As the founder of the Educarte in Rocky Point I am incredibly grateful for the generous support we have received that has helped this program grow and thrive in ways I never imagined.
HOW IT STARTED: When I formed a Mexican non-profit in 2016, I assumed that my husband and I would provide the funds to help 25-30 local kids go to school. That first year we had 72 young people apply for support and we couldn’t imagine saying “no” to any of these deserving kids. Fortunately, at that time I had the chance to take over leadership of a small volunteer run non-profit called ‘Steps of Love’. Having a U.S. partner helped us grow support to provide more local kids with a path out of poverty through education.
Over the next five years, thanks to the generosity of so many of you, the Educarte program grew from supporting 72 to more 600 and students and dozens of our students had graduated from high school and were now in college. Of course, as the Educarte program grew, so did its need for financial support from Steps of Love. By the beginning of 2021 it was apparent that, for Educarte to continue to grow and thrive, I could not continue to lead non-profit organizations on both sides of the border.
So, in October of 2021 I agreed to have Steps of Love merge with Esperanca, a 50+ year old Arizona based 501c3 organization that employs a team of non-profit professionals. I am grateful that, for the past 14 months, Esperanca has committed to providing the funds necessary to operate the Educarte program.
THE LEAP OF FAITH! From the beginning, our Educarte program has depended heavily on a commitment of support from a U.S. non-profit—first from Steps of Love and more recently from Esperanca. However, my local team and I have always wanted this to be a true partnership with at least half of the funds being raised from within Mexico. When we moved into our beautiful, new permanent home last January, we saw the opportunity to take a big step in this direction.
We began by opening a thrift store and café on the new site with all profits from these businesses going to support the Educarte program. Our most recent social enterprise venture is a promotional and marketing business that can make large vinyl signs, do screen printing, website design and much more. Plans for future projects include an English language school, a large organic chef’s garden, a vocational training center and more. My local team has also been able to use our new facility to host our own successful fundraising events.
These opportunities led my local team and I to take a big leap of faith at the end of 2022! We decided that, beginning in 2023 we would move forward without a commitment of support from a U.S. non-profit partner. Although this decision was somewhat terrifying, it was also very exciting in that it moves us away from dependency and toward self-sufficiency. It was also exciting in that donations from the United States can now come directly to the Educarte program in Mexico rather than going through a U.S. based non-profit.
If you would like to make a gift from a donor directed fund, foundation or another source that requires funds to go directly to a U.S. based 501c3 organization, please contact me at Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Educarte’s beautiful new permanent home has provided so many wonderful opportunities
Proceeds from our new Hope’s Closet Thrift store support Educarte
We will continue to provide better opportunities for all young people in Rocky Point!