View this email in your browser

Newsletter Number 14
May  2017


Louise and Jim Temerty host 80+ guests

This year’s 2nd Annual PEACE Donor Recognition Party was a night to remember. Held at Taheima, the gorgeous villa of Louise and Jim Temerty in Punta Mita’s La Punta Estates on March 30, 2017, over 80 guests came together for this important annual event on the PEACE calendar.

PEACE executive director Ceci Paredes was accompanied by nine of her teachers and the three scholarship receivers from last year’s CAMPEONES program. Together they thanked financial and in-kind donors to PEACE for their continual support and tremendous generosity.

Donors were impressed by a poignant speech by Campeones scholarship holder Alondra Flores, who took the opportunity to talk about her progress at the Colegio Bucerias. Alondra, on behalf of all scholarship winners, also personally thanked all the generous scholarship sponsors.

Team ‘PEACE’ at Louise & Jim Temerty’s ‘Taheima’ for 2nd Annual PEACE Donor Recognition Party.


PEACE English students to receive certification

Plans for the coming 2017/18 school year are underway. For the 2017/18 academic year, PEACE will oversee their 1000 plus English students gaining accreditation, approved by the Mexican Ministry of Education, SEP.
Last month, PEACE and SEP began conducting standardized English language testing with the preparatoria students. These students received government approved certification for their second language abilities and are now on the road to future success.
PEACE Academic Supervisor Ali Elías’ intent is to have all levels from primary to preparatoria certified with English language skills. Such certification will be invaluable for student’s futures as it will assist them to compete in the national and international job markets, as well as support their higher academic goals. Covering the four skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening, the levels will be certified every three years and graded using the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
In primary school, students will be assessed from grades 1-3, assuring their A1 level according to the CEFR. From grades 4-6, students will be certified as more advanced with an A2 level. Secondary school will see the students accredited for their progressing fluency. In secondary school, from years 7-9, students will be deemed with a B1 level, whilst the remaining years in preparatoria, from 10-12, will certify the students with a B2 level.
This plan covers a time frame of 12 years and solidifies the important role PEACE plays in the area in regards to serving the community with English as foreign language skills. Over time, proof of success, by tracking performance with quantifiable results, will be critical to demonstrate the important impact the English program is having on the overall community of Punta de Mita.
For a better understanding of the CEFR, this short video from the UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE shall assist (click here):

Having English functionality is important to Preparatoria students at Higuera Blanca.


Testimonials about self-discovery program

PEACE has conducted the DESCÚBRETE program since 2014, enriching the lives of women and youths in the Punta de Mita area with great success. The following video shows Principals Julian Fabricio Cruz and Alejandrina Ponce discussing their positive observations about the program. Furthermore, scholarship holders Alondra Flores, Misael Ramos and Amram Cortes reflect on how the program has impacted their lives:



Construction is underway of the first phase of the new Preparatoria [High School] in Higuera Blanca. Project Leader Marc Lindskog, acting as architect and general contractor, has successfully recruited a local labor force and with this fantastic community support, expects to realize completion for the next school year 2016/17 with classes ready for September. Payments, approved by Marc, are being made directly by PEACE to the sub-contractors and vendors.  This is a community focused project with active community involvement and every contribution is greatly appreciated.  Donors appreciate that 100% of their donor dollar to PEACE USA ultimately is paid directly to the service/product provider, and is carefully overseen by Marc.
Ceci Paredes at Higuera Blanca Preparatoria construction site with Secundaria principal Julian Fabricio Cruz
Higuera Blanca Preparatoria students at current ‘fresh-air’ classroom.


Student & Employee of the month

A fantastic new incentive has taken off: Student and Employee of the Month. Aiming to bridge the community and local business relationship closer, the awards recognize amazing achievements by PEACE students and employees. Each month a student is selected due to their positive contribution to the community. The deserving student is not only awarded a certificate of recognition but receives an ice-cream treat at the PAGODA CAFÉ in Punta de Mita, where they are able to invite their teacher and a friend. The first recipient, Janny Pelayo, received her award for encouraging her classmates to participate.

The first teacher of the month goes to PEACE English teacher Martha Medina and her dedicated assistant Emmelin Flores. Awarded not only for their significant work during English classes at Higuera Blanca, but for the extra curricula workshops that Martha conducts together with her husband aimed at teaching values that help them take care of their community.

To know more about Martha, Emmelin and other PEACE staff  click here.

PEACE Academic Supervisor Ali Elías presents the first student of the month JannyPelayo with her certificate.


Margaret Isberg

Margaret Isberg is a very high profile and active Punta Mita resident who brings a wealth of business and non-profit experience to the PEACE Board. Retiring in 2009  as head of a national investment management company, she and husband Kris have been seasonal residents in the Bahia de Banderas area for 15 years, and now are enjoying their fabulous new villa 'Solaz' in La Punta Estates.
Bob Colman
A homeowner at Punta Mita’s Las Palmas Estates since 2006, Bob has been a supporter of PEACE since the beginning. Residing in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Marin County, CA, Bob retired in 1989 from Robertson, Colman & Stephens, a firm he co-founded, and continues to invest in private equity financings. Bob volunteers his time at his condo board in Sun Valley, as well as here in Punta de Mita. He is a member of the Bohemian Club, Valley Club, and the Stock Farm Club.

The PEACE team is currently working on a fresh new look for its website. Stay tuned July 1st for the coming launch!


St. Regis Provided Astor Ballroom

PEACE held its 4th Annual General Assembly on March 27, 2017. With a record breaking attendance, the assembly was held at the Astor Ballroom, kindly donated by St.Regis Resort.
PEACE Executive Director, Ceci Paredes, presented an informative presentation, covering the complete audited PEACE Financial Report 2016, along with the 2017 Expense Budget. She gave an overview of the PEACE Program Highlights which included the standardizing of the English program curriculum, SEP certification for English students, and the land lease from DINE. PEACE teachers Gabriel Castro and Miriam Marín were guest speakers and spoke in detail about PEACE’s achievements during the year.

St. Regis Resort provided Astor ballroom for 4th Annual PEACE General Assembly


2017 PLEDGE FOR PEACE Campaign
Beginning in May 2017, through to the end of the calendar year, the PEACE Board of Directors will be making contact with Punta de Mita area residents for its annual PLEDGE FOR PEACE fundraising campaign with its purpose to fund operations and continue growing the reserve fund.
The 2017 financial objective is USD470,000, for which $370,000 is to cover 2017 budgeted operating costs of 6.8 million pesos [exchange 18.5] and $100,000 towards the reserve fund. To accomplish this objective, the Board plans to increase the number of homeowner donors from 66 last year to greater than 80 in 2017
Donors are asked to consider an annual pledge in one of the following donor categories:

Patron          US$20,000 and plus
Benefactor    US$15,000-$20,000
Companion   US$10,000-$14,999
Member        US$5,000-$9,999
Friend           US$1,000-$4,999

Fundraising campaigns are not done by PEACE staff and PEACE does not do time-consuming and costly event fundraising. Instead, annual fundraising to cover operating costs, referred to as the ‘PLEDGE FOR PEACE’ Campaign, is done person-to-person exclusively by Board Members and Board Advisors with the support of Program Committee members, all volunteers.

Board Members: Mary Corroon, Mariette Woestemeyer, Bob Farquharson, Rob Ritchie, Roberto Santa Cruz, Peter Newton

Advisors to the Board: Chrissy Armstrong, Valerie Ewell, Margaret Isberg, Bob Colman, Bob Dahl, Stan Grad, John Gladish, Jay Precourt

Program Committee Members: Paty Vergara, Tania Ritchie, Sheilagh Langille, Dyan Pignatelli, Katherine Nidermaier  


Teachers presented PRL projects

During a week in April, PEACE English teachers opened their classrooms to parents, donors, and other members of the public. Teachers have been involving their classes in project based learning, known as PBL. This methodology aims to teach students over an extended period of time, where they investigate a complex problem and later present their conclusion. This “learn by doing” technique strengthens student’s critical thinking and opens students to a different, deeper way of learning.

Family, community members, SEP staff and donors were all invited and came to observe the students presentations in English. A variety of class presentations were made, from vocational role plays such as call center operations to hotel reservations. All age groups were involved, including young kindergarten kids who explored their creative side as artists and painted portraits of people close to them. For more information about the PEACE English Program click 

Higuera Blanca Secundaria [Middle School] students role playing in English.


PEACE’s 4th year anniversary recognized

At the 51st Charlie's Lunch on April 13 at Café Naef, two PEACE spokespersons presented to the 29 Charlie's Lunch members attending. Recognizing PEACE for its recent 4th anniversary on April 1, co-host Rob Ritchie, introduced PEACE Executive Director, Ceci Paredes, returning for a second time to Charlie's Lunch having first presented in November 2012.

Ceci spoke about the Campeones middle-school program for high achievers, including the Campeones Tuition Scholarship program. Warren Hair, a PEACE English teacher, and communication co-ordinator [social media, newsletters, website, etc.] spoke about the recent improvement of the SEP [Education Secretariat] approved PEACE standardized curriculum for the English teaching program, reaching 1,200 students daily with hourly lessons, and the implementation of standardized testing.

Charlie's Lunch is a group of 77 Punta de Mita area homeowners and regular guests who meet 5 times annually for discussion and camaraderie.

Ceci Paredes speaks at Charlie’s Lunch. April 13, 2017

PEACE: Now on Facebook. Now on Instagram

Now you can stay current with events at PEACE on social media. Follow the movement and remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

You will find updated info, photos and videos of our organization, current programs, daily activities, events & dates, and other important information.

PEACE English teacher, Warren Hair, is responsible for marketing which includes social media, producing PEACE newsletters, and maintaining the PEACE website.


Please contact Ceci Paredes, Executive Director, for additional information:  

Office: 329-291-5157, cell phone: 322-135-0952, email:

“PEACE Punta de Mita Newsletters are produced three times annually [November, February, and May]. Editor in chief: PEACE teacher Warren Hair. Published on a pro-bono basis by

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list