A new set of colored pencils from the Czech Republic have inspired me. They are so lovely, I want to eat them. These are the drawings done in the past month.
As many of you already know I am the Director of Operations for the KKIS Project – Keeping Kids in School – a registered non-profit in both Mexico and the US. We began 7 years ago providing school supplies to underprivileged kids where I live in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The first year we helped 250 students with a backpack of the school supplies required by all public schools. Last August we assisted nearly 3,000 kids! The price is about $10 USD for each child, providing them with the materials necessary for a full year of study.
Now I am asking for your help. Every donation will bring a smile to another face and the hope of a brighter future for a child in need. This is the link to the KKIS website on which there is a Donate button: www.kkisproject.org.
Playa del Carmen is a resort town but it takes a lot of backbreaking work to build those condos and keep them all running. Families have flocked to this town looking for work which is not very well paid. Mexicans are hard working people and their children deserve the chance to dream big. Please help. Thanks.
Today I visited the Adriana Cupul Itza elementary school in Nicte Ha, at the very north end of Playa del Carmen. I went to take photos of the room that might be used for another Library in a Week project. While there the afternoon session students began to pour in dressed to celebrate Mexican Revolution Day, Nov. 20, a day they have off from school. A parade was planned around the school grounds and parents were lined up at the front gate to cheer their kids on.
This was the first school recommended by the government social service agency where every student enrolled needed help with school supplies. KKIS has been involved there four years.
The organization Library in a Week, founded by Sultan Utm in Canada unveiled it’s latest project yesterday at the junior high school with three classrooms in Cristo Rey, north and west of Playa del Carmen. Until last year the residents had wells and outhouses, power from a generator a few hours a day, no internet and spotty cell phone reception, very little public transportation and a 3 room school built by parents and equipped with student teachers from university. They have come a long way and Sultan with the help of the KKIS Project really made their day yesterday.
Students helped paint the walls and carried rocks and soil from blocks away to build up a garden outside the entrance door. One young girl looked up at a book on the top shelf so I reached it down for her and told her it was written in both English and Spanish. She sat down with it and continued to read through all the uproar of the opening.
The students made signs of thank you for Sultan and had each created cards of endearment for him which they presented in a large multicolored pile. A KKIS volunteer, Robert Smith, who lives nearby has volunteered to be the librarian and will help the kids with English. Another Cuban friend here in Playa, Marilou Young, will help him get all the books catalogued and create a system to make a lending library.
What a community I live in!
The KKIS Project has been practicing Conversational English with classes at CECYTE high school for the past year and I have become good friends with Karla Hernandez, the English teacher. Her son, Mauricio, recently graduated 6th Grade and last week began school at the middle school for taxi drivers in Playa del Carmen. This is a private school but the students are not wealthy, the taxi union is very strong and believes in helping their kids.
Mauricio loves music and the new school has one of the very few marching bands in all of Mexico – but they need instruments. Does anyone have a connection to a band, a string band, a university or music school that could donate used instruments? If we get together a group of instruments, Karla will appeal to the Mexican government for shipping charges.