Poverty is a huge social problem in Mexico, which is why many relief organizations dedicated to helping the country’s poor and disadvantaged have been created. The Mexican government agency Consejo Nacional de Evaluaci0n de la Politica de Desarollo Social, otherwise known as CONEVAL, estimates that as of 2012, at least 45.4 percent of the country’s population was poor or living in poor conditions. With these numbers being very slow to improve, social service organizations are needed more than ever in Mexico. Here are 3 Mexican relief organizations that are trying to make a difference.
Project Amigo is an organization that believes the key to reducing Mexico’s poor population is education, especially in poor rural areas. The non-profit was started by husband and wife Ted and Susan Hill, who witnessed first-hand the dire economic state of many residents in Colima, Mexico during a vacation in 1984. Moved to do something to help, they started a typing school in 1986 in Mexico, and Project Amigo quickly grew from there.
Humanitarian services and scholarship programs are two large components of Project Amigo’s work in Mexico. The organization distributed its first college scholarships in 2002, and as of 2014, 45 Project Amigo scholars have earned a college degree. Today, over 90 percent of high school students who graduate after working with Project Amigo go on to study at a college or university. Project Amigo also collaborates with Rotary clubs to accomplish its goals and raise awareness about its initiatives and the plight of Mexico’s poor and disadvantaged people.
TECHO is a unique Mexican relief organization in that it runs on the dedication of youth volunteers. The main goal of TECHO is to defeat poverty in slum towns, which are, unfortunately, abundant in Mexico. By mobilizing youth, TECHO strives to promote healthy community development in Mexico, create social awareness and actionable plans to create change, and act as political advocates for those in poverty.
Rather than solely give aid or pour money into communities run by inefficient governments, TECHO works to get those living in slums to become an active part of implementing solutions to their conditions and rise out of poverty. In addition to their work in Mexico, TECHO also services a great number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their offices are in the US and London, England.
Like Project Amigo, VAMOS! is a non-profit that was started by citizens of the United States. The acronym stands for Vermont Associates for Mexican Opportunity and Support, and is a small, powerful ally of poor people living in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. VAMOS! is especially concerned about helping bring children in the area out of poverty and ensure that they have access to nutritious foods. By helping Mexico’s children escape poverty and live better lives, VAMOS! believes that a greater percentage of future generations will be able to avoid living in poor conditions.
They hold many fundraisers throughout the year that directly benefit Cuernavaca’s poor. VAMOS! fundraising initiatives have included book drives and clean water programs. Because of a grant from The Woodhaven Foundation, every cent that is raised through VAMOS! is able to directly benefit the people the organization aims to help.