A Message from Dr Bonnie

Dear Friends and Family,
I hope this email finds you and your family well. Many of you are familiar with my charity effort with Friends of Barron, for those of you who are not, the below link has a detailed explanation. We have many exciting new developments for this year; we are focused primarily on fund raising as we are building a permanent medical facility in this small rural Mexican town of Barron.

Please check out the link below for more detailed information, pictures, and of course a quick easy way to contribute. We are now a 501(c)(3) charity and all your generous donations are tax deductible. It would also be extremely helpful if you share this link on your Facebook Page, Twitter, or email…help get the word out!

All of your past support and interest has really meant a lot to me, I sincerely thank you. I ask for your continued support as we embark on the next stage of our effort. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

All the best


CLICK on the link below:


2017-2018 Scholarship Program Update

Friends of Barron is pleased to present to 2017-2018 Scholarship Candidates. We received a total of eight new applications for University Scholarships and each was outstanding. These kids have already been accepted into their Universities and are attending Fall classes. The cost to support one kid per year in University is $700 USD. We already have commitments from five sponsors to fund the continuing education of their high school students, but we need three more. You might notice that Friends of Barron is no longer offering new high school scholarships. This is because the new school that we helped build, with the support of the EDM Charity Golf Tournament, the Sinaloa Government and others, is now educating 40 Barron high school students.

Total scholarships:  30 (12 prep, 18 university)
New scholarships:   8 (0 prep, 8 university, these are included in the total)
Total cost per year:  $18,000 USD
Total cash collected or committed so far:  $14,650
New sponsors needed:  3 University scholarships

Here are the University Students who Need Scholarships:

  • Jose SanchezJose Carlos –   Age 20   – You might have seen him working at La Tienda de Chula’s Store in Barron. He’s the one with the big smile and with pretty good English. He was a FOB scholarship student during Prep School, but decided to postpone his University entrance for a year so he could work.  He spent a year working in the fields around Barron and quickly decided that he needed a higher education if he was going to be able to get a good job. In 2017, he entered the University of Sinaloa as a student pursuing a degree in Public Accounting. He works 35 hours a week during school and 80 hours a week during vacation to help pay for his education. He is a sports enthusiast and for this community project (it is a requirement for Scholarship students to propose and implement a community project) he sees sporting events as a way to involve Barron’s youth and help keep them away from the usual problems of alcohol and drugs. He is an “A” student.


  • Ana IrisAna Iris –   Age 18  – Ana is enrolled in the Instituto Technologico de Mazatlan studying to become a Biochemical Engineer. With this degree, she hopes to work in Nutrition for big food producing companies like Pinsa or Bimbo. In her spare time, she likes to participate in traditional folkloric dances. For her community project, she wants to help obese people understand their nutritional issues and the need for exercise. She sees the need in Barron for a local gymnasium. Her ultimate goal is to study abroad and learn English. During school, she plans to work 24 hours a week and 48 hours per week during vacations with the goal of contributing $4000 pesos a month towards her own education.


  • Jose ZambranoJose Francisco –  Age 19  – Jose is enrolled in the Polytechnic University of Sinaloa studying to become an Engineer of Animation and Visual Effects. During the week, he works 24 hours a week in a hotel and in a cyber cafe and contributes half of his monthly earnings to his college education. In Barron, he volunteers helping younger kids participate in the arts and in sports. He hopes to set up sports tournaments and works at finding uniforms and equipment for kids to use while participating in these tournaments.

If you would like to sponsor one of these worthy students, please contact Dick McGuire (richardmcg@aol.com) or Dale Lyster (dlyster@shaw.ca).

Thank you!

Breaking News! Amazon Smile Now Enabled

Now that Friends of Barron is a 501(c)(3), we are eligible for many perks, one of which is the Amazon Smile Charitable Contribution Program. All 501s are eligible to receive a .5% premium for everything purchased on Amazon by folks who choose FOB as their charitable organization. For example, the next time you order those new gadgets, you can put the FOB CANAM INC link before you start shopping and .5% of your total purchase price will be paid by Amazon to FOB!  Isn’t that great??

We have just received word that we have seven University students seeking scholarships plus we are moving ahead on finishing the High School and building a medical clinic.  FOB needs your support now more than ever.

So the next time you buy something on Amazon, click this link to add FOB CANAM INC as the recipient of the Amazon Smiles.  In order for FOB to receive the funds, every time you shop on Amazon, you must begin with this link. You are doing a great thing and we thank you for it!!



My Big Dream Contest Needs Your Vote

Unfortunately, I’m not doing well with that “Dream Contest” I entered in Canada to win $5000 for FOB to finish the secondary school computer lab. I’m hundred’s of votes behind the leader but only thirty behind third place. To get to the final, you have to be in the top 3. There is absolutely no commitment involved here. All you need to do is follow the link below and vote for me ( you’ll see my photo with scholarship graduate Aldo).  After you vote, please forward this to everyone you know. 

 Here’s the link to the contest:


The Smiles in Barron Just Got Bigger!

Last week saw the completion of the sixth annual Barron Dental Clinic, sponsored by Friends of Barron.  The usual suspects showed up (the dentists, I mean) and they all worked their buns (and knees) off for four solid days. We treated a whopping 93% of the school aged children and their 4,845 teeth with the following results. The percentages indicate the number of kids that are cavity-free. The colors indicate the year of treatment, blue being this year.

Barron Smile Chart

The percentage increase in cavity-free smiles is huge. This tells me a few things:

  1. The kids aren’t afraid of the dentist.
  2. They actually have learned how to care for their teeth in less than optimum circumstances.
  3. That our dentists are the best.

Please join me in thanking this remarkable group of humanitarians.  Thanks must also go out to those EDM folks who allowed the group to use their condos that week. You are all so very special!!

Barron High School Expands

Due in part to FOB’s efforts to expand high school attendance in the town of Barron, the Mexican government has extended a program providing start-up aid to rural communities like Barron. Education past the eighth grade is not mandated by the government, so rural communities often lack the facilities to educate the graduating 13 year-olds, assuming they will turn immediately to field work, motherhood or other manual labor. In Barron, this is not so; not anymore.

Last year, the State authorities in Culiacan provided a principle, a few teachers and a space in which to educate them at the ninth grade level. With matching funds provided by the parents of Barron and FOB, the Sinaloa Department of Education then built a single room structure and called it a school. And now, due to efforts on the part of the school principal, Ana Cecelia, fundraising has begun to transform the dilapidated residence next door into a school annex. Thanks in part to the cash donation from the nearby Estrella del Mar resort, a result of their annual charity golf tournament, work began to convert a three room abandoned home into a place of learning.

Much progress has been made. Two more classrooms have been added in addition to an office for Ana Cecelia and a fully equipped computer laboratory. The classrooms still need to be finished, the roof must be tiled before the summer rains begin, an air conditioning system is almost a necessity during the fall semester and the security system must be updated. In all, about $15,000 USD needs to be raised to complete these tasks and provide the students of Barron a safe and reliable educational experience.

Because the 2017 eighth grade graduating class now has the option of attending a quality school without traveling into Mazatlan daily, the FOB high school scholarship program has been eliminated. Our current crop of scholarship students will continue to attend their current schools, although seven high schoolers and two university students will graduate this year, having maintained at least “B” average throughout their academic careers. Most maintain averages closer to “A+”. This leaves 24 high school and ten university students in the program for next year. Applications for additional university scholarships, five in all, will go out at the end of May. The completion of the Barron high school will allow Friends of Barron to concentrate on sending deserving young adults on to a university or vocational curriculum that will benefit themselves, their families and their community.

Obviously, funding for these programs is of prime necessity. Please visit our CrowdRise page and donate money to achieve this goal.

2017 Medical Clinic Concludes


Left to Right, 1st ROW: Nurses Lourdes Orouno and Eric Jackson, doctors Robert Chang and Alvin Ong, Kris McGuire. ROW 2: Nursing assistants Miriam and Rosa. ROW 3: Nursing assistant Carolina, Nurses Barbara Sowa and Angie Portland, translators Lenny Rebecca Sigwarth Velasquez and Dick McGuire.

The 2017 Friends of Barron free medical clinic has come to close. This year, we treated over 100 adults, mostly the elderly, who were afflicted with both metabolic and orthopedic disease. Two American doctors, three nurses and a translator volunteered their time and paid their own expenses to travel to Mazatlan from the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Connecticut in order to stage this, the fourth consecutive free medical clinic organized by FOB. Also participating for the first time this year was SAT-sponsored nurse Lourdes Orounó Soto and her team of three Mexican nurses-in-training.

Patients were seen both in the temporary “MASH”-type clinic in the town hall and in the privacy of their own homes if they were not ambulatory. While treatment of acute disease such as rhinitis, influenza and the like were way down, many orthopedic patients from last year’s clinic returned, hoping to benefit once again from pain relieving joint injections. Those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other chronic disease were offered individual counseling along with expert advice on how to improve their lot.


Four Students Still Need Sponsors

The school year is half over and Friends of Barron still needs to locate a few more sponsors to keep these kids in school.  We have been covering their expenses so far this year out of the General Fund, but we really need to free up some more money to finish the high school.

Please see if you can find it in your hearts to spare a few dollars that allow these kids to continue their education.  Thank you!

img_0140Nataly is fifteen years old and began her first year of high school in August. In her free time, she likes to play soccer. but for now, she has to get on the bus in Barron at 5:30 every morning and doesn’t get home from high school until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, leaving little time for sport.” I’ve always been interested in education, particularly education of young children. And so my goal is to become an elementary school teacher. I see the teaching profession as a good way for me to help the society I live in.”

Nataly was a “A” student throughout middle school in Barron. For her proposed community project she expresses dissatisfaction withe the condition of the streets in Barron she would happily volunteer 10 hours a week to help set up trash collection and recycling program so people don’t throw trash in the streets.

img_0143Marco graduated from the Barron middle school in June with a “B+” average. He likes to play baseball and soccer in his spare time. His dream is to become a veterinarian because he loves animals. In his essay, he says he needs a scholarship because, unfortunately, his parents just don’t have the money to send him to school. “For my parents, it’s hard enough to get the money together to live day to day, even though my father works hard, seven days a week and sometimes at night in the fields. My mother is a housewife.”

“My ultimate goal would be to open a veterinary clinic in Barron and take care of displaced animals and animals that don’t have a home. I know that my economic conditions at this time are not very favorable and I’m not sure how I am going to pursue this career. But I am hopeful that I can be successful.”

img_0146Antonia is seventeen years old and is in her second year of high school at the COBAIS in Isla Piedra where she maintains a “B+” grade average. He favorite pastimes are reading and writing and she also enjoys playing soccer. Her goal is to enter University and pursue a career in criminology with a minor in English.

For her community project, she thinks cleaning the place up is a key step toward attracting tourism. She say, “there are many very beautiful places in my community like the river, like the agricultural fields, but they appear spoiled because of trash.”


fullsizeoutput_2fedAlondra likes to read and attends high school in Mazatlan. She is a junior this year. She had a sponsor for her sophomore year but that sponsor has since dropped out of the program. She was a straight “A” student when she graduated from 8th grade two years ago. She is the oldest child with three younger brothers, one of whom requires special education, traveling to Mazatlan to receive special care. Her family can no longer afford the bus fare and Alondra is afraid the same thing will happen to her, preventing her from continuing her education. She is very interested in medicine and would like to be a nurse or a psychologist