Category Archives: Latest news

The Moustache Party Fundraiser is back!

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It’s back… our annual Moustache Party Fundraiser on Wednesday 26 November at Tonteria,  London, celebrating the Mexican Revolution and raising money for our kids.

Mexican inspired drinks, delicious Mexican burritos, salsas and canapes sponsored by Chipotle and Kankun sauce, live music, revolution raffle, live auction, moustache competition, Mexican mayhem prize draw, free face painting to create personalised tache and much more….

Early bird tickets available until 8 November.

Proceeds will be used for the education and youth transition programs – critical to ensure these children have the best opportunity to escape the poverty and abuse they were born into and have a future they can look forward to.

Last years’ event was incredible but this year we’re doing it bigger and better.

Awesome prizes including food, music, beauty, well being and holidays, generously donated by companies including Peyote, Dermalogica, Rolls Royce, Fabric, Cyclebeat and Bikram Hot Yoga.

The party is proudly sponsored by Tonteria, Kankun Sauce, Chipotle and Jose Cuervo tequila.

Start growing your tache now and join us at our Fiesta!

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Moustache Party 2013

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Biggest tache in town

Celebrating Day of the Dead Melbourne style!

Please join us at the Catrina Festival in Melbourne on Saturday 1 November to celebrate Day Of the Dead like never before! Live music, film and authentic Mexican food and drinks! Get your face painted and raise money for for our kids!

“Long live the dead!? Catrina said. During this unique evening local artists will build an altar structure to honour the departed, aiming to bring their memory back to life.

Get involved and honour the dead with us. Enjoy the altar exhibition and vote for your favourite one!

Free entry from 17:00 – 18:30; Ticketed event starts 19:00

La catrina Festival Melb nov 2014

Why volunteer at Misión México? Why not?

My name is Merric and this is my fourth visit to Misión México.

Misión México is an inspiration to me. I first visited in 2004 and I have known many of the young adults since they were young children.

They have been able to develop skills and knowledge through education, the commitment of Pam and Alan and the many volunteers who come to share their professional knowledge and skills.

It is great to see opportunities opened up for them so their hopes and dreams can become a reality.

Coming back on each visit and seeing the developments and accomplishments of the children is a humbling and joyful experience. I have had the privilege to share my skills in piano with some of the kids, Sammy, in particular has shown great learning ability in the practice of the piano.

Sammy has a keen interest in piano and watching him develop so quickly and take on board what I have to teach him has been greatly inspiring.

Pam y Sammy

Mama with Sammy

I am currently visiting to assist in the landscaping of a new educational and surf training facility, MisiónSurf. I am thrilled to be involved with such a major project that will bring much needed jobs, educational opportunities and tourism to the Tapachula area.

This will allow the children to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained through their education.

Mision Surf landscaping begins

I feel privileged to be able to share the skills and abilities I have gained through my life and to be able to share in the lives of these amazing individuals as they grow.

For volunteering opportunities please email volunteer@lovelifehope.com and visit our website for more information.

Latest news from Misión México….

kids with their new glasses

Hola Amigos!

Welcome to our latest news update –  These past seven months have been a huge challenge. At Misión México you often hear: ‘There is never a dull moment!’ How true this is! There is always something going on, with some or other problem to address.
We are very excited however about one particular dream that is coming true, Misión Surf!

With so much else going on, that is, with the children, schools, additional classes, meetings, administration, etc, life can be very exhausting, difficult, demanding and incredibly stressful, but on the other hand, there have been some wonderfully exciting, stimulating and thought provoking moments.

With every challenge there is an opportunity to learn something; an opportunity to grow, therefore that is something that we are thankful for.

Read all our news here and get in touch if you can help support or volunteer with us!

Muchas gracias, Pam and Alan

Pam and Alan

International Day of the Girl

Just two years ago, the UN declared 11th October as the International Day of the Girl to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. Despite the good work being done by activists, NGOs, governments and civil society all over the world there are still some worrying statistics out there:

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school

By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population

54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.

It is clear we have a lot of work to do. We are very fortunate at Misión México to have seen first-hand the effects of investing in young girls. Some of our children have grown into inspirational young adults and have now passed into the Youth Transition Program. We believe that you must continue to support young girls (and boys) as they make that difficult transition into adulthood. Two girls in currently in the Youth Transition program are Maria and Dulce.

Maria is a fun loving, creative young lady. Her dream is to run her own dance studio and help children overcome trauma through dance. Her advice to young girls out there is “be proud of who you are, don’t be scared of being a woman. Be the very best you can be and never give up.?

Maria teaching dancing at Mision Mexico

Maria teaching dancing at Mision Mexico

Dulce, believes strongly in the role education plays in young girls’ lives. “All girls should have access to education; they need to show the world that jobs are not only for men!?

Now studying to be a social worker she says: “Mum (Pam Skuse) had such a good life in Australia and she left it behind and changed everything so she could help all of us. She’s been a real inspiration and that’s why I’m studying to be a Social Worker, because Mum inspires me to help others.?

Dulce

Dulce catching a wave

Seeing Maria and Dulce thrive reinforces our belief that we need to continue to support young girls into adulthood and that the Youth Transition Program is vital for this. Our aim is to continue to empower these young people in a bid to break the cycle of poverty and abuse, and further create confident, competent young adults and positive role models who can successfully live independently.

20% of the Misión México household are now adults; 41% are 12-18 years old and by 2019 there will be an additional 15 young people entering adulthood. We therefore need your help so that we can see our young people grow and develop as they reach adulthood. Please contact us if you can sponsor one of our young adults or volunteer with our program; find out more about our Youth Transition program.

Q&A

How will you be spending International Day of the Girl? Let us know what this day means to you.

Community development through tourism at Misión México

Junior and Meche

The 27th September is World Tourism Day and this year the theme is Tourism and Community Development, focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities. The official celebrations are taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico in a day dedicated to different understanding the value of different forms of tourism, whether it be volun-tourism, eco-tourism, agri-tourism or adventure tourism.

At Misión México we have seen first hand the huge benefits alternative types of tourism can bring. Pam and Alan and the children have been truly empowered by people who choose to volunteer with us. From teachers, to engineers, builders, to surf instructors, each and every one of them have contributed towards Misión México’s education program, surf program, work training program and youth transition program. Each of them is specifically designed to improve the lives of each and every child, and in turn contribute towards achieving change in the local community.

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Of course the benefits of volun-tourism also extends to the volunteers themselves; our previous volunteers have described their time with us as ‘the most amazing experience of my life’ ‘incredibly rewarding’ ‘truly inspirational’ and ‘a life enriching experience’.

 

 

Jacob and Marli in 2013

Our firm belief in the power of tourism underpins the thinking behind our work training program, Misión Surf. This project aims to build a sustainable surfing community, complete with a Surf School, Surf Camp and Retail Shop, Surfboard Repair Workshop, Life Guard Services and a Restaurant. Not only will it become a top tourist destination for new surfers, it will benefit the lives of the children and bring change to the local community.

 

It will provide exciting tourism opportunities for those who visit the complex  – our waves and location provide the ideal opportunity for surf lessons – and our burritos will be the best in town.  Our complex will include football, netball and a skate park as well as a pool and cafe to relax in!

Mision Surf

Misión Surf will provide the older children with the opportunity to develop important work skills like hospitality, tourism, business and retail. It will share the excitement of surfing with the local Mexican community by teaching them surf skills, sea safety and the importance of our environment, particularly around beaches and oceans.

By sharing knowledge on surfing techniques, conditions, awareness, safety and environmental issues with the local community it will lead cleaner, safer, friendlier beaches as well as bringing more business to the local impoverished areas. And the icing on the cake? This program will eventually lead to Albergue Misión México becoming self-sufficient.

We are inviting local and international professionals and tradesmen to volunteer and share their knowledge and expertise with the refuge’s young adults in what promises to be a challenging and rewarding experience.

Maria surfing

Maria surfing

Thanks to the amazing support from Guzman y Gomez in Australia, Compound Boardshop in Florida and the Norm Innes Foundation in Queensland, as well as many other fundraisers and donors we are on our way to completing this program.

We are hoping to open the doors in 2015! More support is needed to complete the project  – if you want to get involved please visit our website, contact us or donate here.

We’d be stoked to have you part of our program and look forward to welcoming you to visit us at Misión Surf.

Eat a burrito this Charity Tuesday!

If you’re in Australia, TODAY is your opportunity to enjoy some delicious food AND support Misión México all with the same bite!

Tuesday 16 September is Mexican Independence Day, and to celebrate, our loyal and wonderful supporter Guzman y Gomez is donating $1 from every burrito sold today to our charitable cause.

We think that is AMAZING and thank them for the wonderful support – a selfless and huge contributor to Misión México since 2007.
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We’d also like to thank all those generous, supporting (and hungry!) people who are in Australia today, eating a burrito to help feed and care for our children!

Buen provecho!

Happy Grandparents Day!

Pam and Alan

The relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is undeniably special. Grandparents, having paid their parental dues, are no longer responsible for the daily battles of making unruly children clean their teeth, eat their vegetables or go to bed early. Instead they have graduated to the blissful stage of handing a crying child back to their mother, sneaking them a fiver when their father isn’t looking and telling them stories their own children were never interested in.

For those of us lucky enough to know our grandparents, the wisdom, values and lessons they pass on to us shape our understanding of who we are and of the world around us. They have lived the joys, challenges and sadnesses that we are about to and offer advice, comfort and love when we pass through life’s early rituals ourselves.new balance rot

Of course not everyone is lucky to know their grandparents or indeed live near them. However, that doesn’t mean that their love cannot be felt. Pam and Alan have 11 grandchildren aged between 6 months and 18 years. Only two of them live close by in Tapachula, México. With many miles between Pam and Alan and most their grandchildren (who live in Queensland, Australia), they have to work hard at keeping that important relationship alive.

To celebrate Grandparents Day, their children tell us what Pam and Alan mean to them.

Luke

“Narni and Pa are definitely not your everyday grandparents. They don’t sit around watching TV, drinking tea and knitting the family cardigans. It’s hard being a million miles apart. But I have to say that even with so much distance between us they support me more than family that live so close. They are always the first to call me screaming happy cheers down the phone when I win at the championships, they are the first to help me when I am chosen for overseas events, they truly are interested in how I am doing and where I am heading and I know when I make the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, they will be there 100% supporting me because that’s the wonderful, young, encouraging Grandparents they are. I miss them a lot and really wish they were closer. But I am so grateful that they are my Grandparents. Happy Grandparents day Narni and Pa. I love you both so much.”

Jesse

“Even with all the miles between us I share the same moon with Narni and Pa”

Kiah

“My Narni and Pa live in Mexico because they look after a lot of children, like FIFTY of them! I miss them but I think what they do is important. I wish we lived in the same place. I do like when they come to visit us. One day Pa was chasing me and Aaliah around the table, and he was trying to tickle us, it was really funny. I loved it.”

Oliver

“My Narni and Pa are great, kind hearted people and idols in this world. It is a bit sad that we don’t see them that often but it is good to know they are doing so much for other children in need. When I get older I want to be exactly like them and I hope more people follow in their footsteps.”

Noah

“My Narni and Pa are really nice and I look forward to their visits. I really love going skiing with Pa and when Narni reads us books. I feel sad that they are far away but they are always working to help the kids at the refuge and that is very good.”

 

Celebrating the importance Literacy Day

Most of us don’t remember not being able to read. Having been taught at such a young age, we take the ability to deceiver shapes, turn them into sounds, words, then sentences for granted. And when reading is such a natural phenomenon you don’t realise how vital it is for surviving modern society. From instruction manuals, to newspapers, bank statements to school text books, being able to read enables you to progress.

Because if you can read, it is easier to learn; and when you are able to learn you can receive an education; and when you are educated, you can overcome any barriers that may be in your way and fulfill you potential. The ability to read, therefore, is a human right and as such should be available to all. Sadly, according to the World Literacy Foundation 57 million primary aged children all over the world are not in school, and 123 million young people are unable to read or write. In Chiapas, the state where Misión México is based, literacy rates are the lowest of the whole country.new balance shoes

reading in English

Reading in English!

We, therefore, take reading very seriously and we make sure that every child that comes through our door spends time with books. Because reading isn’t just about equipping our children with the tools they need to progress in school. It is about investing in a child’s imagination, giving them space to develop their creativity, and building their confidence and self esteem. Books allow children who have lived through trauma a chance to enter into new worlds, explore different possibilities and arrive at a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

We are so grateful to be able to give our children access to a library of books donated to us from all over the world and now some of our children are now able to read in English and Spanish. In fact reading is so important that now the older children take the time to read with the younger ones, enabling them to build relationships with one another and learn what it is to care for and teach someone.

brotherly learning

Brothers learning to read

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Mision Mexico education programme and to everyone that has donated us books.

Want to come and be part of the team that changes our children’s lives through reading and education. We are looking for volunteers!

Come and get your dose of vitamin ‘T’ at Mission’s Mexican Festival!

Mexfest 2014

Mexfest 2014

Tacos, tamales, tortas, tortillas and tostadas will all be on offer when Melbourne’s Federation Square transforms into a mini Mexico for MEXfest on Sunday 14 September – a festival which is proudly supporting Misión México!new balance shoes

We’re lucky enough to be part of the third annual Mexican celebration, where local foods, artists and education activities will be taking place for all ages to coincide with Mexican Independence Day.

We’ll have a Misión México store set up to help promote and spread the news of our wonderful cause.

Alejandro

There will be a raffle to win a surfboard kindly donated by Global Surf Industries and the Somewhere Near Tapachula DVDs will be for sale as T-shirts and wristbands. Face Painters will be at the stall to paint Aztec designs for the kids!

All funds raised will be donated to the children.

We’re excited to announce that Director, Alan Skuse and our Misión México (UK) Chairperson Deborah Grossman will both be attending, along with Moacir, one of the young mean who lived with Pam and Alan for seven years.

So if you’ll be in or around Melbourne on Sunday 14 September, drop by Federation Square to say hello and dose up on some tasty vitamin T!

Hasta luego amigos!

 

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Mission’s Mexican Festival