By Deborah Van Hoewyk
On 16 February, 2016, El Sueño Zapoteco / The Bacaanda Foundation threw its first “Dream Festival / Festival del Sueño” to support its work with rural schools in the Bahias de Huatulco area. There was singing and dancing, food and drink, raffles galore, artisan sales, a dunk tank, kids’ games, fabulous Early Bird and Grand Prizes—Guelaguetza Park next to Marina Park Plaza was noisy, crowded, and very colorful. Through admissions and sales of food and raffle tickets, the event raised approximately $116,000 mxn; subtracting expenses, the Festival’s net gain was approximately $75,000 mxn (about $4,150 US / $5,700 CAD).
Rural schools are managed by the National Council for Education Development (Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo, CONAFE). CONAFE schools serve Mexico’s poorest, often indigenous, people, usually in tiny, remote villages with too few students to qualify for a nationally- supported school. ESZ/Bacaanda has been working with Felipe de Jesús Sánchez Santiago, Regional Coordinator for the 125 or so schools in CONAFE’s Santa María Huatulco district for several years. Through its Adopt-a-School program and general donations, the Foundation devotes its resources to meeting priorities identified by the schools, which range from student or teacher materials to school buildings and teachers’ quarters.
The Foundation will be inaugurating its latest school, adopted by a residents’ group at Punta Arrocito, on March 12, 2016. If you would like to participate in this event and learn more about the rural schools program, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.