A message from PEACE Punta de Mita
PEACE Punta de Mita – Fall 2019
What’s Up by Ron Budacz
Dear Friends of PEACE,
Welcome to Fall wherever you are as we all look forward to returning to the North Shore of Riviera Nayarit in a couple of months. Children from the Punta de Mita area have returned to school with the excitement their brightest days are ahead of them, and the PEACE teachers, psychologists, and staff share this enthusiasm. Although nearly 6 months have passed since Peter Newton handed the “chair baton” to me, I continue to be amazed with how deep-rooted PEACE has become in the local community. In the absence of any meaningful government funding, our townspeople depend on our charity to provide some necessary community services in addition to teaching their children. Here is an area that flies under the radar, Communications.
PEACE Community Pride has organized a system of electronic communications down to the block level in the three towns of Higuera Blanca, Corral del Risco, and Emiliano Zapata via smart phone technology. It begins with the PEACE staff and it cascades down to town leaders, then to representatives designated at each “city block”. The system is used to communicate best practices, community happenings, and as an emergency notification system. For instance, it was activated last Spring to notify everyone of a violent situation that took place at a Corral del Risco school. Without it, panic and uncertainty would have prevailed everywhere.
Monthly, PEACE publishes The Gazette, a printed piece to notify the community of normal course activities. It’s hand-carried home by the now 1,300 children who attend daily English classes. Also as a community service our teachers distribute flyers of general interest. For instance earlier this calendar year, PEACE disseminated some information on programs provided to the community by Punta Mita Hospital. An informed society is a better society, and PEACE finds itself as an integral part of delivering news.
In closing, I would be remiss not to mention the PEACE English initiative. We have found that children who master English are more likely to be leaders in the classroom. According to the Inter-American Partnership for Education (IAPE), published July 17, 2019, “Mexican professionals with English-language skills earn on average 28% to 50% more. The IAPE went on to state that according to a 2015 report by the education advocacy organization, Mexicanos Primero, 97% of middle public school students do not achieve a satisfactory proficiency level of English as established by the Secretariat of Public Education by the time they graduate. With the Friends of Peace continued financial support and the unending resolve of our teaching staff to deliver a heighten level of daily instruction, our 1,300 children will have a distinct advantage over their contemporaries in the future. I challenge anyone to find a comparable public school program anywhere in Mexico.