After two years of hard work, we are so excited to announce that 33 new computers have been installed in the three public middle schools here in Progreso. There are about 1,700 students in three three public middle schools we work with, and three computer labs that had no computers in them! As of October 1 2021, these students at the Carlos Marx, Benito Juarez Garcia and Rafael Chazaro Perez middle schools all have new computers to help in their studies.
The computers were donated by Rotary Club members in the USA, as well as the Merida English Rotary Club and the Club Rotario Ejecutivo de Progreso. Donations to pay for the costs of upgrading old computer labs with air conditioning and network wiring were also made by the City of Progreso and the Progreso Apoyo Program.
The funds to purchase the computers came as a result of a two-year collaboration between two local Rotary Clubs and the Progreso Apoyo Program, A.C, a civil association in Progreso that provides scholarships to help students succeed in school. These three organizations worked together to submit a proposal for funding as part of a Rotary International initiative called “100 for 100”. This initiative was designed to provide funding for 100 community projects in Mexico to celebrate 100 years of Rotary International service projects in Mexico. The collaborative project, called “Computers for Progreso” was selected for funding from among 400 applications received! Rotary Club members in District 6460, located in western Illinois, raised more than $10,000 USD in support of this project.
For many years, the public middle schools in Progreso had no computers available to teach their students basic computer skills. There were computers in the schools a long time ago, but these became old and obsolete. So while the schools still had old computer labs, they sat empty, because there was no funding available to purchase new computers. As a result, the 1,700 students who attend these public middle schools enter high school without having used computers at all during their middle school years.
The work to raise money to buy new computers was truly an international effort! Organizations in the US, Merida, and Progreso raised a total of $288,876 MX – enough to prepare the old classrooms into computer labs, and to purchase 33 computers- 11 for each of the three schools. The funds came from donations made by the following organizations (amounts in PESOS; divide by 20 to get approximate US$):
- Rotary International – $204,564 through District 6460
- Local Rotary Clubs – $40,000
- Progreso Apoyo Program A.C .- $24,312
- City of Progreso – $20,000
The “Computers for Progreso” project is an excellent example of how foreign residents can work in partnership with local community institutions to improve services like education here in Yucatan. You can learn more about the Merida English Rotary Club and the Progreso Apoyo Program A.C. by visiting their Facebook pages.
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