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Newsletter Number 12
November  2016


PEACE is grateful to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the proceeds of the both events being held on Sunday, November 20.
Tickets (US$70) for Flavors of Punta Mita are available at St. Regis Concierge, 291 5845, or at Casa Mita (
Mayela Gomez - 291 6620).

Sign up for the Punta Mita Charity Golf Classic - scramble format, 9AM tee off, categories for men, women, and mixed, US200 - at
ProShop Punta Mita ( 291 5590) or at Casa Mita (Mayela Gomez - 291 6620).


The last three and a half years since PEACE Punta de Mita’s inception has seen the success of various programs and initiatives which have garnered recent prestigious certification and nation-wide acknowledgement. Recently, PEACE was presented with CLUNI (Clave Única de Inscripción) which allows PEACE to be active in public politics and access funding from the Federal Public Administration Department.

In addition, PEACE was granted with optimum certification from the CEMEFI, the Mexican Centre of Philanthropy, an important accreditation which reflects the institutional level of development of the organization. This reputable certification comprises of three levels and PEACE was granted with the highest level, noted as OPTIMUM. This accreditation places PEACE’s philanthropy work even more so within the public eye within Mexico.


PEACE Exec Director receives CEMEFI certification in Mexico City, Nov. 2016



An intrinsic aspect for the success of the PEACE English Program is the healthy relationship between PEACE and SEP [Secretaria de Educacion Publica] staff. In order to achieve best results from the one thousand plus students who make up the PEACE English Program, it is important that PEACE and SEP teachers are working well together.
 A unique action taken by PEACE is giving SEP teachers workshops that increase their aptitudes whilst situating them in line with training given to PEACE teachers, ensuring a cohesive methodology. These workshops are conducted by PEACE Psychologist Carla Pliego. These workshops focus on theories pertaining to a classroom management approach called “Discipline with Dignity”. Furthermore, PEACE’s workshops address a support group for parents and also issues related to self-regulation that give teachers abilities to deal with challenging situations such as bullying. To date, the workshops have been greeted with open arms from SEP staff and a unified approach regarding disciplinary action has been brought about.



A few years ago during a town hall meeting, the local community expressed a strong necessity to learn English and sought out ways of receiving language classes that would benefit their lives, opening the door for better career opportunities. Following the Angels single teacher program, PEACE took on the project in 2014, starting with two hours a week for each class in the SEP public schools. In 2015, PEACE began regular daily classes totaling five hours per week.
The 2015/16 school year marked the first complete year with full time English classes. More about the English Program can be read here
We spoke with Principal Lucy Andrade, who, with over twenty-two years working at the Emiliano Zapata Kindergarten, reflects upon the program and the impact it has had since going full-time.
How do you feel about the PEACE English Program after one year of full-time classes? What specific developments or changes have seen in your students over the last year?

For me it is fabulous because the students are learning practical English. They are learning how to use the language in a functional way, making sentences and having conversations which they can use in their daily lives. The students have a curiosity to learn a new language and are confident to speak, which is important as English will be useful for their futures because Punta de Mita is an important tourist area. 

What is your perception of the community’s response to the PEACE English Program?
I have noticed a positive response from the community. To accommodate the English classes, the school hours were extended and parents have been responsible and motivated, with student attendance being very high. The parents hear their children speaking English and are happy they can communicate. The families are making the most of the opportunity, understanding it helps them economically, this is due to the fact that English classes are very expensive in the area. 


The AVANZA Program’s aim is to reintegrate wayward students back into the SEP public school system, providing a supportive learning environment that improves students study habits and social behavior skills. Recently, SEP implemented a new reform for public schools, making it mandatory for all students below the age of fourteen to attend school, regardless of circumstances. This positive amendment by SEP has meant that the AVANZA program needed to reassess its student enrollment. For the 2016/17 school year, nine students comprised AVANZA primary, and as these students were under the age of fourteen, PEACE complied with SEP’s new regulation by integrating these primary school students into the Corral del Risco Primary school. The nine students continue to start their day with PEACE, meeting with teacher Gabriel Castro, who later accompanies the students to the primary school, ensuring their transition is as smooth as possible.

Teacher Gabriel continues to lead the secondary kids. Eleven students comprise the secondary class and are advancing each day. Beyond their regular classes, the students are benefiting from extra initiatives such as the monthly interchange with the American School and excursions to the Instituto Nacional de Pesca (National Fisheries Institute) in La Cruz where the students will receive talks and hands on experience from marine biologists.


Summer Camp, 2016 broke new ground this year. The attendance of between 140-195 students daily was met with a cost of $10 pesos per day per attendee, prompting a stronger sense of self-sustainability as the campers shared more of the running costs in comparison to previous years.

This year saw continued support from our regular corporate donors such as the Four Seasons Punta Mita and St. Regis Punta Mita who each donated 1000 lunches for the participants. Coca-Cola generously supplied drinking water throughout the Camp’s two-week program, and furthermore supplied shading tents for outdoor activities and the Camp's closing ceremony, along with tables and chairs. Once more, Fundación Punta de Mita gave PEACE permission to use the sports recreational area for the closing ceremony.

While this year’s camp saw regular activities such as dancing, sports and story-telling, the introduction of new classes such as Muay Thai and Capoiera gave a fresh feel to the Camp’s agenda, motivating and exciting everyone involved.




The goal again this year is to raise USD $450,000. PEACE directors are asking donors to consider a 1, 2, or 3-year annual pledge in one of the following donor categories:
Patron             US$20,000 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

The 2016 PLEDGE FOR PEACE Campaign is conducted by PEACE Board Directors and Advisors making person-to-person contacts. Interested persons are invited to contact a Director or Advisor of your choice from the following list:

PEACE Board of Directors:
  • Mary Corroon
  • Bob Farquharson
  • John Gladish
  • Peter Newton
  • Rob Ritchie
  • Roberto Santa Cruz
  • Mariette Woestemeyer
Advisors to the Board:
  • Bob Dahl 
  • Valerie Ewell
  • Stan Grad
  • Jay Precourt.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Advisors, Staff, and all beneficiaries of PEACE’s meaningful programs, all delivered in the local Punta de Mita area, PEACE thanks all donors and potential donors for considering this request.


The PEACE CAMPEONES Program is an after school program designed for middle school students to achieve a higher level of education, improving their English fluency, computer literacy and critical thinking. A major incentive for the students are the tuition scholarships to study at a private high school, Collegio Bucerias, awarded to the most successful students of each school year.

This year’s three winners were Alondra Santiago Torres, Amram Pelayo Cortes and Misael Ramos. CAMPEONES teacher Karina Orozco regularly keeps up to date with their progress and reports that the change of school has been a major adjustment in their lives. Karina states that their commitment is to be admired as they start their day at 5:00a.m. in order to commute to Bucerias, adjusting well to the school’s different schedule.

Although at first Alondra found it hard to meet like-minded friends who followed her passion for soccer, she has stayed true to her dream to study and recently achieved the highest grade in her class for the first year’s bimonthly grading. Amram and Ismael have adjusted well too, supporting each other with homework and school projects. These three have proven that taking on the challenges that scholarship offers with a positive attitude, they are indeed champions.

L to R: Misael Ramos, Alondra Santiagoe, Amram Pelayo


The Campeones Tuition Scholarship incentive has proven to change lives. Recipient Amram Pelayo Cortes of the 2015/16 generation has gone from strength to strength during his first months at Colegio Bucerias.

Amram was granted with a scholarship that covered 80% of the college’s annual school fees, generously donated by Punta de Mita residents Stan and Jane Grad. Proud of their son’s achievement and ambition, Amram’s parents met the remaining 20% needed for him to study at Colegio Bucerias, giving him a brilliant head start toward reaching his ambition of going on from high school to university.

 Amram Pelayo


Avanza in English is ‘advance’, and loosely translates to ‘Get Ahead’, and that’s exactly what PEACE’s Avanza program succeeds at doing. Jose Andrade from last year’s Avanza class took his improved aptitudes and followed his dream. Having successfully won the juniors surfing competition in Sayulita, Jose joined the Mexican surfing team to compete in Portugal.

Held in the Azores Islands, the 2016 VISSLA ISA WORLD JUNIOR SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP was an event where Jose could flaunt his surf talents. A Punta de Mita local, Jose had the community watching with proud anticipation as he surfed his way to first place within several rounds. Despite being unsuccessful making it through to the championships, Jose’s pride while representing his country had everyone inspired, most of all the PEACE team who enjoyed watching their former student’s progression.
For more details about Jose’s experience in Portugal, click here.

Jose Andrade


This month we say farewell to one of PEACE’s dedicated English teachers. Miriam joined the PEACE over a year ago and gave classes at the Punta de Mita Primary. Miriam’s experience with PEACE had been rewarding as she learnt so much from the students with whom she taught.

She gained a new understanding of students individual needs, and found their most important necessity beyond learning English was love and a feeling of belonging. Therefore, prioritizing their emotional needs was of great importance so as to help each child achieve their best academic potential so as to reach their dreams. Taking a non-judgemental approach, Miriam gave 100% commitment to the students. From this great experience, Miriam has now taken a step forward in her career, taking on a position as coordinator at the TEPEYAC COLLEGE in Las Palmas, Puerto Vallarta. We wish her well in this new chapter of her life and trust her experience with PEACE will prove to be an invaluable resource that she can forever draw upon.

Miriam Marín

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, Alexis Ornelas, has accepted the assignment of posting the ongoing happenings at PEACE on a regular basis.


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 Hare. Published on a pro-bono basis by

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

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