Internet Comes to Barron Primary School

The students attending the Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez primary school in Barron have some things that they have never had before: computers and Internet.  The new Internet connection is tantalizingly close to reality. The tower is built, the radio connection tested and ready. The Mazatlan School District has comitted to pay for the monthly costs of the server. We wait solely upon an administrative detail to be ironed out. As is typical in Mexico, the devil is in the details. We await an address to which to send the monthly bill.

Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, Scotia Bank’s executive and EDM resident, Joe Oviatt has secured another 25 laptop computers for the school. As soon as we can figure out a way to transport them from Vancouver to Calgary, Dale Lyster will load them on a flight to Mazatlan and we’ll be ready to open up a whole new world for the students of Barron. What an achievement!  Many thanks go to Joe for rounding up these laptops, to Dale and Marilyn Jarvis for handling the logistics of transport and to West Jet Airlines for offering to fly them to Mazatlan for free. It does take a village.

Largest Single Donation This Year Received

Many thanks to Pat and Doreen Butler of the Universal Golf Foundation AC and the EDM Management for their generous contribution of $50,000 pesos to support scholarships, school construction projects and other FOB activities in Barron. Over the past several years, FOB has been able to count on the generosity of this foundation and the EDM management in furthering its work with the schools and students of Barron as well as helping us sponsor scholarships for the kids of EDM employees who do not live in Barron.

FOB Sponsors Free Dental Clinic

Claire Silk, a phase one resident and a long-time professional dental hygienist, has organized a free dental clinic for the 250 primary school students in Barron. She has arranged for professional dentisis who are associated of hers to come in the from the United States with all of the equipment and supplies necessary to stage the clinic. The clinic is scheduled for the first week in September 2013. FOB CAN AC is the formal sponsor of the clinic and has assisted with making arrangements with the primary school and will pick up any additional costs for supplies and materials that cannot be acquired through donations. Thanks to Claire and the professional dentists for the generous offer of their time and talents to the kids of Barron.

Update Scholarship Student Sponsorships

Of the 32 students currently on scholarship, all have now been sponsored. Thank you for your generosity. We expect to award at least 10 new high school scholarships and 4 university scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year and we will look for new sponsors to support these students. Check the website in September to acquaint yourself with the new scholarship winners.

University Scholarship Program

In addition to the ongoing FOB CANAM scholarship program to attend preparatory school, we have this year inaugurated a University Scholarship Program. Our goal is to have all of our scholarship students continue on to University. This is being accomplished in two ways; First, some sponsors from the previous years have elected to or are considering continuing their support. The second way is to award two additional scholarships to the university. The following application has been distributed to our graduating class. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to ask.
R.F.C.: FFO-120202-EK7

Scholarship Program to Attend University
2013-2014 School Year
Description and Program Instructions

Minimum value of each scholarship; $9,000 pesos for the 2013-2014 school Year. Two scholarships available,
Available funds for room & boars and transportation will be available for students attending universities outside of Mazatlan. Additional funding for transportation will be available for student attending universities in Mazatlan but who live outside the city.
The scholarship will be payable to the student. There will be 3 payments of $3000 pesos each; 15 Aug 2013, 15 Dec 2013 y 15 Mar 2014.
Continuation of the scholarships and payments during the school year will depend on attendance and grades of the student during the previous semester. Students have to maintain at least a grade point average of 8.0 and 90% attendance at class.
In order to receive the next scholarship payment, the student will have to present proof of attendance and grades to the scholarship program administrator.
Requirements and Selection of the Winners.
In order to be eligible for a scholarship, the candidate must have at least a grade point average of 8.0 and a 90% attendance record for the classes ending the last semester of preparatory school.
The candidate needs to be accepted and registered full-time at the university (not part-time). The candidate will have to present proof of acceptance from the university they will attend.
The applications are due 1 Jul 2013, mid day. The winners will be notified no later than 15 Jul, 2013.

Click here to review the Scholarship Application

The 2013 Graduating Senior Class Speaks

Back in March, we asked our very first graduating class to update their original application essays so we could get a snapshot of how far they had come during the past three years. The response was not exactly what we had expected but, nonetheless, allows a peek into the teenaged psyche. What follows is the English translation of some of the essays that were submitted:

Kathia (sponsored by Tim & Nancy Muzyka)Katia

“Here is wishing you success in everything you do and blessings you and your family”

My name is Kathia Berenice G. I. This year I will finish my studies at the prep school Ruben Jaramillo and like most good students my age I want to continue studying and pursuing my dreams. The economic factor is the principle obstacle that I see in my dream to become a professional. With this letter, I would like to solicit from you a continuing scholarship so I can pursue higher education in the Universidad Autonomia de Sinaloa. I would like to pursue a professional degree in nutrition and chef school. I would like to become a high level professional chef and contribute to the development of food services using the latest technology in culinary science. I am very interested in understanding the food service industry on a regional, national and international level. Unfortunately, to pursue studies for this career is very expensive unless I can get in to some government school. My parents don’t have the economic resources necessary to help me pursue this dream. I have a sister who is already studying at the university and a brother who is in secondary school.

In truth, I really want to thank you for the help you have already given me for prep school but I would be forever thankful if you could help me with my university studies. I promise you that I will discharge my responsibilities favorably if you agree to help me. Its my feeling that intelligence does not only consist of knowledge but one’s ability to apply that knowledge in a practical way.

I will await your favorable response to this humble petition. Before I say goodbye I want to thank you again for the help you have given to me and the help that you have given to so many young people with this program.

Now that I have gotten to this point in life and I am about to finish prep school, it is with a lot of emotion and gratitude that I want to tell you how important my economic help has been and how it helped me continue my studies without interruption. For me and for my parents, if it wasn’t for this help that you have given me, I probably would not have been able to continue my studies.

Bianca (sponsored by Jim & Frances Barnes)Bianca

The reason I am contacting you now is that I hope you will continue to help me with this scholarship because I need it now more than ever because I want to continue studying for a career and it’s even more expensive. I want to continue my studies because I want to be somebody in life. Once I have graduated and have my career, I want to help my community with the knowledge that I have gained during my studies. I know my community needs a lot and seems to be stuck. There is no progress in this community and it seems to me that young people with new ideas can make things better here.

I believe that education is the best basis for life. It seems to me that a person that is not educated does not have much of a future, especially here, where the only thing you can do is work on a farm and the employers treat you very badly. On the other hand, the person who has an education and has a career has a much better future and better opportunities for work. My vision has always been to graduate with a career and not get diverted halfway through my education.

I want to study a business administration and graduate with a career in that subject. My biggest fear is that I get started on my career and my studies and I will not be able to finish because my parents don’t have the economic resources necessary to see me through my college education. For this reason, I hope you will continue your help with the scholarship so I can go forward with my studies. With nothing else to say, I want to thank you again for all the help you have given me and I hope that you will consider my petition for continued help with my studies.

With much love and respect. Thank you very, very much.

Bianca Sarahi C. A.

Guadalupe Cortez (sponsored by Bob & Julie Wallace)Guadalupe

Hello and thank you again for reading this petition. But in reality I want to start by saying that I don’t have sufficient words to thank you for all the help you have given me; not only with economic resources, but also with your friendship, your tolerance, your comprehension of my circumstances and I am thanking you this day for helping me progress with my studies in prep school because now I am ready to start my career at the university.

My name is Guadalupe Cortez A. and I am finishing my third and last year of prep school. I plan to study to become a professional biologist with emphasis in ecology and environment and biological resources and experimental biology. In order to pursue this course of study, I’ll have to leave Mazatlan. I would like to study at the Universidad Automonia de Sinaloa in Culiacan because they are well established in this field. In my first essay three years ago, I said that I wanted to study business administration. But after three years in prep school, I changed my mind 360 degrees, and this new turn has given me new perspectives.

I am sending you this petition because I don’t have the economic resources necessary to pursue this career because my parents are not in a good economic situation. My parents work in the fields and for them it is very hard to educate my brothers and me because there is more than one in school. Nevertheless, my parents give the best that they have because they don’t want the same future for us as they have for themselves. They go to work in the fields every day and each time there’s less and less work because the climate is changing and agriculture is not that productive in this area.

I am asking you for this opportunity because I really want to continue with my studies. I will be forever thankful to you if you give me this opportunity. Thank you for helping me and my friends.

Guadalupe Cortez A.

Alejandra Salazar O. (sponsored by Dale & Lynda Lyster)

Hello. I am Alejandra S. O. I am 17 yrs old and I study at the prep school COBAES 38 and I am in my third year. With this letter, I want t thank you very much for all the help you have given me with my studies. I know that as a student I will never be able to repay you for all you have done for me and my family. You have helped me with my future because I want to continue studying and pursue a career in nutrition. I hope to become a professional so I can help my family because they have given me so much support in my studies. It is my hope that I can continue to count on your support to help me pursue my dreams to enter the university and become a good nutritionist.

Thank you again so much for all you have done for us. You have been so good to care enough to help us. It’s a pleasure to write to you an a thank you for all you have done. Thank you for everything.



Aaron – (sponsored by Sonny Wong)Aaron

First of all, I want to thank you from my heart for the great help that you have given me during these past three years. Thank you for the scholarship, but better said, thanks to all you who are admirable people. I am about to finish my high school and for that I am very happy,

Once I graduate from high school, I would like to go onto the university and I need to ask you to continue to help me pursue my university studies. My parents do not have sufficient financial resources to send me to university and for that reason I hope you will be able to help me with another scholarship. And if you do, my promise to you will be that I will study hard and try to master all the subjects as I did in high school. If for some reason you cannot continue to help me I will be very content to have completed my high school education with the help that you have given me so far.

Finally, I want to reiterate my sincere thanks for the great help you have given me and I want to ask for your help to continue my studies in the future.


Irelda- (sponsored by Keith Prosser)Irelda

Dear Mr Prosser,

First of all, I hope all is well with you. With this letter, I want to thank you for all the help you have given me during these three years. Without your help I never would have been able to finish prep school and now I am almost done with this phase of my education. These past three years, I have been enthusiastically pursuing my high school studies with the idea of entering the university to pursue a career in nursing. I wanted to become a nurse so I could help my community because here there’s not even a medical clinic and there is a lot of need.

But today I have the priority that blocks my pursuit of my dreams and I will not be able to continue my studies. So I will finish my studies with prep school and I will try to find a way to survive, looking for some kind of work because my mother is very difficult for her to continue to help me and my grades have been disappointing.

Nonetheless, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the help that you have given me and I want you to know that very soon I will reach my goal to graduate from prep school.

Thank you very much,


The remaining essays are still being translated. Please check back soon to read them.

Moving Forward

FOB CANAM is preparing to distribute applications for next year’s scholarship students. The 2013-2014 school year will see applicants from eligible students from EDM employee families who do not live in Barron as well as the Barron secondary school graduating class. Additionally, we will be offering University scholarships to some of our own graduating seniors who have been in the program for the past three years. This group will be submitting their exit essays next month; they have been asked to rewrite their original application essays so we can see how they have matured and expanded their horizons. We look forward to sharing these with you. Our fund raising efforts so far have met or exceeded our expectations and we look forward to the the continuing support of our extended EDM “family” as well as the most welcome and appreciated donation made by Estrella del Mar (Playa Construction) through its Charity Golf Tournament, staged last January here in paradise!

Fund Raiser a Big Success

Thanks to everyone who generously supported EDM and Barron scholarship students through their attendance and generous contributions to the FOB fund raiser & taco party. Over 100 people attended the event. Eleven more of our scholarship students now have new sponsors. In all, the event raised $105,000 pesos (net), half of which came from our eleven new sponsors. Of the 32 students currently enrolled in the FOB scholarship program, 27 now have sponsors. Thank you again for your generous support.

FOB Donor List

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes

We are well exercised. Our List of Donors grows every year and as old avenues narrow, others reveal themselves and morph from trail, to street and perhaps to super highways.

In the last three months these EDM residents and friends of EDM residents have contributed a total of $8867 US dollars to the FOB CANAM scholarship and school construction funds. The bulk of the money will go to support high school students with scholarships that cover about half of their annual schooling expenses.
DJR (Dale Lyster, Jim Barnes & Rob Wright)
Cliff and Barb DuFrense
Rod & Terri Kaasa
Rob and Jayne Kenison
Dale & Lynda Lyster
Dick & Kris McGuire
Nancy & Bob Muzyka
Ron & Janice Ohmes
Rita Pacheco
Keith Prosser
Bob & Julie Wallace
Sunny Wong
Many thanks to these generous donors and to all those who care enough to donate their time and money to help these kids.

If you continue to read this blog, you will see what is in the works. And some of that is really exciting. Our new strategy is to incentivise you, the good and generous people of Estrella del Mar and their far flung friends and relatives to stay involved. Stay tuned here. Sign up to automatically get these posts. I promise to keep them short, sweet, business-like.

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ”
― Kahlil Gibran
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
― Kahlil Gibran

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!