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APOYO
is committed to helping Mexicans bootstrap themselves out of poverty, and become financially independent for life.

At Apoyo, we believe that families can have a better quality of life. With certain skills, motivation, and our team’s guidance and support, the cycle of poverty can be interrupted for good.

Apoyo helps people either start their own businesses or strengthen existing ones. Apoyo works primarily in low-income neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende, and in rural communities in the state of Guanajuato.

OUR PROJECTS

Mamas Program

Healthy and informed women are stronger women.
A project designed at empowering women to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. This new project started with bio-intensive gardening, nutrition and health education, and cooking and food preservation activities.

Apoyo wants to provide an environment where women encourage and learn from one another and in turn, strengthen their communities.

This past year. 33 hardworking women in a rural village called Banda started working together with the implementation of one School Garden as well as private vegetable gardens for their families.



Micro Lending

The EMLP seeks to empower poor entrepreneurs by increasing access to business credit, by making no-interest loans and, most importantly, by providing technical and leadership training. Apoyo’s support to new business owners enables them to realize their dreams, become the catalysts for positive economic and social change in their communities, and allow them to support their families.

Impulso

This program provides an elementary school curriculum designed to teach children financial literacy and critical thinking – in effect, to help them develop financial and civic responsibility. Incorporating financial literacy classes into the school curriculum makes a lot of sense in Mexico where there is a very low rate of commitment to long term financial savings. So much of the population lives from one paycheck to the next and does not put money aside. When families don’t save, it is unlikely they will be able to invest in new businesses, in higher education, deal with unexpected medical emergencies and other costly unforeseen events.

The Student Work/Study Program (SWSP) was begun in 2013 and currently works with 6 high schools in 6 communities near San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, with the objective of preparing adolescents for jobs after graduation. During their senior year of high school, our program manager visits schools and offers a variety of workshops such as Human development, Leadership, Effective Communication, Making decisions, Values, critical thinking, and others. Additional classes such as English and computer skills are available at Apoyo’s office or at the Universidad de Leon free of charge. Apoyo serves as a conduit through which motivated graduates can become prepared with the important skills that companies seek.

The SWSP fulfill its mission by: – Teaching rural high school students how to make a life plan. – Selecting students to enter into an Educational Program on Computer and English when they graduate. – Placing selected students at well paid jobs.

The Learning Center

In the year 2014, The Apoyo´s learning center was inaugurated. The learning center provides training and mentoring to entrepreneurs from the rural area and low income neighborhoods. Apoyo wants to provide an environment where womenen courage and learn from one another in order to create a better life for their families in the future. The education and training is aimed at enhancing self-esteem, strengthening security, and eventually, preparing for the opportunity to create their own income-producing activities in their community. The learning center provides training and mentoring to entrepreneurs from the rural area and low income neighborhoods. *English Classes *Computer Classes *Personal Development *Business Management

OUR HISTORY

by Ezequiel Mojica

Where are you from? Who are you? – We all have a story to tell. This is the story of my life. I was born in a small but vibrant rural village, Santas Marias, in the state of Queretaro. One could say that it was a village without men because at that time, 90% of men above the age of 15 would migrate to ‘el norte.’ For this reason, it never occurred to me to dream about something different. My father crossed the border, illegally, maybe 20 or 25 times, walking through the hills and surrounding mountains.

My brothers did the same and finally, my sisters as well. Occasionally, my father and my mother worked as ‘tlachiqueros’ the people that produce ‘pulque’, which they sold in the market of San Miguel. They also had a small grocery store in the rancho but my father was an alcoholic, so despite my mother’s efforts at running a successful business, we always lived in poverty.

My oldest brother died at the age of 23 from an accident at the Pepsi-Cola factory, leaving a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old behind as orphans and a sequel of pain that blight our family, especially my mother, who literally left everything behind at the ranch and moved to the city. We lost our house, the cornfield, and a part of my life also stayed there: my childhood. We began a pilgrimage in the city, renting small houses in the neighborhoods and in every neighborhood of San Miguel. I was 10 years old then.

School was difficult for me. I hardly finished secondary school and it was only with the help of my mother, working and studying, that I finished high school at the age of 25. Obviously, studying at the university was never a priority in our family although I was interested in continuing my studies. At the time though, it was very difficult for young students from the campo to go on to university; in fact, I am the only one in my family who finished high school, and, believe me, my mother thinks I am a ‘licenciado.’

Because I had no formal higher education, I had to make up for that in some way. I started reading as much as I could. The biographies of Gandhi, Luther King, Cesar Chavez, were my teachers, English books and conversations with Monsivais, Poniatowska and Garcia Marquez. Their books were my school. Now I learn from Muhammad Yunus and Kiyosaki. Then it came my turn to meet the family tradition of pursuing a better life by going to ‘el norte’ which I did by following the railroad tracks to the border at Laredo all the while walking. Walking became a part of my life. Once North, I cleaned offices and schools in Dallas and Mesquite, worked at McDonalds, and was always striving for a better life that always seemed out of reach.

When I came back, I had nothing but the hope of finding a job to survive and help my parents. But then one day, as I was sitting at the Jardin, a young woman approached me and asked, “do you want to work at CASA (a local NGO)?” Something in my life changed then; I found out that I was good for something. I met good and successful people who taught me that anything is possible. 10 years ago I founded, with the help of good friends, a non- profit organization to help entrepreneurs in the rural area to realize their dreams for a better life. This organization became known as Apoyo.

It has been 14 years since my adventure as an undocumented worker in the US, and very recently I have been accepted in a first class training program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My US visa is ready and soon I will get on an airplane for the first time in my life. The learning process continues for me. I want to learn more so that I can continue teaching others in my communities; I want to take the message to remote villages that everything is possible if our goal is to learn, not merely to make money. I want every poor child in our villages to believe everything is possible, no matter where we come from, what our gender is, our skin color, or if we are educated or not: we all have the right to pursue a better life.

Apoyo was established as a non-profit organization in Mexico in 2005.

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US Donors

US tax receipts are issued on behalf of Apoyo Mexico by the San Miguel Community Foundation, a 501 C-3 non profit.

To make your donation on-line click here.

Mexican Donors

We welcome donations from fellow Mexicans, but sadly we are not able at this time to provide Mexican tax receipts. If you would like to donate on-line, click on the PayPal link below: