February 2016 Newsletter
Exciting Additions to the Vicente Guerrero Community Center
 
Expansion Will Provide Opportunities for Students of All Ages
On January 5th, inauguration ceremonies were held for the new computer classroom at the Vicente Guerrero Community Center. Many individuals and groups came together to make different parts of this project possible. Among the many supporting partners attending the inauguration ceremony were representatives from INEA, the adult education program; Sikanda, a local organization in Oaxaca; local municipal government representatives; and representatives from an Italian organization who donated computer equipment and furniture for this project. 

Bonifacio Luis Hernandez, the program director of the Oaxaca Kids Can and Vicente Guerrero Programs, reported, "Finally, we concluded the computer classroom, and I am still amazed. Thanks to all those whose contributions made this project possible. This project will be very beneficial to the community. In the month of February, we will be starting with classes and the children are really excited. The parents have come to enroll their children for the course and I am very happy by all the positive feedback that has been in the community. Their gratitude and the children's faces of joy fill us with energy to keep working harder." 

One of our college scholarship students  who lives in Vicente Guerrero, Marisol, recently  spent some time over her holiday break at the community center painting and cleaning with other community members to help get this space ready. "It pleases me that the volunteers are working hard and are very committed to the people of the community. I am also very grateful for Boni, for his work in the community center and with the people. Good people are put in our paths to allow us to move forward."

Share the Love All Year Long
Do Something Different for Your Valentines this Year & Have a Lasting Impact
Are you looking to do something special for your sweetie this Valentine's Day? Flowers and chocolate are always nice, but why not give a gift that lasts more than one day?

You can share the love all year long by signing up today as a monthly sustainer with Friends of Pimpollo in the name of your loved one, and you will be supporting education programs for students of all ages in southern Mexico. It's a gift in their honor today that lasts throughout the whole year. Plus, we'll send a custom-made, Oaxaca-inspired valentine by artist Nico Inzerella to your valentine!


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Save the Date for Our 2016 Cinco de Mayo Celebrations!
This year's luncheon will take place on Thursday, May 5th from 12:00-1:00 pm at the  Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial Street Southeast, Salem, OR 97301. Details for our Portland event will be released shortly.

If you wish to attend, please RSVP by emailing info@friendsofpimpollo.org by May 4, 2016. Please include your name, the number of seats you will need and the name(s) of your guests. There is no cost for admission for either event.  We hope to see you there!

College Student Updates
Students Start a New Semester in Early January
Students in our Education Scholarship Program are back in school after having some time off for their holiday breaks. 

ECOSER Program Directors Chelo and Felix reported that the 2nd Annual ECOSER Alumni Meeting was scheduled and that they looked forward to having past-graduates of this program return to share advice with the current college students.
Two Teams Visit Oaxaca in Fall 2015
Teams 65 and Team 66 spend time with students of all ages in Oaxaca.
This past fall, two teams traveled from Oregon to Oaxaca to visit the schools and accompany the community surrounding Vicente Guerrero. 

In October, Board Member Cecelia Monto led a great group down to the area. The group that made up Team 65 split time between studying Spanish at a local language school and collaborating on projects in the community. (See the "postmen," right, who carried concrete posts while working.)

Then, in November, Friends of Pimpollo Founder John Kerr traveled to Oaxaca with the equally great members of Team 66. Some highlights from this group included attending a graduation ceremony for adults completing their primary or secondary education, as well as the inauguration of the third school in the Oaxaca Kids Can Program. This school, Porfirio Diaz, is a bilingual primary school. The students and parents reported that they were very excited for the breakfast phase of the program to commence and were committed to making it a huge success.

Both groups had the opportunity to work closely with and learn from program director Bonifacio Luis Hernandez and many different community members. 

(Left: Members of Team 66 with teachers and cooks at Adolfo Lopez Mateos School after serving breakfast to the students.)


Join An Upcoming Team
Are you looking to join an upcoming team with Friends of Pimpollo? Want to have an incredible learning opportunity in the process? Take a course at Chemeketa Community College during the spring term then travel to Oaxaca with a team from  June 10-19, 2016. 

An info session will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:00 pm. The presentation will be held in Building 9, Room 111 of the main Chemeketa Community College campus. Everyone is encouraged to attend and learn more.

If this team is not the right fit for you but you would like to be notified when additional teams are planned, please contact us and we will add you to our list.
Team Member Spotlight
"I've made about eight trips to Mexico now, including several to Oaxaca, but this was different  and so enjoyable in a different way. Although I've visited FOP's projects a couple of  times before and taught English for several days in one of the schools, I enjoyed the  opportunity to see the broad spectrum of FOP's many different activities. Meeting with and  having the chance to talk to students, parents, teachers and some of the former Pimpollo  students was totally delightful and very informative."

-Mary Laughlin,  Team 66
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Friends of Pimpollo  //  P.O. Box 1107 //   Salem, OR 97308  //  info@friendsofpimpollo.org