Educational Assistance

Study programs, language classes, scholarships

Someone Like You


Dr. Seuss
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Sometimes someone says something that just sticks.  One such phrase that has been bandied about recent is “It take a village to raise a child.”  A little research found that the phrase was much older it’s recent popularity. Wikipedia says: … its attribution as an “African” proverb were in circulation before it was adopted for the title of a recent book.

Just what does it take? Home and family members are primary elements. Certainly public and private schools are part of the combination. The question is: Is that enough? Hilario and Bertha Campista don’t think so. They looked around San Felipe and saw many children facing a life-time struggle for survival and asked themselves what can we do to help? Their own experience told them that speaking English would improve their opportunities when these children finished school and set out to look for work. They also knew that even though English is taught in the local schools, very few children develop that skill to a level where it is useful in their daily lives. Like most of us who studied a language in our youth, lack of use and practice leads to the the skill falling by the wayside undeveloped.

In an effort to remedy this, the Campistas started Fundación San Felipe Unidos por La Educación, an English study hall where children could come in their free time to practice their English in a fun, non-threatening environment. They could also get help with studies or use the internet to complete their school assignments. Classes are intermingled with fun activities and sessions are sometimes augmented by stories shared by English speaking visitors. Where we might imagine it would be difficult to get kids to “go to school” before or after their regular school sessions, instead we find the Study Hall bursting at the seams with eager participants.

The Campistas however are only two people, they are not a village. They can’t do it all on their own. They need volunteers who are willing to get involved. People who can spare an hour or two a week to come tell their own stories to the children or put their own language studies to work by practicing their Spanish while helping the children learn English. They also need people who are able to help sponsor the children’s classes. Families who are able pay a small fee for the English classes but many of the children are on “scholarships”. They need patrons to subsidize these scholarships. They need teachers or volunteers to help with the classes so the children can get the personalize attention.

Additionally, the Campistas do teach Spanish classes for a very reasonable fee and also conduct English classes for adults and these classes help support the school and their basic living expenses but since the Campistas are committed to this project full time, they need your financial support.  If you can’t or don’t feel lead to get involved personally in the children’s classes perhaps you can help with a monthly donation?  It’s not nearly as rewarding believe me but it is an important contribution none-the-less.

Remember YOU need to be part of our little village of San Felipe to make a difference.

When Is a Bone More Than a Bone?


Jack London

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.

Sometime back there was a lot of hoopla about a number of notable billionaires setting up trusts to assure that their fortunes would go to charity after their death.  That’s well and good and someday it will make a difference in the future but what about now?  How will that affect those living on the edge of starvation or the battered wife with no place to go today?  They likely won’t be around to benefit from those magnanimous gifts and those that have set them up will not likely know any benefit from them either.  A gift that cost the giver nothing is worth just about that.

12444In our small retirement community one thing is pretty much universal.  Most of us are living on an income smaller than we what we had when we were working.  Though we have an abundance of time, our energy levels and stamina may have also been depleted over the years.  Many of us moved to remote locations, in other countries even, to take advantage of the lower cost of living.  What we find is that lower cost of living is based on the lower wages paid to the locals when they are employed, and they are often unemployed because what work is available is seasonal.  So we are surrounded by an abundance of need at a time in our lives when our resources are limited.

It is at times like this when the true mettle of a person comes to light.  When you see a woman who has perhaps invested her entire life’s savings into helping the local women learn to create and market their crafts and works of art, you know that she knows the true meaning giving, not just of her money but of herself.  Donna Roberts of San Felipe is such a woman.  Click here to learn more about her life and work at Desert Mothers.

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