The Woods family found a school in 2015 that needed help so they asked the club… and they said yes. We raised funds through a craft fair, and a Foundation Grant.
Altogether we raised 3,400 pounds! Which is about 79,254 pesos!
When we arrived in Mexico we started to plan with Fernando, a concierge from The Grand Sirenis Resort and Spa, when we should go and help the school. We arranged a meeting with Abraham, the Mayor of Akumal and Gloria the teacher at the school. We found out more about the school and the children that attend it and asked what they needed. They are a government school however they do not receive any support because education in Mexico is not a priority.
We went shopping in Playa del Carmen for all of the things we would need to complete this project. We went to Walmart, CityMart and a DIY store. Grand Sirenis Resort and Spa donated a van and a driver for the entire day so that we could get all of the supplies that we needed. When we got back to the hotel we unloaded and totalled up what we had spent. It wasn't even half of what we needed to spend. We decided, as we had already planned when to work on the school, that we would shop after for further supplies and then visit them again before we leave.
We arrived at the school to already find Gloria, the gardeners and some families clearing out the building. Within no time the building was emptied and we were ready to start painting. We knew that the building needed some colour so after a discussion with Gloria we decided to have half of the room as under the sea and the other half a English garden. At first it was only the adults painting but after a few minutes the children soon joined in. We had a team inside painting and a team outside working on the garden. We had brought stencils with us to create flowers, butterflies, fish, seahorses, starfish, turtles and octopus. Again the children became very shy as they didn't understand what we were doing. However as soon as they did the paint brushes were taken out of our hands and the children were painting again. Most of the children that helped us had attended this school when they were younger or they have siblings that will be attending this year. They really enjoyed transforming the dull classroom.
We had an absolutely amazing humbling time working with the children at the school. All of them were on vacation but they wanted to help us. The next day we returned to the school to show all of the families what we had done to help their school. They all loved it and were very grateful. We had a little party with the children and Jasmine painted the children's faces, they painted her.
The Mayor, Abraham, had arranged for a reporter from the state of Quintana Roo to come and cover our story. Gloria expressed her gratitude and thanked us as did the Mayor.
After all that was said and done we still had the small matter of spending the rest of the money. So into town we went again. After spending the time with the children and Gloria we truly understood what else they still needed. We found out that the government pay for the electricity so we brought an air conditioning unit and a water cooler. Toys to stimulate the senses were non existent before we came now there is no way that any of the children will become board while they are at school.
While at the party some of the older children that we met last year came and asked if we were giving out school supplies again so we made up 30 backpacks so that siblings of the little ones that attend and others that Gloria knows can have the supplies that they need.
Gloria was very happy that a reporter came from the state of Quintana Roo as she hoped that the publicity of this project may make the government understand how important education is to the future of these children.
We would like to thank the Grand Sirenis Resort and Spa for their kind donation of a minivan and driver for the day and allowing Fernando and Isuey time off to come and help us at the school.
Fernando has spent the last year emailing me and coordinating this project without him it wouldn't have been possible.
The Mayan children in Akumal will now have a better start to their lives because of this project. They can attend a school where they will be stimulated, take risks and make memories. Gloria is now able to offer a better early education.
We would like to thank all of the members of our club for their support and for giving us this opportunity.
We are so fortunate to live where we do.