Twenty plus years ago, Dave and I spent some time living and working in Cabo San Lucas, located at the tip of the Baja peninsula. We made many friends while there, and became especially close with the Aramburo family.
Enrique and Elsa and their six children lived in San Jose del Cabo, where they established a kindergarten to grade 12 English/Spanish school, based on Christian principles. A crucial subject is English, so vital in pursuing careers later on in life. The school was newly opened when we were first introduced and still needed a lot of essentials. Elsa, as director, and her assistant Rosie, were not shy about letting us know what was needed and asking if we could help.
Dave was in Cabo by himself at the time, while I was here in Victoria learning html code for programming websites. He took the school project to heart and immediately set out to help.
What did they need you might ask? Well, how about a school bus, desks, computers, books? OK, sure, why not. Dave talked to the Sooke School District, who happened to have a bus for sale and agreed to take monthly payments. Then he spoke with his business friends about writing cheques to cover those payments. And all backed up by brother Phil, who agreed to co-sign in case we were a few payments short.
In the meantime, my sister-in-law Penny and I and a few others started filling the bus. We sourced out used computers from the government surplus, desks from Pacific Christian school, books from Russell Books and a number of other items.
With the bus full of goodies for the school, our son, Tony, and his friend Aaron, volunteered to drive the bus from Victoria, through the US and down the Baja to San Jose del Cabo, a distance of about 2,000 miles! Plus, the bus was fuelled by propane! Back then, propane stations were few and far between! The bus trip was an adventure on its own which will lead to another story.
The rest is history, a twenty year history now. Elsa lost her husband, Enrique, fifteen years ago and has raised her six children on her own as well as keeping the school running. One of the heartwarming things Elsa does is subsidize some of her students whose families can’t afford to send their children to her school to capitalize on learning the English which will help lift them out of poverty.
When we visited her in San Jose del Cabo recently she mentioned the need for good teachers, especially English teachers. So of course, we thought we would help out, this time through our GreenAngels website.
We are featuring her school, International Instituto de Libertad, on our front page and hope to attract teachers willing to spend a full school year teaching these wonderful kids. I had the opportunity to speak with a few of the students in Grades 9 through 12, and their English is impressive. The school is certainly making a difference in the lives of many Mexican children.