It’s Coming! Save the Date for Cinco de Mayo 2016

Cinco de Mayo Salem 2016 Invitation

Seeking Additional Team Members!

We’re looking for two more people to join the Spring 2016 Chemeketa Community College Team to Oaxaca, which will be led by Friends of Pimpollo Board Member Cecelia Monto. The group will travel to Oaxaca from June 10-19, 2016. Says Monto about the class, “Students participate in a class on campus that meets only six times, and then the bulk of the class takes place with the project in Oaxaca. We will have guest lectures from the field and a trip to Medical Teams International, so it’s a truly interesting class. Plus it gives four transferrable credits in HUM 120, which is part of the requirements for the AAOT (the two year transfer degree in Oregon).” 

The deadline to apply has been extended to March 14th. Sign up today! Learn more by visiting the Chemeketa Study Abroad website. An informational brochure about the course can be found here and the application can be found here.

CCC June 2015 Team

February 2016 Newsletter

Check out the latest happenings with Friends of Pimpollo! Read our most recent newsletter here!

Share the Love (All Year Long!)

Are you looking to do something sweet for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Flowers and chocolate are always nice, but why not give a gift that lasts more than one day?

You can share the love all year long by signing up today as a monthly sustainer with Friends of Pimpollo in the name of your loved one, and you will be supporting education programs for students of all ages in southern Mexico. It’s a gift in their honor today that lasts throughout the whole year. Plus, we’ll send a custom-made, Oaxacan-inspired valentine by artist Nico Inzerella to your valentine!

Friends of Pimpollo Valentine

To sign up as a monthly sponsor, click the donate button below. You can choose to donate securely via your PayPal account or by credit card. (Note: Desktop users may select “Don’t have a PayPal account?” towards the bottom of the webpage upon accessing the donation site to checkout without a PayPal account). To set up a recurring (monthly) payment, select “Make This Recurring (Monthly)” and enter in the amount of your desired monthly gift, then continue with the normal checkout process. In the memo line, include the contact information of your valentine (full name and mailing address or email), and we will send them this special valentine. [Don’t worry, we won’t add them to our mailing list!]

Rather send your gift through the mail? Send the contact information of the person you would like to receive the valentine with your check, and we’ll do the rest. Please send donations to:

Friends of Pimpollo
P.O. Box 1107
Salem, OR 97308

*Already have big plans for Valentine’s Day but want to add something special? Make a one-time gift in the name of your loved ones, and we will send them something special too!

Nico Inzerella is an artist based out of Seattle.  He has spent time in Juchitan at Pimpollo and is still in contact with many people associated with Pimpollo.  Being Chicano, he uses influences of Mexican art.  He traveled through Mexico for a year studying art in 2013 and uses this influence in his art today. You can check his work at or his art on Facebook at Nico Inzerella Art

Exciting Additions to the Vicente Guerrero Community Center

Improved Community Center at Vicente Guerrero
Expansion Will Provide Opportunities for Students of All Ages

On January 5th, inauguration ceremonies were held for the new computer classroom at the Vicente Guerrero Community Center. Many individuals and groups came together to make different parts of this project possible. Among the many supporting partners attending the inauguration ceremony were representatives from INEA, the adult education program; Sikanda, a local organization in Oaxaca; local municipal government representatives; and representatives from an Italian organization who donated equipment and furniture for this project.

Bonifacio Luis Hernandez, the program director of the Oaxaca Kids Can and Vicente Guerrero Programs, reported, “Finally, we concluded the computer classroom, and I am still amazed. Thanks to all those whose contributions made this project possible. This project will be very beneficial to the community. In the month of February, we will be starting with classes and the children are really excited. The parents have come to enroll their children for the course and I am very happy by all the positive feedback that has been in the community. Their gratitude and the children’s faces of joy fill us with energy to keep working harder.”

New Computer Lab!One of our college scholarship students who lives in Vicente Guerrero, Marisol, recently spent some time over her holiday break at the community center painting and cleaning with other community members to help get this space ready. “It pleases me that the volunteers are working hard and are very committed to the people of the community. I am also very grateful for Boni, for his work in the community center and with the people. Good people are put in our paths to allow us to move forward.”

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!


Looking for other ways to give?

Contact our office to learn about giving via stock!

Become a monthly sustainer! Sign up online or contact our office today to start!

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!