Two Teams Visit Oaxaca in Fall 2016

Team 65 and Team 66 Spend Time With Students of All Ages
Team 65 "Postmen"

This past fall, two teams traveled from Oregon to Oaxaca to visit the schools and accompany the community surrounding Vicente Guerrero.

In October, Board Member Cecelia Monto led a great group down to the area. The group that made up Team 65 split time between studying Spanish at a local language school and collaborating on projects in the community. (See the “postmen,” right, who carried concrete posts while working.)

This November, Friends of Pimpollo Founder John Kerr traveled to Oaxaca with the equally great members of Team 66. Some highlights from this group included attending a graduation ceremony for adults completing their primary or secondary education, as well as the inauguration of the third school in the Oaxaca Kids Can Program. This school, Porfirio Diaz, is a bilingual primary school. The students and parents reported that they were very excited for the breakfast phase of the program to commence and were committed to making it a huge success.

Both groups had the opportunity to work closely with and learn from program director Bonifacio Luis Hernandez and many different community members.

Teachers & Team 66 Members(Left: Members of Team 66 with teachers and cooks at Adolfo Lopez Mateos School after serving breakfast to the students.)

Meet Josue

We would like to introduce you to Josue.

Right now, he is in primary school. But one day, he wants to graduate from college and be a lawyer.

Then, he says he might want to be the president of Mexico.

And you know what, we really believe he could be. He’s already a great leader at his young age and loves to learn about new subjects. No matter what he chooses to do in life, we know that the education he receives will help him positively affect the communities he is a part of and help to make tomorrow a little brighter.

Will you invest in a brighter tomorrow today? We believe that Josue and students of all ages should have access to education. Right now, you can help us reach our goal of $59,691 before the end of the year. Browse our website to learn more about our education programs or click this link to donate today.

Thank you for believing in the power of education!


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Feliz Navidad

FOP Feliz Navidad

One of the most important gifts we will ever receive is the gift of education. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in our mission. Wishing you and yours a merry and bright holiday season. 


All of us at Friends of Pimpollo

Team Member Spotlight: Mary Laughlin

Team 66
I’ve made about eight trips to Mexico now, including several to Oaxaca, but this was different and so enjoyable in quite a different way. Although I’ve visited FOP’s projects a couple of times before and taught English for several days in one of the schools, I enjoyed the opportunity to see the broad spectrum of FOP’s many different activities. Meeting with and having the chance to talk to students, parents, teachers and some of the former Pimpollo students was totally delightful and very informative.

-Mary Laughlin, Team 66

Invest in a Brighter Tomorrow Today

Adolfo Lopez Mateos Students

ThermometerAt Friends of Pimpollo, we believe that education is key to affecting change in the world. With your support, we have accomplished a lot, but we’re not satisfied with stopping there. We hope to see all our students graduate with a diploma from High School, College, or the Adult Literacy Program. Please join us today and support our efforts to provide opportunities to education in southern Mexico. We are hoping to close 2015 in a big way, and you can help us reach our goal of raising $59,691 by contributing right now.

We think the future looks brighter when the present is filled with education.Will you invest in education today for a brighter tomorrow? Browse our website to learn more about our education programs, or click the link below to donate today.


Thank you for believing in the power of education!


An Abundance of Gratitude

Dear Friends,Thank You Gracias

‘Tis the season for sharing what we are thankful for, and I am filled with an abundance of gratitude–and that’s not just because Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! For me, each and every day offers its own unique opportunities to give thanks and express gratitude. However, I just recently returned from my first visit to Oaxaca, where I had the chance to visit some of our programs and meet many incredible people. Since the timing happens to coincide with Thanksgiving, I would like to share my appreciation for the people who inspire and sustain me in my work with Friends of Pimpollo.

  • I am grateful for everyone who helps to make the Oaxaca Kids Can Program the tremendous success it is. Here at FOP, we are beyond excited to announce that a third school, Porfirio Diaz, is launching the OKC breakfast program three days a week for 56 students.
  • I am grateful for the parents in the communities we support who take initiative and work hard so their children (and they themselves) can benefit from opportunities that can come with education.
  • I am grateful for all the teachers who give of their time and energy so that they can plant the seeds of knowledge and encourage curiosity in their students.
  • I am grateful for all the members of our 66 teams who have accompanied the communities we work with and who have shared their experiences and our mission with others upon their return.
  • I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of all of our program coordinators in Mexico.
  • More than anything, I am grateful for all the students in our programs, whether they be a preschooler just starting their educational journey, or a 70-year-old grandmother receiving her certificate from the Adult Literacy Program. Your motivation to learn and grow inspires me every day.

I firmly believe the future looks brighter when the present is filled with education, and we couldn’t do all we do without the incredible support of people like you. Thank you. Please know that I am abundantly grateful for you.

All the best,

Laura Ruggles
Executive Director

Team 65

Board Member and team leader extraordinaire Cecelia Monto with Marcela at a construction site near the community center in Vicente Guerrero.

Board Member and team leader extraordinaire Cecelia Monto with Marcela at a construction site near the community center in Vicente Guerrero.


These three gentlemen were dubbed the "post men" by their teammates as they were putting in concrete fence posts. Nice work!

These three gentlemen were dubbed the “post men” by their teammates as they were putting in concrete fence posts. Nice work!


Team 65 had the opportunity to paint bookshelves while in Oaxaca this past week. Looks good! We can't wait to see them filled with books soon.

Team 65 had the opportunity to paint bookshelves while in Oaxaca this past week. Looks good! We can’t wait to see them filled with books soon.

October 2014 Newsletter

Have you been wondering what’s been happening in the Friends of Pimpollo world the past three months? Well, then, it’s your lucky day! Check out our October 2015 newsletter here!

Team Member Spotlight: Gail Sanchez

CCC Team 2015
There are times where I feel confused about what my true calling is. I question the choices I make. I always ask myself, do I see myself entertained, amazed, and completely happy with the life I’m living right now? The answer is not always a yes, but while serving the community of Oaxaca I felt whole. Everything came full circle. Oaxaca not only opened a home for me, but it opened the door I was in search of, the door of my career. I want to center my career working with, and for children like Carlos, who aspire for a bright future through their education. Much like Carlos, I aspire to make a change in my future through my education. Thank you Oaxaca.” 
-Gail Sanchez
Student, Team 63

Two Student Groups Visit Oaxaca

The trip follows a term learning about International Development.

CCC June 2015 Team

Chemeketa Community College provided the student manpower for two teams this past June. The student groups worked to complete one new school, one library, one complete fence project to surround a school, and one outdoor covered area. In addition, the student groups attended the adult literacy event to cheer on adult students receiving their certificates of progress in both elementary and secondary education.

The students learn about the concepts of international development, and then they take theory into action by traveling to Oaxaca to get hands on work experience. “I am proud to see our students work so hard. They have heart, and they also are smart about concepts like capacity building and community development. They genuinely work to empower communities,” says instructor Cecelia Monto.

Cecelia has been leading trips to Oaxaca for many years, and when she talks about her students she glows. She can see how important hands on learning is, and cultivating a spirit of service and sense of global humanity. “There is so much learning going on for these students. They make links between their experience in Oaxaca with so many topics – economics, politics, history. For many of them it is a truly transformational experience.”

Program coordinator Bonifacio Luis Hernandez guides all the projects, and he works directly with the communities to make sure those most in need are being served.

Are you a high school or college-age student who might be interested in taking a class at Chemeketa and joining a team to Oaxaca? Plan for next year’s class during the spring term and then taking the trip in mid-June.