sanmiguelense, a private high school and university where 60 percent of the students are on scholarships, has benefited from her eight years experience teaching there, and she serves on the board of the José Vasconcelos Bilingual School.

Salazar enjoys helping place students in jobs, and as part of that goal, recently organized a local one-day conference as part of the mission of 10,000 Mujeres en México, a Goldman Sachs-sponsored global initiative fostering economic growth through a business training program for women.

“My husband and I moved here from Mexico City,” says Salazar, “partially with the goal of having more impact on our local community.” And while she initially focused on raising her three children, Salazar quickly turned to the field of education here, adding, “It seems that living in San Miguel allows me to have a greater impact on my own community.”

Salazar joined the SMCF Advocacy Board at the invitation of fellow board member and independent businesswoman Guadalupe Álvarez, owner of Penzi, the highly successful wedding and event planning company, but has also known board member Maritere Dobarganes for years. The three create a powerhouse that compliments the existing board tremendously.

Learn more about the outreach of SMCF at their website,, and spread the word: they are seeking more grant requests for their next grant-funding program.


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