Category Archives: Events

Surf’s up! – Celebrate International Surf Day at Mision Mexico

Kick off the work shoes, put on the swim-suit and prepare yourself for a day of fun in the sun and a bunch of waves on Friday, June 20 because we’re celebrating International Surfing Day!

This International Surfing DayFriday 20 June, we encourage you celebrate how the ocean has not only influenced your life but our children’s lives too.

Our kids heavily depend on the ocean not only for fun, but also as a form of healing and an escape from their traumatic pasts. Our unique surfing program has helped our children find confidence in themselves and a belief that they can achieve anything they want to.

“It excites me and fills me with adrenaline, being on the water is a special feeling

International Surfing Day is a celebration of the sport and the lifestyle it has created around the world, as well as the sustainability of our ocean’s resources.

Our very own surf ambassador and famous professional big wave surfer, Andrew Cotton, echoes these thoughts and loves the celebration of International Surfing Day each year.

Surf ambassador Andrew Cotton

Surf ambassador Andrew Cotton

“It’s a great way to promote and educate people about surfing and all the positives it can bring into peoples lives,? he said.

“Sport in general has a really positive impact for health and mindset. There’s no better way to spend time, it keeps you fit and healthy but more importantly it’s so much fun,? Andrew added.

Andrew also said it was the passion for surfing and the great story behind Misión México that enticed him to get involved with us!new balance mr 870

“Seeing the video Somewhere near Tapachula about the kids at Misión México and what Alan and Pamela Skuse were doing there really inspired me. Surfing has brought so much happiness into my life and seeing it do the same for these kids was amazing,? said the big wave professional surfer.

You can help Misión México and Andrew celebrate this great day around the world by sharing your favourite surf photos with us on Instagram  and Twitter  or why not come and volunteer with us and join the Mision Mexico surf community!

So have a surf, have some fun, and know that on International Surfing Day we at Misión México are thanking you from the bottom of our hearts – hopefully with good waves and plenty of sun!

Surfs up!

Thumbs up for Andrew's teaching skills!

Thumbs up for Andrew’s teaching skills!

What will you wax for Misión México?

JuniorWax on, wax off!

Have you got some hair that should probably be removed? Yes? Great! No? Well do it anyway!

We’re pleased to announce Misión México is tearing ourselves off our boards as we’re being featured on the Big Wax Wednesday, a new fundraising challenge helping to raise money for great causes.

In order to get involved, all you have to do is nominate a part of your body you’ll wax, start raising money, then take part in the Big Wax on Wednesday, 25 June!

Andrew Cotton, professional big wave surfer and Mision Mexico ambassador, is supporting this campaign;

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can participate from where ever you like!”

What are the Big Wax Wednesday rules?

Want to learn the rules? You can find out all you need to know on the Big Wax Wednesday site.

And if you participate and have a hairy friend, you shouldn’t forget to ‘Wax & Nominate’. It’s the right thing to do… because it’s for charity! Make sure you take some photos to share with friends to help raise money. Read more on Mision Mexico’s fundraising tips.

Tell us here what you intend to wax and we look forward to seeing some silky smooth skin all over the globe on Wednesday, 25 June.

So go on, wax on, wax off!

Papa on his surf board...what will he wax?!

Papa on his surf board…what will he wax?!

Women’s t-shirt – Military Green

This long-sleeved, sheer (T-shirt) provides a subtle peek of skin at the sleeves, with an extra-long and slim-fitting cut throughout the torso. Ideally tailored to hug and flatter your curves, this shirt can be worn alone with a cami, tank or bandeau underneath, or as an undershirt to provide an extra layer and pop of color. Try it underneath a vest, short-sleeved shirt or sleeveless dress. The small, round neckline is soft and feminine — ideal for good neck and facial lines — and the mesh fabric is breathable, comfortable and totally en vogue. Shirt comes in S, M, L and XL; 78 cm long. Choose from military green, cherry red or sophisticated black. (via dresshead)

Winter Magic Festival fundraiser in the Blue Mountains

Misión México will be represented at The Winter Magic Festival. The Winter Magic Festival is a free, annual community event, celebrated around the Winter solstice in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.

Winter Magic is the Blue Mountains highest profile and most anticipated annual event. It is the weekend when artists, musicians, dancers, drummers, choirs, stalls and community take over one of Australia’s most famous towns.

The mother of one of Misión México’s volunteers, Dominic Attard, is fundraising for Misión México by selling a selection of vegetarian food at one of the stalls of the festival.

In addition to this the Katoomba/Leura Senior citizens group are graciously lending us their cafe kitchen to prepare the food and will also be making a donation.

If you are attending the Winter Magic Festival be sure to stop by the Misión México fundraiser stall to try some of the delicious food and let us know how it was! Winter in the Blue Mountains is a special time and this festival always proves a great day out.

Got a fundraising idea? Let us know!

Winter magic festival logo

Dominic Attard at Mision Mexico in Tapachula.

Dominic Attard at Mision Mexico in Tapachula.


Mother’s Day – Motherhood, tough but worth it!

This Mother’s day we asked Pamela Skuse to tell us what it is really like being “Mamá” to so many children at Misión México. Motherhood is certainly interesting!

It’s certainly been a challenge to be mother to numerous children from dysfunctional backgrounds, linked by the curse of poverty. Raising six children was a challenge in itself, but then to take on the responsibility of children who are each carrying scars of abuse and suffering, in a developing country, hasn’t been easy.

Though, through all the hardships of raising such children, I have learnt so much and to love unconditionally. In return, I have received love in abundance.

Pam, Luis, Daniela & Marli

Pam, Luis, Daniela & Marli

How wonderful for me to see each of these children grow and develop talents that would have remained untapped if they had not come into the love and security of this very big family.

I won’t lie; it’s been an incredibly hard journey, but also so satisfying now to see that the children are finally challenging themselves to become ‘the best that they can be’.

At times, when I have felt like I have failed with one child or another, due to them leaving too soon, before they reached their full potential, I am reminded that I wasn’t promised that I would see an end result, but that I was called to be part of their journey.

I was reminded of this one day when I was at an intersection in Tapachula when I heard; ‘Mamá!’, yelled out by a street kid, and was greeted with a huge smile and a kiss on the cheek, it was then that I knew that by showing love through caring for this boy, be it for a short time, still made a difference in his life. At that moment, though I was humbled, I also felt a sense of pride that I was part of his journey.

My role as a mother in this magical country called Mexico, is to love and nurture; to love these children unconditionally, and to provide each child with the security and opportunities to help them develop so that they can reach their full potential, and this, I will try to do to the best of my abilities until I am called from this world.

Pam and Maria flying high

Pam and Maria flying high

Cinco de Mayo – representing empowerment

As a trustee on the Misión México (UK) board I felt it appropriate to highlight a major day on the Mexican calendar Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May.

History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).

Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with big Mexican communities outside Mexico. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and picnics.

For me, Cinco de Mayo represents inspiration, love and empowerment. History tells us that the French army was bigger, trained and better equipped than the group of Mexicans that got together to defend the country they loved against yet another invasion.

That is why Cinco de Mayo reminds me of the love I have for my country, it inspires me to be the best I can be because if you do something for the right reasons and with all your passion, there is always a chance of Victory!

Empowerment, I know that sometimes we Mexicans forget our history, at least, I know I do, but if I read it, I feel empowered because I love our pre-hispanic roots, our cuisine, and in general our culture. Although the country faces challenges and social inequality we can all make the difference.

These are some of the reasons why I support Misión México because they empower all the kids to be the best they can be. The kids at Misión México have suffered unspeakable things, but after a few months at Misión México we can see how they get better and they start playing and dreaming, just like every kid deserves it.

Pam and Alan, founders of Misión México give them the love and support they need to empower these kids. I invite you to read their story and support Misión México in any way you can. Why not create a Mexican fiesta and fundraise for us, please read this article on how to put together a Cinco de Mayo celebration and get some ideas rolling. Also read the Mision Mexico fundraising tips.

Hasta la próxima amigos,

Laura Vanessa Muñoz
Trustee of the Board
Misión México (UK)

Misión México at Viva Mexico Festival in Melbourne

Misión México will be holding a stall and presenting a talk at the Viva Mexico Festival being held at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne on Sunday, 4 May 2014.

Viva Mexico is a celebration of Mexican culture with delicious food, lively music, dance and informative talks by Mexican community members including a representative from Misión México.

You may also want to attend to brush up on your Spanish with an all day Spanish meet-up, make colourful crafts and whack a piñata. See displays of Mexican handicrafts, and be amazed by the fearless lucha libre Mexican wrestlers!

Thanks to our long term Misión México volunteer Maggie who has helped with fundraising for a number of years. Maggie will be joined by a number of other Misión México volunteers and local small business owners.

Find out more information about the Viva Mexico Festival.

Find out more about fundraising for Misión México






Glasgow Quiz Night Fundraiser for Misión México

Calling all Glaswegians! Join us for a fun and worthy cause supporting the kids at Misión México in Tapachula.

A fun filled night with the quiz, a raffle, food and drinks. All for a super cause. Some awesome prizes to be won too, such as:

Quiz night details:

When: Sunday, 27 April
Time: 7:30pm
Where: Waterside Inn, Glasgow Road, G53 7TH Glasgow, UK

Find out the latest on this event by visiting the Event on our Facebook page

Find out more about running a fundraising event for Mision Mexico

A quiz to support a worthy cause

A quiz to support a worthy cause

Fundraising event for Mision Surf – Sarasota, Florida

Maria, Pam and Alan at the event

Maria, Pam and Alan at the event

On the Weekend of April 11th and 12th, the Sarasota community came out for a weekend of good times, live music, art, food, drinks and fun not only for their own enjoyment but to also do some good in the process. The Compound Boardshop hosted it’s 3rd annual Mision Mexico Benefit Dinner and then following that up the next day with the Compound’s annual Anniversary Party! This Year we celebrated 11 years of business in Sarasota! We were blessed with the outpouring of support from our local community as well as the surf industry with special help from our good friends at  Volcom, Rvca, Reef, Vans, Hurley, Sweetwater Brewery, Spy and Electric! The weekend was a total success, all who came had a great time, we were able to accomplish the two most important things, host a fun, family friendly event for our town, and raise some money for our family south of the border at Misión México! We look forward to making this bigger and better year after year!

Sombrero Amigos!

Sombrero Amigos!

Maria, who represented Misión México at the event said ‘It was amazing! I am really proud of myself for being able to talk in front of so many people.

My favourite moment was when the MTV video finished screening and everyone stood up for me. Meeting so many awesome people who were just so interested in helping my family was great!

 And would I like to do it all again? Yes, yes, yes, SUPER yes!?

Thanks to everyone who made this event a success – we can’t wait for next year!


Our charitable friends from Compound Boardshop in Sarasota, Florida, are organising their third annual fundraising event on Saturday 12 April to raise much needed funds to get Misión México’s Work Training Program – Misión Surf up and running.

Misión México founders, Alan and Pam Skuse, as well as Maria, one of the young adults living at Misión México and one of their young ambassadors, will be attending the event. This will be Maria’s first public speaking event as an ambassador and she is incredibly excited about the prospect.

One hundred percent of funds raised will be donated to the refuge, and guests can enjoy food, drinks, live art, raffles, music, films and much more.

“Local support has been incredible for the event with Rvca, Volcom, Vans, and Spy who have really stepped up this year” says Jacob Shields.

Compound Boardshop are also celebrating their 11th anniversary at this event. Director Jacob Shields not only regularly fundraises for Misión México through this annual fiesta but is also instrumental in organising teams of volunteers from Florida to visit the refuge in Tapachula and help with building projects, including Misión Surf.

Muchas gracias Compound Boardshop and good luck in raising lots of money and support.

For more information about the event head to the event page on Facebook here.

Seafarer surfboards

Jacob Sheilds ay Mision Mexico

Jacob Shields at Misión México

Jacob and Marli in 2013

Jacob and Marli in 2013

Inspiring Change for Women – is it a Man’s Job?

This International Women’s Day we have celebrated many women all over the world such as Katherine, Maria and Dulce, who have inspired change in their own lives and in the lives of others. We have taken stock of the huge amount of work still needed to be done to end violence against women, to give them access to education and health care, to break glass ceilings in the work place and provide them with access to political power so that their voices may be heard.  We have talked, and rightly so, about what women can instigate, what women can create and what women can change. However, there is one slightly uncomfortable, yet important truth, we haven’t spoken much about:

“Inspiring change for women is a man’s issue?

This controversial proposition is dealt with eloquently by Jackson Katz where he speaks about Gender Violence in the United States. He refutes the position that gender violence is a “women’s issue which some good men help out with? arguing that by calling it a “women’s issue? we give men an excuse not to pay attention, which prevents introspective thinking by men about their dominance and thus the power systems women dispute go unchallenged by those maintaining them.

Mision Mexico’s Alan Skuse

Therefore, while it is imperative that we empower women to inspire lasting change in their own lives and in the lives of others, if we ignore men we will get nowhere. Men like Alan Skuse, who is a key instigator of change for the young girls living at Misión México. In fact, his very identity is defined firstly by the relationships he has with women.

“I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, a worker, a director (of the refuge), a surfer and a sportsman.?

He is a firm believer that two approaches to inspiring change need to take place. Firstly, we need to help young girls and women to “believe in themselves; to become confident that they are equal and have a valued place in society” and secondly, we need to “educate young boys and men so that they see women as equal and not there for the convenience of men.?

Alan giving a lesson on condensation

Alan giving a lesson on condensation

This is not an easy task, especially in Tapachula where “it appears that men think that they have more rights simply because they are men.? As a father to a large number of young boys, he struggles against a culture where “men here feel they have a right to have a wife and a family and more often than not a mistress or two and children to them also.? He worries about the “example are they setting for their sons? which undermines the progress women are making in fostering an equal society.

A firm believer that “actions speak louder than words? and acutely aware of his responsibility to be a good role model, he takes his role as a father and grandfather very seriously:

Papa and the girls

Papa and the girls

“I try to show respect to all the women in my life; my wife, my daughters, and all the girls placed in our care. I encourage the girls to challenge themselves and strive for higher levels in their education and sporting activities so that they develop a strong belief in themselves.  I am also constantly telling the boys to show respect to the girls. They have grown up in an underprivileged society where they haven’t had good role models.?

Therefore, while it could be argued that inspiring change for women should be led by women, we shouldn’t ostracize men. Rather we should challenge them to make women’s empowerment their issue and we should celebrate those that have already done so. At Misión México we are very proud to know men all over the world who challenge existing power systems and ideologies that discriminate against women just by being themselves; men whose very nature it is to treat women as equal; men who commit themselves to being good fathers, husbands, neighbours, teachers and friends.

lan and the kids enjoying a family day at the beach

Alan and the kids enjoying a family day at the beach