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FEATURE - June 2018
Mexico has the 14th largest economy in the world, however it continues to be one of the most unequal countries in the world. More than half of the population is poor and more than 55 million Mexicans live in poverty. Almost half of Mexicans are under 25 years old and the average age of women at their first birth is 21 years old. Teenage pregnancy continues to be a problem in Mexico and single motherhood continues to be extremely prevalent in Mexican communities.
Centro Infantil de los Ángeles is a nonprofit organization that provides free, quality daycare and preschool education to children with the greatest need in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Our center affords working parents the comfort of knowing their children are fed, nurtured and can learn in a safe, caring environment as they work to make a better life for themselves and the community as a whole.
The organization currently serves over 155 children ages 1 month to 5 years old, providing continuous care until the children are able to enter the public school system. The center provides a happy, educational environment for children under the age of five where they get to play, eat, learn and laugh. In addition, it has become a support network for local women who complete an hour of service for each day that their child is at the day care, thereby participating actively in the care of their children.
Even though the children are from some of the most economically disadvantaged homes in San Miguel, over 70% of their scores were “above average” or “outstanding” in standardized tests given by the Secretary of Education. The teachers scored 93 out of 100 in their evaluations, and the school was one of 3 schools in San Miguel (a city of over 120,000) that was recognized for special achievement by the Secretary.
Centro Infantil de los Angeles relies heavily on its international volunteer program which brings together incredible people from all over the world to support the daycare and preschool teachers in their daily work. Volunteers stay in the center’s volunteer guest house which provides a communal atmosphere and is attached to the daycare. In addition to providing much-needed classroom support, volunteers get involved with fundraising and events. The deep connections formed with the children and the staff often lead to return trips and long-term friendships.
CTo learn more about Centro Infantil de los Angeles, you can visit www.centroinfantil.org. The center is always looking for more volunteers! To find out more about volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.