By Brooke Gazer
Un Nuevo Amanacer (UNA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled children of the Huatulco region for the past fifteen years. They provide ongoing therapy to about 110 children annually; assisting with problems which include hearing and speech impairment, neurological and cognitive disorders, and a variety of physical disabilities. (See Dec 2011 issue for more details). UNA has a part time physiotherapist and four full time teachers but this is not nearly enough. Most therapy is one on one so that the need for physical and occupational therapists and for teachers for the deaf and mentally impaired is endless. To make up the short- fall they rely on professional volunteers. Professionals who have come from outside the region to volunteer at the center for six months or more are given free accommodation by UNA. These people are often students who have just completed a degree in their field and need experience but without a salary cannot afford to rent an apartment.
UNA would like to be able to attract more professionally trained volunteers but the cost of paying rent eats a large hole into their operating budget. Fortunately a solution seems to be at hand. A few years ago a piece of land was donated to UNA near the Cobao High School. This location was at the end of a dirt road, past U2 and not an easily accessible part of town. Recently UNA was able to sell this lot and purchase one in Sector N, which is across the street from Marina Chahue. Eventually, they intend to build an up down duplex where they can offer accommodations and attract good volunteer teachers and therapists. This project will go a long way to increasing the level of service and to making UNA a more self sustaining organization. It will be a few more years until they have the funds to complete this project but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
How Can I help?
Over 70% of the funding for UNA comes from private funding. Last year two successful fundraisers were held by the foreign community in Huatulco which went a long way to keeping UNA solvent. A separate fund has been established in order to segregate finances for the building project. To make a donation either to the new building fund, or to their general revenues or to volunteer you can contact their administrator Flor Castillo by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or drop by the center; she is generally there between 11AM and 2PM weekdays. UNA is located above the hardware store “Ferrealanza” on Calle Jazmin.
Please understand that checks written on accounts outside Mexico can cost up to $50USD to processes and that money transfers from outside the country cost about $20USD on BOTH sides of the transaction. For this reason a cash donation is the best option and UNA will be happy to issue an official numbered receipt. In the near future they are hoping to set up an account with “PAY PAL” for donations. UNA is an official registered charity within Mexico so donations are tax deductable for anyone with a Mexican corporation. The organization’s finances are transparent and it is possible to access fiscal records if you have doubts.
Brooke Gazer operates a bed and breakfast in Huatulco http://www.bbaguaazul.com