Boca de Tomatlan Community Education Program

Written by Program Director, Cynthia Leigh

The Boca de Tomatlan Community Education Program was inspired by the Volcanes Community Education Program.

I approached the director of the Primaria as I knew the kids were done school at 12:30 pm each day to ask if there was any possibility of sharing the facility to create an English and computer program. The Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Sur donated funds to purchase tables and chairs for the program.

The program from Volcanes provided us with some initial supplies and a curriculum to work with and with the use of volunteers, we were able to start the program. I have some background in Education and took my ESL training to ensure a consistent standard of teaching could be offered in the classroom.

The program is currently being run by myself and kept alive with some donations from a few different organizations and individuals. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in our classroom. This first-hand exposure to native English speakers gives the students the opportunity to practice their skills and allows us to work in smaller groups. The program is not just about English. Primarily, it’s about the ongoing process of learning. Concepts of self esteem, citizenship and learning about different places and cultures in the world have been incorporated into the over-all goal plan for the program. The goal is to build future leaders of the community. 

The program has now been expanded to include a class from the Secundaria. At first, the plan was to amalgamate some Secundaria students with the more advanced class, but even though they take 2 English classes per week in school, they are not retaining any English. Currently, I go to the Secundaria 2 or 3 times a week for a separate class. AND, we play some basketball after class with some donated basketballs!

Moving forward, one of my first goals is to fund a part time teacher for remedial Spanish as I’ve learned that a shocking percentage of students never learn to read and write Spanish. Due to lack of resources are simply passed up through the system to have a frustrating scholastic experience of failure and boredom which often leads to negative behaviours and lack of self esteem.  I believe we could provide a part time teacher to work with those students in need and give them an opportunity to participate and thrive in education. 

Another goal for the program would be to fund a part time teacher to help with the English program.  We also contribute to the success of our students in the community with a Becas Scholarship Program for students who come from financially challenged backgrounds who have an average of 9.0 or higher, from the communities of Boca de Tomatlan, Quimixto and Los Juntos and Los Veranos.

If you are interested in learning more or being a part of building this program as a strong foundation of opportunity for these beautiful children, please Contact Us.

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