I am so excited to announce the next phase of Hope For Mexico. We are going forward and will be building our first school in Mexico hopefully by the end of this year.
As most of you know, Hope For Mexico was born in May of 2011, when my dear friends in Mexico were swarmed by violence due to the on going drug war in that country. I asked what I could do to help and he said plan a rally like other cities around the world and let people know how much you care. So we did, our peace rally was held in Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, it was a great success and allowed me to meet members of the Mexican community in my hometown. Those people have been a great resource to me and they have welcomed me and my family with open arms and have supported our cause ever since. The rally was on the heels of Javier Sicilia’s son’s murder at the hands of the drug lords, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sicilia is a famous poet and journalist in Mexico and from the day of his son’s death he vowed to change the country’s now tainted reputation. He lead Mexicans across the country on a caravan for peace. In June 2011 he created a peace treaty to be signed in the most dangerous city in the world – Ciudad de Juarez and as a journalist myself with an unwavering love for Mexico, I needed to be there and walk the final miles in Juarez to watch the peace treaty signing. So off I went and I was moved to the core of my being that day. I was forever changed and from that day I knew what we had to do. http://ktphotographyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/the-power-of-a-group-united/
Freedom is granted through education and education is the key to change. Mexicans deserve the right to an education like any one else and if we can provide that to even just one person than we will have had a tiny part in changing the world. What if – that one student goes on to do something huge in the world, or simply gets married holds a decent job, raises a good family and encourages his own children to get an education. We all can make a difference.
It’s taken us years to get to this point, my family has not felt safe returning to Mexico as the violence has increased over the years and the timing just wasn’t right. We didn’t know how to proceed with our plans to build schools but this past year, 2012, the perfect storm brewed. My friends in Mexico have been working behind the scenes and managed to get architectural plans for the school, we have a designated village and possible land opportunities to construct the school. The violence has tamed and it’s safe for us to return.
I had the fortunate opportunity to meet with Free the Children, one of the biggest charities in the world helping children through education. And now, the biggest coup yet – I have been shooting and writing books with my brother over the past 8 months and we featured Donna Trellis, the woman who created REACH for the Rainbow, a charity in Ontario that has seen great success for over 30 years. REACH for the Rainbow Her and I hit it off and as they say ‘the rest is history’. After hearing my story over a very long lunch she has offered her help and her presence on our board of Directors. She was moved by our journey and determination to make a difference and said she couldn’t resist and wants to be a part of it. So, we have our first “official board member”.
We are travelling to Mexico in early February to visit the site of the school and get our plans approved. I am working on preparing our official papers for government approval, we will be changing our charity designation, a suggestion by Donna, as we need to be a registered charity that can offer tax receipts. That’s a more daunting process and a very expensive one, but it will make a difference in donation possibilities.
So here we go…..we are officially lifting off! We will be building our schools so anyone who wants to put a team together or come on their own, we will have all the logistics in place for those who want to get their hands dirty and help build it from the ground up. Stay tuned as this is going to be a very good year.