By Deborah Van Hoewyk
Save the date—Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. Kick off your new year in great bi-national style as the Bacaanda Foundation / El Sueño Zapoteco stages its second annual Dream Festival (Festival del Sueño). You’ll have a great time in Guelaguetza Park (right beside Marina Park Plaza). Eat Mexican tacos and burritos, right alongside your norteño hot dogs, hamburgers, and Italian sausages! To go with? Aguas frescas, spring water, wine and beer. You’ll get to watch traditional Mexican dancing—even the little kids do it—and the best of local singing groups. There are raffles galore with terrific prizes showcasing Huatulco’s activities and services, and an artisans’ market chock-full of Mexican creations. Not to mention a dunk tank, a zipline for kids, face painting, games—a unique night out in Huatulco!
Except for the artisans’ sales, all the funds raised at the Festival go to support the Foundation’s work, most of which focuses on its rural school assistance programs. Mexico’s rural schools are completely separate from the national public school system. Through its CONAFE agency (National Council for Educational Development / Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo), the Mexican government provides curriculum and teachers to “remote and marginalized” areas with too few children for regular schools. It is then up to a given rural community to provide the school, facilities and support for the teachers, and everything else the students might need.
The Bacaanda Foundation runs a program called Adopt a Rural School, which has so far built or remodeled 13 school facilities and 7 teachers’ rooms, and currently has 4 more in progress. The Foundation has also built a multiple facilities for teacher training and a data center at the CONAFE district headquarters in Santa María Huatulco. There are about 120 schools in the Santa María district; in places where Bacaanda does not organize the construction of an “adopted” school, the Foundation contributes school materials, supports special events, and encourages sports leagues.
Be sure to show up and have fun while supporting Bacaanda—and it’s even more fun to volunteer at the Festival. Just go to Facebook and enter “Huatulco – What’s Up…Happening Community News.” Scroll down and look for the notices about volunteer opportunities posted by Bacaanda.