La Catalina Foundation

News, Reflections & Happenings...Spring 2015


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Thank you to all who participated and made the 2015 Night under the Stars auction fundraiser a big success!  Attractions from this years’ event included a fabulous Folkloric dance troupe from La Huerta’s “Casa de Cultura”, Blue Bay Resort Show and modern dances, and acts from local kids!

This year’s event raised 84,807 pesos!  With the funds raised, many projects and programs are underway in La Manzanilla!  The pre-school used their funds to participate in the “Quality Schools Program” where the government matched the funds they received from La Catalina Foundation.  They will now be able to construct a covered area for their outdoor events.  The primary school received 4 new high-powered ceiling fans and electrical work done to get their library ready for student use.  The high school and middle school purchased equipment for their computer lab.  At the foundation, a new fence and gate was installed, an office was set up in the Computer Lab for our Coordinators to have their own planning space and funds are being earmarked for this summer’s English and Arts camp.
Thank you to the many that made this event possible!  Key volunteers were Dorinda, Peggy, Pat, ­­ Pam  and Joanne (from a distance in Victoria) and all their volunteers who managed the silent auction along with our great Mexican team (Isa, Miguel, Lorena and Esperanza) along with their volunteers who managed the food and show!  For more details and a financial summary of auction, click here.
Alice Walker Public Reading
It was a surprise to all when Alice Walker (Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Color Purple) did a public reading at Casa Luz in La Manzanilla. Accompanying her was author Carol Merchasin who wrote, This is Mexico.  
Even in our little pueblo, the event was packed and every seat was filled!  In the spirit of Alice Walker’s social mind and heart, all proceeds from this event were donated to La Catalina Foundation and are have been applied to the John D. Collins Teacher Training fund, for our third mindfulness training workshop in June.  Thank you to Alice, Carol and Casa Luz!
  Photos courtesy of David Dagoli
Computer Lab in Use!
The computer lab, which was completed in 2013 with the donation of a very generous anonymous donor, has been serving youth in adults in La Manzanilla. Our 50+ scholarship students come in small groups to access to the lab for classes and special assignments. 
Local adults and teachers also use the lab to learn entry level computer skills.  Additionally, our coordinators and volunteer staff finally have a space at the Foundation where they can carry out their administrative tasks.
Scholarship Student Classes
The Wings scholarship students had a busy and productive academic year.  In addition to receiving financial support to attend school, they make the commitment to attend weekly academic and enrichment courses throughout the year at La Catalina Foundation.
The three after-school courses they participated in this year were  mathematics, dance/graphic design/art, and English.
Thank you to Ron Stock, Dave Sullins, the Art Walk, and local artist volunteers who developed the new art course, taught classes, and made this such a fun, educational and enriching experience for the scholarship students!  

Also, thank you to the Art Walk event, for making a generous donation to purchase student art supplies and a set of easels.
Coming Soon… Scholarship Candidates
for 2015-16
Please keep your eyes out for our next newsletter which will have a list and photo of all the new super student candidates for the 2015-16 wings scholarship.  We will be looking for sponsors for each and every one of these students, who have come with high teacher recommendations and a sincere desire to better themselves.  For more info on our Wings scholarship program and to find out how you can be a Sponsor, click here.
If you have been sponsoring a student for the 2014-15 school year, our scholarship coordinator Nancy will be contacting you soon to let you know about continuing to fund your student for the 2015-16 school year.
John D. Collins Teacher Training Fund
This fund was launched in honor of our dear local part-time La Manzanilla resident, John D. Collins, who passed away last year in August.  The fund has already supported two teacher training workshops (22 hours total) which all of the La Manzanilla public school teachers have participated in.  Thank you to Katharine Collins and Jacqueline Walters for their pivotal role in launching this fund.
La Catalina Foundation has been working with AtentaMente, a Guadalajara-based organization which is at the forefront of teaching Mindfulness in schools and institutions around Mexico.  The goal is to cover all 5 modules that they offer over a span of two years, so every teacher in La Manzanilla may receive the benefit of this training.  The modules help teachers cultivate a better understanding of themselves, so they can be more sensitive and attentive to their students learning and emotional needs.  To donate to the John D. Collins teacher training funds, click here.

La Catalina Foundation, the schools, and

the children of La Manzanilla say, “Gracias!”