Empowering the Youth of Banderas Bay-Main

Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Summer/Fall 2007 issue.

Today’s young people hold the future in their hands. Yet the Mexican educational system alone is not equipped to prepare them to benefit from and cope with the challenges and opportunities inherent in Vallarta, which is experiencing largescale tourism and development. So, it is with gratitude we salute those featured here, each doing what they can to give our youth the best possible shot at happy, productive lives.

Wendy Johnson

What

Why

“I come from a service-oriented family and need to give back to the community that embraced me and my son for the past 15 years and helped raise him. We need to invest in the future.”

How to get involved

www.lideresmexico.orgairefresco@yahoo.com
044-322-141-3587 • (322) 224-0954

Antonio Berrueta

What

Why

“Three of my university teachers showed me a vision of how things could be in this country. And if you teach 300 kids a year, as we did in 2006, in 10 years you have made a difference in the social structure.”

How to get involved

www.lideresmexico.orgairefrescopv@yahoo.com
tonyberrueta@lideresmexico.org
(322) 293-3157 • 044-322-289-9106

Nicole Swedlow

What

Why

“I want to help build a strong San Pancho, and this is the right thing to do at a pivotal time for this growing community.”

How to get involved

www.centrosanpancho.comnrswedlow@gmail.com
(311) 258-4377 • 044-322-117-1677

Molly Fisher

What

Why

“Education is the key to success for an individual, a family, a community, a nation.”

How to get involved

www.peacemexico.orgmollyinmexico@yahoo.com
(322) 138-5064 • (329) 298-2505

Encouraged by the results of one another’s efforts, relationships and projects are increasingly overlapping. Wendy, a transplanted New Yorker, and Mexican-born Antonio are partnering in bilingual camps that emphasize team work and develop initiative all over Mexico, the USA, Colombia and Honduras. And Nicole’s programs include a class taught by one of Molly’s Casa Comunidad volunteers. A recent historic first for Latinos is that the Vallarta leadership program has expanded into Spanish immersion schools in the USA. “I’m the idea person and he’s the engine,” says Wendy. “We work with kids from the richest to the poorest – and they said we couldn’t do it. But all we had to do was put them in the same T-shirt!” Soon, they will also partner in international student exchange programs.