What’s New in 2020?

The year 2020 started out like gangbusters for Friends of Barrón. Estrella del Mar again hosted a Charity Golf Tournament in January to benefit FOB as well as two other charity organizations. Inclement weather interrupted the awards ceremony, but FOB organizers did receive a very large facsimile of a check for $50,000 MXN. These promised funds were immediately earmarked to help rebuild the bathroom at the secondary school in Barrón. In that school, there are 120 children destined to wait in line for the only single, malfunctioning bathroom available to them. These monies are going to a very good cause as acknowledged by the Charity Golf Tournament organizers, Jorge Corral and Maritza Estrada. The marketing of this historically charitable event was quite effective. About 150 golfers signed up at an average $6000 MXN each; that is at least $900,000 MXN, a portion of which was to benefit the charities. FOB received $50,000 MXN on June 15, 2020, so now, with EDM’s help, we hope to finish the bathroom project.

January 29 was the date set for the annual primary school dental fluoride clinic. EDM residents Claire Silk and Jan Schoen helped the local Barrón dentist, Dr. Javier Witrón treat the 200 students enrolled in the primary school. Permission slips went out and almost every student was treated with fluoride. Those with cavities were given a free treatment coupon to the FOB clinic which was about to open. There, Dr. Witrón can more easily treat the patients in a professional setting.

                         Dr. Witrón working on a primary school patient.
                         He is assisted by Claire Silk and Jan Schoen.

Here’s an update on Ivana, the student who has been adopted by Christina Richardson. Christina volunteered at last year’s fluoride application clinic and was so enamored with this fifth-grader, she determined to pay for much-needed braces for her teeth. It turns out that her case was a complex one and after a year of free treatment at the Centro clinic of Dr. Susana Pedrero, the foundation hardware had been installed. While Christina pays for the x-rays and hardware, Dr. Susana is donating all her time. It is Ivana who must faithfully attend each of numerous appointments and bear the discomfort. FOB would like to thank Claire, Jan, and Susana for the selfless dedication to their craft and we are happy to help provide them an outlet to spread their kindness.

This is Ivana showing off her new palate spreaders.

When it came to light that the computers donated years ago by an about-to-retire Joe Oviatt, were either obsolete or dysfunctional, FOB sent out a letter requesting donations. During the week of February 23, 2020, EDM residents responded and we were able to raise an additional $120,000 MXN. Using those funds, we purchased 18 brand new Google Chrome computers. Our computer-whiz expert, Jeremy Kennell, was busy getting them set up to conform with the eight remaining functional computers in the lab when the schools closed for Spring Break. When they were unable to reopen because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the computers were put away safely to await the new semester. One note, the average class size at the primary school is about 35 kids. If we were able to provide a few more computers, it would make learning a lot easier. The chrome books are $6000 pesos each. If you would like to buy the 19th or 20th computer, please let us know.

A new Chrome book for Barrón.

Over Spring Break, work began to expand the secondary school’s single-hole bathroom into a modern, sanitary, three-stall facility; two for the girls and one for the boys. As the project neared half-completion using community- and district-sourced funding, work was halted due to lack of matching funds promised by FOB and parents of students. An additional $80,000 MXN is needed to complete this project, $50,000 recently provided by EDM and the remainder by the school parents.

Gerardo Amezquita surveys his good work to date on the new bathrooms at the secondary school.

February also saw the opening of the long-awaited Barrón Dispensario, a combined dental and medical clinic. Using funds raised on the internet by FOB and other donations over the past three years, the property was rented, refurbished, and equipped to house both a medical and a dental clinic for the people of Barrón. FOB hired a doctor, a dentist, and a nurse to offer basic health care in a clean, modern, welcoming facility. Its success was gradual, but by the end of March, a steady stream of satisfied patients were gracing its doors. Our dentist, Dr. Javier Witron, even provided emergency treatment for a South African golfer aspiring to play in the Estrella del Mar-sponsored PGA event. But as fate would have it, the pandemic forced our clinic to close its doors temporarily. All staff members continue to receive their salaries throughout the closure.

The good news is that the Barrón Clinic is planning to reopen soon. Our nurse has been able to obtain the necessary personal protective equipment to safeguard our health care providers as they once again open the doors to care for the good people of Barrón. While one doctor from Villa Union has succumbed to the virus and several cases and at least one death were reported in Barrón, our staff will decide when they are able to once again serve because they purchased the required PPE. We need to raise an additional $100,000 MXN to cover unanticipated costs incurred by the medical/dental clinic due to the pandemic.

The schools are another thing. They will not be reopening this semester but the fall semester is just around the corner. FOB  has recently distributed $104,000 MXN  in scholarship payments to our 26 scholarship recipients for this past semester, even though the schools were closed, but continued to operate with all on-line classes. Several of the program participants have graduated but the others are anxious to resume their in-classroom studies next semester. This program rolls along due entirely to the dedication of the student sponsors. These sponsors, the majority of whom are EDM residents, have been able to establish meaningful relationships with their student(s) and their extended families.  This continues to be a very popular program with sponsors whose students have graduated. Sponsors are eager to support a new scholarship candidate as a way to participate in the local culture by truly helping an aspiring student in need and for the thrill of witnessing their student’s achievements. The newly elected Mexican government last year promised to provide all lower-income students with scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to all levels of students from primary school to university. We admire the new administration’s novel approach to a guaranteed minimum income. Many of the families in Barrón qualify for this much-needed income stream. This may require that FOB take another look at our scholarship program. We have, over the past eleven years, modified the scholarship program requirements to ensure maximum benefit for our deserving students and we will continue to do so.

Guadalupe graduates and Kelly and Joe Peters celebrate too

So where do we go from here?

FOB has raised funds on the internet and committed these funds to keep the dental/medical clinic open for a full year. All salaries are guaranteed and at-cost or free services will be provided to anyone who walks through the door. FOB feels that it is not only in the best interests of this isolated community but also for the main, outside employer of Barrón residents, Estrella del Mar. As the resort reopens, they can rest assured that the families of their employees will have a local, reliable, available, and affordable place to seek medical and dental attention.

This is a pilot program to provide operational seed money with the long-term goal of having the clinic stand on its own financially. Doctors, dentists, and nurses will gradually increase fees and solicit additional outside donations such that, after a year, the clinic could be self-sustaining with a minimum of FOB support. During this time and beyond we expect to once again offer specialty healthcare providers from Mexico, the US, and Canada an opportunity to do mission work, this time in a well-equipped and suitable facility.

If you would like to facilitate the school bathroom project, help cover the costs incurred by the FOB medical/dental clinic during the pandemic, or contribute to our classroom computerization program please donate using FOBs new PayPal account (FOB_CANAM@aol.com). Any amount in any currency will be greatly appreciated. Make a note in the instructions box if you have a preference as to which project your donation will support.

We thank you, in advance, for your support. 

Overview of FOB Activities in Barron

FOB CANAM, Inc.’s mission is to help improve educational, health, and economic conditions for the residents of Barron, Sinaloa, Mexico, a town of 2,000 people located twenty minutes south of Mazatlan. Friends of Barron (FOB, also known as FOB CANAM AC) has been working in Barron for ten years and the needs of the schools and the community continue to grow.  We are always in need of financial support for the many projects we have listed below.  Please note:  100% of the money that is raised goes directly to our projects.  There are no administration fees – the foundation is totally run by volunteers.

  • FOB CANAM, Inc. provides scholarships to students that are looking to continue their high school or university education.   We are always looking for sponsors for these individual applicants.
  • FOB CANAM, Inc. donates computers and schools supplies to each of the five schools in Barron. We are working to bring Internet connectivity to the High School.
  • FOB CANAM, Inc. also provides free dental clinics for kindergarten and primary school students and provides a one week medical doctor health clinic for community members in need.
  • FOB CANAM, Inc. provides micro-loans to local women who are looking to start their own business and become self-sufficient members of society.
  • FOB CANAM, Inc. also provides 50% of the financial resources that the schools identify for their infrastructure projects.  The other 50% is provided by the schools.  For example, we are now building two classrooms for the new high school. These two projects will cost $160,000 pesos.

As you can see, we are very busy. Each of these projects requires money. If you are interested in supporting the students and families of Barron, please go to CrowdRise.com/friends_of_barron and make a donation.

FOB Progress Checklist for 2017


  • 30 kids on scholarship
    • 18 High School
    • 12 University
  • 22 sponsors
  • Annual Cost: $17,100 USD
  • Funds Raised: $12,700
  • 8 New Sponsors Still Needed


  • Internet brought to all three Barron schools
  • 50 computers donated and installed in these schools
  • New high school (one room) built; 3 additional existing classrooms being remodeled
  • Total Project Cost: $38,000 USD
  • FOB Commitment: $15,000 USD
  • Funds Raised: $4,500 plus donated computers
  • Funds needed to complete project: $10,500 USD


  • 200 elementary school kids treated annually
  • Volunteer US, Canadian and Mexican dentists, hygienists and staff
  • EDM residents donate time, equipment and supplies
  • Fifth Annual Dental Clinic scheduled in May 2017.
  • Marked improvement in dental health documented


  • Over 900 patients treated in the past 3 Annual Medical Clinics
  • Volunteer US, Canadian  and Mexican doctors, nurses and staff
  • Volunteers donate equipment and supplies
  • Fourth Annual Medical Clinic scheduled for the last week of April
  • New medical dispensary being equipped by FOB
  • FOB Commitment: $5,000 USD
  • Funds Raised: $3,800 USD
  • Funds Needed for April Clinic: $1,200 USD


  • Mike Winey
  • Dick & Kris McGuire
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Dave Greiner
  • Rita Pacheco
  • Bob & Mary Sanz
  • Jeff & Pam Hawkinson
  • Tom Turner
  • Sue Scholton
  • Harrison Wreschner
  • Michael Henderson
  • James Wreschner
  • Marc Lehmann
  • Ed & Eileen Murray
  • Caroline Lodato
  • Rebecca & Jonathan Tipermac
  • Pat & Sue Broderick
  • Gene & Jan Lombardo
  • Carole O’Blenes
  • Anonymous Donors
  • Estrella del Mar Charity Golf Foundation


  • Rene Carlson
  • Kelly Cosgrove
  • Sandy Vernon
  • John Serra
  • Ron & Janice Ohmes
  • Dick & Kris McGuire
  • Sonny Wong
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Bill & Jane Jackson
  • Bette Millar Long
  • Jim & Frances Barnes
  • Joseph Peters
  • Dave & Elaine Greiner
  • Ken & Jan Clarence
  • Rob & Jayne Rupe
  • Rod & Terry Kaasa
  • Bonnie & Harrison Wreschner
  • Rob & Marjorie Wright
  • Dave & Lindy Marvin
  • John Watson
  • Bob & Julie Wallace


  • Dr Bonnie Wreschner  MD
  • Dr Rod Kaasa  MD
  • Claire Silk   RDH
  •  Jan Schoen  RDH
  • Dr Ben Kaasa  MD
  • Dr Kurt Ferre    DDS
  • Dr Jeff Astroth  DDS
  • Deborah Astroth   RDH
  • Dr Todd Kaminski   DDS
  • Dr Ryan Dadodavich    MD
  • Madeline Tirado   RN
  • Dawn Martin   RN
  • Lisa Brennan   RN
  • Lourdes Orouno Soto  RN
  • Dr Lavid Torres   MD
  • Dr Miguel Patino   MD
  • Yanira Owens  RDH
  • Vanessa Cook   RDH
  • Dr Davina Rose  DDS
  • Dr Galen Detrick  DDS
  • Dr Stephanie Rounds  DDS
  • Dr Susana Pedrero DDS
  • Kim Valentino   RDH
  • Dr Marjan Mohajan DDS
  • Eric Jackson   RN
  • Dr Rick Moll    DDS
  • Dr Barbara Cohen  MD
  • Fran Festa   RN
  • Dr Sandy Lithgow  MD
  • Anna Ohmes    RN
  • Barb Sowa    RN
  • Kay Yeagley  RN


  • Joe & Berenice Oviatt
  • Scotia Bank, Canada
  • Cliff & Barb DuFresne
  • Joe & Linda Day


  • Dave & Elaine Greiner
  • Lance Gutersohn & Jeremy Kennell
  • Clair Silk
  • Mike Winey & Sandy Vernon
  • Bob & Julie Wallace
  • Bill & Jan Schoen
  • Clay & Jan Simon
  • Gary & Ann Steck
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Kris & Dick McGuire
  • Janice & Ron Ohmes
  • Mike & Shawna
  • Torrey Cosgrove
  • Fernando Campeon & Marie Claude Bouffard
  • Jack & Debbie Gilman

Our thanks go out to each and every one of these volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your time, money, expertise or condo/home towards this good cause, please contact Dale Lyster (dlyster@shaw.ca) or Dick McGuire (richardmcg@aol.com).


State of the Charity Letter

Friends of Barron has had the most successful year since we began nine years ago.

Our highlights include:

The Third Annual Medical Clinic successfully treated over 250 residents of Barron.  The new feature this year was free eye glasses donated by the Lion’s Club of New York. There is a major need for reading glasses.  Special thanks to Kris and Dick McGuire and their daughter, Dr. Bonnie Wreschner, who coordinated a team of US doctors and nurses for the 4 day clinic.  Thank you to all those EDM residents who donated their time and condos to the medical team and made their stay at EDM most enjoyable.

The Dental Program is going very smoothly under the direction of Claire Silk. The team of volunteers has enlarged the program to include fluoride treatments of elementary and kindergarten students and is really beginning to make a difference with the dental health of Barron’s children. A team of dentists will offer a dental clinic to residents of Barron in May.  One of our EDM residents, Dr. Todd Kaminsky, is aggressively seeking needed dental equipment to assist the dentists in their work.  Thank you to all the EDM residents who work at these clinics or donated your condos.  Without your support, the dental program would not be the success it is.

The Education component of Friends of Barron continues to be very active. Thanks to the generosity of Scholarship Sponsors, all of our eligible students have received funding and we are fully subscribed.  The emphasis on further education is now showing a trend of more students from Barron going to high school.   We also have 17 graduates pursuing post-secondary opportunities and 10 university scholarships which generous patrons are funding.

Our work at the schools has focused on bringing the Internet to both the elementary and junior high.  A special thanks to Carlos and his IT department at EDM that volunteered their time to set up the classrooms for Internet.  We’d also like to thank Joe Oviatt and family and Dave and Elaine Greiner for their generous donation of computers.

We are partnering with the junior high school to complete their computer classroom presently under construction.  We are also supporting the high school teachers in their application to build a classroom.

Our disappointment includes:

Our major fundraiser has always been the Annual Charity Golf Tournament held at EDM.  Our funding has steadily declined until this year, we received – nothing.  The reasons given were the one-day change of venue to El Cid and the many requests for refunds.  We are disappointed that a golf tournament, using our name to market it, has chosen not to give us any money.

Thank you to all the people who have donated money to Friends of Barron.  Without your support, all these programs would be very limited as you, are now, our only source of funding.

Thank you,

Dale and Lynda Lyster





Friends of Barron is proud to announce that they have located sponsors for all but two of their student scholars. Twenty-seven Barron students now have scholarships; 17 high school students and 10 university students. FOB would like to thank the following donors and new sponsors for their recent contributions:

  • Rita Pacheco – Medical & Dental Clinics; Scholarships
  • Dave & Elaine Greiner – Sponsor for Rosalinda, Sophomore in High School
  • Rob & Jayne Rupe –  Sponsor for Jorge, Merchant Marine Academy
  • Bonnie & Harrison Wreschner –  Sponsor for Teresita, University of Sinaloa
  • Glenn Long & Bette Millar Long – Sponsor for Jesus Abraham, Sophomore in High School
  • Ron & Janice Ohmes – Sponsor for Ricardo, Junior in High School
  • Sandy Vernon – Sponsor for Amairany, Junior in High School
  • Sonny Wong – Sponsor for Jesus Idelfonso, Junior in High School
  • Bill & Jane Jackson – Sponsor for Rodolfo, Sophomore in High School
  • Ken & Jan Clarence – Sponsor for Alondra, Senior in High School
  • Richard & Kristine McGuire – Sponsor for Iris, University of Sinaloa
  • Thomas Turner – Medical & Dental Clinics
  • Jan & John Serra  – Fatima, Junior in High School
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster – Litzy, Sophomore in High School and Kenia, University of Sinaloa
  • Gene Lombardo – School Projects
  • Pam & Jeff Hawkenson – School Projects


Sandy Vernon & Amairany


Jan & John serra sponsored Fatima



Glenn Long and Bette Millar Long with Jesus Abraham


In other news, FOB and their contactor recently completed installation of a new Internet tower at the Barron middle school. Their new computer lab is now open due to the generosity of Joe & Berenice Oviatt (13 computers), Dave & Elaine Greiner (6 computers) and the EDM IT Department.


New Computer Lab

In June, 2016 applications for scholarships will once again go out to the 2016 Ninth Grade graduating class at the Barron Middle School. The scholarship program is in its sixth year of operation and many of the students who were on scholarship throughout high school have now entered University. Several sponsors have continued to support their students in University. As more and more scholarship students successfully complete high school, FOBs emphasis on University scholarships will gradually grow.

FOB also looks forward to benefitting from the recent EDM sponsored Charity Golf Tournament. On January 30 & 31, one hundred sixty-six players took to the links to raise money for four charitable entities, of which FOB was one. Once received, the money will be used to complete the new computer classroom/laboratory for the Barron Middle School.

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Bedspread Creation Up for Auction

Of course, financial needs are ongoing. To help raise money for FOB programs, an anonymous craftsperson has donated a beautiful Queen-sized bedspread. It will be auctioned off in the near future.









In another fund raising effort, FOB is offering handcrafted club head covers for sale.  When you order custom club head covers, FOB CANAM AC will donate half the money to the school Project Fund. The balance goes to “La Comadria”, the women who construct the covers. Order form information will be forthcoming in another post.

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Crochet Floral – Style #1

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Crewel Team Logo

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Crochet Floral – Style #2


Crewel Floral – Style 3

2012 Annual Report

The Friends of Barron Annual Report has been published and distributed. You can find it here on the “Annual Report” page (look at the top of the blog site and click on “Annual Report”) or if you prefer old fashioned paper, reports are on all the bulletin boards throughout the EDM complex. Please read them and return them to save paper and ink. If the report is missing from the bulletin board, just let me know and I’ll replace it. Thanks for your support!

Fall Progress Report

Scholarship Program
With the recent generous donation of $9600 pesos by Sonny Wong, we have now raised almost $97,000 pesos towards our goal of $150,000 pesos to fund the 2010-2011 scholarship program to send 15 Barron students to preparatory school in Mazatlan. Thanks so much for your generosity.

Each of 15 student parents received scholarship payments of $2,000 pesos in August and October of 2010. Parents are required to present grades and proof of attendance for their students before payments are made. The next payments will be distributed 15 Jan 2011.

Computer Classroom
Friends of Barron donated nearly $24,000 pesos toward construction of a new computer classroom at the secondary school. The total budget for this project is estimated to be around $250,000 pesos. The Barron community (including the FOB contribution) and the Mexican Government match amounted to about $100,000 pesos in funding for this project for 2010. The money was used to complete foundations and walls for the new classroom. Fundraising will continue for this project in 2011.

The library, located in the Barron primary school, opened to the public in March, 2010. FOB funded a 6 month position for a librarian to maintain a regular schedule to keep the library open outside of school hours. In December, we will review the usage and public interest in the library.

Why Education is Important

Education is the knowledge or skill developed by a learning process or experience. It is central to the development of children so that they can lead a more fulfilling life. Education also has the ability to empower people so that they can make a contribution to their community.
“Education can significantly improve people’s lives. It benefits people, society, and the world as a whole. It enables people to read, reason, communicate, and make informed choices about their lives. A more educated person often has more opportunities in life, earns more and has a higher standard of living. Each year of schooling increases a person’s earnings by 10%! Skilled workers enable a country to develop and become wealthier as a nation, which benefits all. A skilled labor force creates, applies and spreads new ideas and technologies. Without education, inventions like electricity, medicine, cars, computers, video games, and much more wouldn’t exist!”
“Education is one of the most powerful ways to reduce poverty and inequality, and to pave the way for sustained economic growth. Studies demonstrate that illiteracy corresponds to regions with greater poverty.” http://youthink.worldbank.org/