Sponsorship At Jaltepec
By Mike and Sally Myers
With so many worthwhile ways for the foreign community of Lake Chapala to give back, why would you choose sponsorship at Jaltepec? What is Jaltepec?
Jaltepec Centro Educativo is a highly specialized institute for young girls, mostly from low-income families. The students come from all over Mexico for intensive training in cooking, cleaning, laundering, hotel and administrative techniques, including food and beverage management, computer skills, English language and accounting.
Graduates are well prepared to obtain jobs in upscale hotels and restaurants, and to open their own businesses. The graduates not only raise their own economic standard, but that of their families for generations to come.
Most of the students are the daughters of laborers, tradesmen, gardeners and maids. The parents of the scholarship recipients must make great efforts and real sacrifices for their daughters. The program targets tuition only, and the family or the student must pay for uniforms, books, general supplies, and a portion of their room and board. One student and her mother worked for two years selling baked goods to raise the extra money.
Currently, there are four students seeking scholarships. The first is a second year student named Miriam. She is twenty years old and has two younger siblings. Her father is a delivery man in La Barca, and her mother is housebound due to MS. Miriam wants to finish the program at Jaltepec so she can help her family.
Sixteen-year-old Daria from Tlajomulco, Jalisco, wants to be an entrepreneur. Her father is a gardener, and her mother works in a fabric shop. With her siblings still in preparatoria and secundaria, there is little money left for Daria.
Maria is the twelfth of fourteen children. Her sixty-six year old father is retired and her mother is a housewife. She wants to open a snack stand selling non-alcoholic exotic drinks. She was able to pay for her first year, but needs a scholarship to complete the program.
Eighteen-year-old Teresa’s father lives in the states. He does not have papers or a steady job. She would like to start her own small business and help her four siblings with their education.
How does sponsorship work? The answer is in many ways. Some sponsors take the responsibility of one student for the entire two years she is at Jaltepec. Many sponsors develop life long relationships with the young lady they have helped. Other sponsors prefer to remain in the background. Currently, there is one student sponsored by three couples sharing expenses. Various clubs and organizations have been faithful sponsors. Maybe your book club, bridge club, cooking club or church group would be interested in helping. Any donations, large or small, will help these young ladies complete their education.