NEWSLETTER August 2021
This is a brief overview of what is inside this issue of our BajaEd August 2021 Newsletter. First, we want to communicate some very important and positive changes that are happening at BajaEd. The first you will notice is that we are changing the name of our organization from Baja Educational Initiative (BEI) to a more simpler, BajaEd. Our website address has also been changed to BajaEd.org. If you go on to our website, you will also notice it is a new website - easier to navigate, with more information and pictures of students who need financial assistance from sponsors like you. You will also see a clear picture of our mission/vision and our needs for helping the children of Maneadero, Mexico. We have also started an English as a Second Language (ESL) course to help our students in later years have more opportunity for employment through being able to speak and write in English. We are also evaluating how we can make BajaEd more sustainable. We need donations from people like you who see the tremendous need in Maneadero. However we also want to have a sustainable flow of income so we can make plans for the future to increase the number of students we support. We’ll tell you more about this as it develops. Finally, it is our favorite time of year: time for graduation celebrations! We will highlight the students who have successfully made it to their respective graduations. Thank you for your partnership with BEI and we hope you find this newsletter informative.
Baja Ed board members, staff members, friends, and families recently had the immense pleasure of celebrating the 2021 Baja Ed graduates. We were proud to celebrate 11 students graduating from grades ranging from kindergarten to university.
Graduations in Mexico are often celebrated with elegance and style. Students get dressed up, and schools often present a performance of songs, dances, or poetry. Older students may enjoy an elegant meal with their classmates. Due to the pandemic, our graduates were not able to celebrate with their classmates in a traditional manner, but we did our best to recognize their efforts and accomplishments with certificates of achievement, a lovely dinner, and a festive evening. Each student received a graduation gift of clothing thanks to donors from Rancho Vista Church in Chula Vista, California.
It was a tough school year for everyone, but especially so for our students in Maneadero who often manage field work or other tough manual labor as well as school work, in homes sometimes without basic services such as electricity or internet access. We are so proud of our students who persevere under these circumstances, and grateful to the donors who make possible both their academic progress and the ability to celebrate them!
Congratulations, Baja Ed class of 2021! We are so proud of you, and excited to participate in your future.
Every life is a beautiful story and each achievement carries with it great sacrifice. Today we
want to share Maria del Carmen’s story with you. For her, this past school year was extra difficult. Even before the pandemic, Maria was attending school virtually, limiting her exposure to people, and wearing a mask, due to the growth of malignant cells in her thyroid.
She had barely recovered from having her
thyroid removed and was finally able to return to in-person learning when the pandemic hit, and schools throughout Ensenada
Online learning was not a possibility for Maria, as the neighborhood in which she lives is relatively isolated and does not have electricity or internet access. Her only electronic device was her mother’s cell phone. Fortunately, the school Maria attended understood that many families were in similar situations, and gave students workbooks to complete instead of expecting students to find a way to connect to the internet.
Maria is a highly motivated student. When she could not find information she needed for her studies, she came to the BEI center every week to do her homework. In addition to this, she underwent several very strong treatments this semester, made countless visits to the general hospital in Tijuana, and endured throat surgery to remove malignant cells. Maria never lost heart and went ahead with her education even from her hospital bed. Her biggest supporter was her mother, who strived to give her the best care during this time while working to provide for her and Maria´s siblings.
We are so proud of Maria for finishing her primary education, but above all because at her young age, she has such tenacity and effort in everything she does.
English as a Second language. This semester we started classes for students who want to study English! We know that being in a border state of Mexico, knowing English is a very important tool for our young students. English is often taught in public schools in Mexico; however many of the young people graduate from English programs without being able to speak it. That is why we want to provide them with this too, so that once they finish their studies they can get better jobs and have more opportunities in the workplace. A special thanks to our English teacher, Caleb Smith, for volunteering in this first English course and for his effort and passion to educate the youth of the community. We also want to thank everyone who donates materials and resources to make this possible.
We at BajaEd appreciate every donation made to help students in Mexico get an education. This will eventually lift them out of poverty and provide them hope for the future. We have been looking for a way to sustain what we do at BajaEd and to increase the number of students we are able to help. We are looking at coffee as one means of sustainability. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Along with our sister non-profit, Baja Bound Ministries, we made a trip to Chiapas, Mexico to look at coffee co-ops for the purpose of buying coffee and selling to roasters in the US. We are calling this, “Coffee for a Cause.” All of the profit made from selling coffee beans to coffee roasters will be poured back into our two Baja non-profit organizations. Along with the needed donations made by our partners, this sustained income will allow us to provide scholarships for more kids in Mexico. We have over 100 hopeful students on our waiting list. As this”Coffee for a Cause” moves forward, we will keep you updated.
School supplies drive
It’s that time of year again! We are gathering school supplies for the children of Maneadero. This year our goal is 200 backpacks!!! You can participate in different ways: 1. Donate through Amazon wish list:
2. Drop off your donations at Rancho Vista Church | Facebook
(Used items in good condition are welcome).
3. Join us in Mexico on August 21 to participate in our school supply giveaway!
Or send your *$25 donation* for us to prepare a backpack from you:
A little kindness goes a long way! Learn more about how you can help others at Breaking The Cycle Of Poverty | BajaEd