What is Sendero and what do they do there?
Sendero de Esperanza y Amor (Pathway of Hope and Love) is an extension of New Beginnings Mexico, a registered SC in Mexico. Sendero’s focus is on providing support for education, health, and balanced nutrition to children living in impoverished, vulnerable areas near Puerto Vallarta.
Sendero, New Beginnings, and Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation, by working together, can now support many children by providing tuition, uniforms, backpacks, and school supplies for the public school education. A trained psychologist and four tutors, funded by Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation, work with the children daily to support their physical, emotional and educational needs. Classroom assistance for before and after school programs is provided at each of the New Beginnings centers. The computer lab with 6 laptop computers can be used by the children to complete homework and other activities in a supervised environment.
What does New Beginnings Mexico do?
New Beginnings Mexico is the “parent” organization overseeing all of the work done through their facilities in Madre Selva and the areas of Gardenia and Magisterio. They are a Christian organization that exists to support families and transform communities through education, physical, social, health, and spiritual programs and initiatives. In this way, New Beginnings hopes to break the poverty cycle and fill the spiritual void existing in these underprivileged communities.
New Beginnings, a registered SC in Mexico provide physical, educational, spiritual, and community support to the adults, while Sendero is focused mainly on the needs of the children. New Beginnings promotes vocational training opportunities, such as their jewelry and fabric bags being sold at the Cardenas market each Saturday (as well as other local markets), and construction skill development to allow these families to move away from living in extreme poverty off the garage left at the dump. New Beginnings is currently offering English classes, medical support, group and individual counseling, and the opportunity for adults to complete their high school diploma. In addition, in partnership with the Solidarity Foundation, they have recently launched a new program for adults in these impoverished communities called “Saving for Change”. Groups are provided with regular coaching and support on sound financial management behaviors so that they can successfully build household assets and strengthen future resiliency in order to break the cycle of poverty they currently experience.
Through their lunch program 200+ adults and children receive a nutritional meal daily. Over 100 bags of groceries and vegetables are distributed weekly. When required, homes in the area are repaired or constructed and basic house hold items such as stoves, propane tanks, and mattresses are provided.
What is the SOS program about?
Two years ago, Sendero, New Beginning Mexico, and Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation launched the SOS (Sponsor One Student) scholarship program. The Sendero/New Beginnings staff and volunteers have identified several motivated, dedicated, and serious students in the impoverished areas and enrolled in secondario (middle school), prepa (high school), a university program, or a special training program (such as English classes) but in danger of dropping out of school or not continuing to attend for financial reasons. The goal is to “rescue” these students by offering financial support, including enrollment and tuition expenses, transportation expenses, books, uniforms, shoes, backpacks, basic school supplies, etc. Their attendance and progress is closely monitored, and a minimum GPA (grade point average) is required in order to continue receiving this support.
The needs of these exceptional students vary a great deal, from only requiring tuition and bus money for an English class, since most English instruction in the public schools is not satisfactory (about $30 US/CDN per month for 10 months), to a much higher level of need for several university students who need housing closer to their school and a food allowance plus college tuition, bus transportation, uniforms, etc. (about $200 US/CDN per month for 10 months). Intake interviews are conducted with each student and his/her family and, for those who meet the GPA and economic poverty criteria, construct an individualized support program, allowing the students to remain in school and eventually reach their ultimate educational goal. What a wonderful way to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to these deserving students and their families! For more information or to sponsor an SOS student please contact Chris Amo.
How is Sendero/New Beginnings Mexico funded? How can I donate?
No Mexican government funds are available for programs such as Sendero or New Beginnings Mexico. They must depend entirely on donations and fundraising efforts. Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation has been the major funder of the Sendero program since their inception. Legal US tax-deductable donations can be made through our website at www.cshf-us.org, including donations made using PayPal. Canadians can donate to Sendero and New Beginnings via New Beginnings Mexico through their website www.newbeginningsmexico.org.
What are the current needs at Sendero?
Sendero is currently in need of the following:
• Coloring books and art supplies
• Flash cards (English or Spanish)
• Puzzles and games
• Basic school supplies
• Shoes and clothing
• Diapers (all sizes)
• Money to purchase medicines