This week at our regular Tuesday lunch meeting at Boston’s Pizza, guest speaker Fred Devos from Friends of Puerto Aventuras (FOPA) received a grant in the amount of 25,000 pesos from the Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside.
From almost the beginning of his life in Puerto Aventuras, he became a liaison between the village to the west of the highway and the folks living in the marina area. Fred shared that there are a lot of needs in the fast-growing village of Puerto Aventuras. He noticed early on that a program with long-term goals was needed as opposed to putting out fires whenever they appeared. Through FOPA, Fred started offering English classes five nights a week in the village. Currently, they have another teacher to help and now they have classes for children with their own teacher.
15 years ago, Friends of Puerto Aventuras started a program for ongoing education and scholarships. At that time there was no school in the village. Once a secondary school was finally built in the poblado, FOPA provided grant money for students who qualified to attend university in Playa del Carmen. Qualified students have to maintain certain grade levels to continue receiving the grants.
Fred shared that our grant allowed them to admit five more students into the program. YAY SEASIDE ROTARY! He said the program is very heartwarming because he can see the difference it makes to the students. The degree each student receives really makes a difference between getting a high-paying job or not. The benefits extend to their families and future families as well. A degree and the ability to speak English both make a huge difference as we know.