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September 28, 2009

After a busy and productive summer, we’ve had time to clean up and get organized (we are now an official Mexican civil association!), and we would like to take this opportunity to fill you in on Anat Kah’s progress and community activities.

  1. Reflections on Camp Corazones
  2. ¡Hermanitos! Update
  3. Eco-Friendly Grocery Bags: A Great Success!
  4. Needs and Opportunities Assessment Update
  5. International Community Foundation’s Guide to International Giving
  6. Thanks to Recent Donors

Reflections on Camp Corazones

This summer, we united 15 young children, half with special needs, with 10-15 youth counselors from the middle school (“the Telesecundaria”) in the Poblado, Colegio Puerto Aventuras, and the United States, along with an amazing group of adult volunteers from Puerto and Playa del Carmen, for the first annual Camp Corazones.

This diverse group of people came together every morning for two weeks to sing, dance, play, draw, read, eat and laugh! We were lucky enough to be able to take two field trips, one to Parque la Ceiba, in the Ejido in Playa del Carmen, and the other to a beautiful private beach north of Playa.

The camp was an incredible experience for everyone involved. We are already looking forward to next summer, and plan on organizing events with the campers and counselors throughout the school year so that the bonds forged at the camp remain strong.

Thank you to all who gave your hearts and energy to the amazing children we were blessed to get to know during those two weeks.

If you are interested in supporting Camp Corazones next year, please contact either Christina Alexander or Carrie Conn.

“The experience that I had at [Camp Corazones] was unbelievable. I never thought I would have so much fun at a camp... it really made me become more patient and understanding... it was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year!”
Dorothy Bernard, Camp Corazones Counselor, LaFayette, Louisiana

¡Hermanitos! Update

After a successful first semester of our mentoring program, ¡Hermanitos! Puerto Aventuras, Anat Kah looks forward to returning to the Guarderia-Ludoteca, and this year to the Telesecundaria, with 16 high school students from Colegio Puerto Aventuras, along with other local youth, who will serve as mentors to elementary and middle school-aged children in the Poblado.

The students have already begun to plan activities for the next few months, which include arts and crafts projects, music activities, and exciting field trips.

If you have arts and crafts materials that you would like to donate to the program (beads, construction paper, glue, etc.) please contact Christina.

Volunteer Opportunity Alert!

This year we would like to expand the ¡Hermanitos! Puerto Aventuras program to include a mentoring program for local university students, particularly students from the Poblado who have received scholarships to attend college in Playa del Carmen, Cancun or somewhere else in Mexico.

In order to proceed with this stage of the program, we are in need of local, adult volunteers who are interested in serving as mentors to these students. The time commitment is not demanding, but the potential impact on the life of a young person is invaluable.

For more information, please contact Christina Alexander.

Eco-Friendly Grocery Bags: A Great Success!

The eco-friendly denim grocery bags are a hit! The high school students at Colegio Puerto Aventuras have already sold over 80 bags, and were able to use the proceeds from the sale to throw an end of the school year party with their “Hermanitos,” as well as to purchase food for an environmentally-focused camping trip that they took to Xcacel Beach turtle sanctuary where they served as turtle “guardians” for a night during nesting season.

We will continue to sell bags at community events throughout the year, including at the Colegio Puerto Aventuras garage sale on the last Saturday of every month, and at the market at Parque la Ceiba in the Ejido of Playa del Carmen. The market is held the third Saturday of every month at Calle 1 Sur and Avenida Diagonal 60. Hope to see you there!

Puerto Aventuras Community Needs and Opportunities Assessment Update

Our work on the community needs and opportunities assessment has begun with the creation of a community mapping of organizations and services that are available to residents of Puerto Aventuras. This mapping will include a listing of local health care and educational services, a directory of active nonprofit organizations, and information about social services programs available through the federal, state and local governments. The mapping will be used both as a resource for us as we develop the next stages of the community assessment, and as a community guide that will be available to residents and visitors in printed format as well as on our website.

International Community Foundation’s Guide to International Charitable Giving

Our friends at The International Community Foundation are proud to announce the recent publication: “A Guide to International Charitable Giving.” The guide provides useful information for donors interested in making charitable gifts to nonprofits internationally (including donations to Anat Kah through the Friends of Riviera Maya Fund) and includes narratives from some of their foundation’s donors who have exciting and inspiring success stories to share. The guide can be accessed at .

The International Community Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that works to facilitate and promote cross-border philanthropy between the United States and Mexico.  U.S. donors can make tax-deductible donations to Anat Kah through the Friends of Riviera Maya Fund at the International Community Foundation.   You can make a donation to the fund by clicking “Give Online” on our website.  

Thanks to Recent Donors

We would like to thank some generous part-time residents who have collected needed and useful materials in their home communities and brought them down to Puerto Aventuras. We welcome donations of materials, and will work to distribute them in an equitable manner, even creating community programs around the materials, if necessary.

Thanks to the Clark family from Delaware, who organized a school supply drive at Wilmington Friends School in Delaware. They were able to collect hundreds of markers, crayons, pencils, pens, sheets of loose-leaf paper, and other useful materials that may have otherwise been thrown away. We have used many of the supplies with ¡Hermanitos! and at Camp Corazones, and were able to provide 15 school supply kits for the students at the Transformar Educando educational program in the Poblado.

Thanks to Ron and Anne Silver who, with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Heathsville, Virginia, donated approximately 1000 toothbrushes! Inspired by this donation, we are working with two dentists to design an entertaining and educational dental hygiene workshop (at the end of which we will distribute the toothbrushes to all participants) that will be brought to the local schools.

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