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!

Pimpollo Reunion

Founder, John Kerr, with former children of Pimpollo  and their families at the reunion dinner.

Founder, John Kerr, with former children of Pimpollo and their families at the reunion dinner.

Last November, our founder, John Kerr, was fortunate enough to have a reunion in Oaxaca City with several children—who are now adults— who grew up at Pimpollo Home for Children. It was quite a special time for everyone, as most of them had not seen each other for a number of years.

Cheli, who was abandoned at Pimpollo Home for Children at the age of 6 and is currently working as an attorney, made the trip from Guadalajara and took several vacation days so she could join John in Oaxaca for the full week.

Aida, who also spent a number of years at Pimpollo Home for Children and is a college graduate with a degree in Industrial Engineering, came to the reunion with her husband and their two young sons. During the week Aida and her boys joined Cheli, John, and Boni in Vicente Guerrero.

In a recent conversation about his trip, John recalled how powerful the reunion was for him. Having been involved with this group as students at Pimpollo years ago, he noted that it was especially moving to see all of them as young adults and some as parents, with their own families—Aida in particular. He enthusiastically voiced how impressed he was by the woman and mother Aida has grown to be. That is not to say he was surprised, but the ability to see her full progression—from an intense and determined industrial engineering student living at Pimpollo and attending the university in Juchitan, into a wonderful young mother—validated all of the hard work Friends of Pimpollo has done over the years at the children’s home.

John also vividly remembered meeting Aida’s husband at the beginning of the dinner and thinking that he appeared to be preoccupied by something, almost as if there were other things he would rather be doing on that particular evening. But, after sitting with everyone and realizing the camaraderie and compassion that everyone shared, he mentioned to John before they left that he has a much greater appreciation for Pimpollo, both in the experiences it provided for Aida, and the significance it played in his wife’s life.

This coming year, with the help of Aida and others, John hopes to double last year’s attendance at the reunion, bringing more ex-Pimpollos together again.

Congreso de ECOSER

Last July, graduates and current members of the ECOSER program joined for the first annual “Congreso de ECOSER.” The goal of this congress, or conference, was to evaluate ECOSER as a whole, starting from the program’s humble beginnings in 2004 up to now. The participants of this congress discussed in detail the program’s successes while also making certain to take notice of the shortcomings of the program and where things might be improved.


The members of this congress have high hopes that this generation is one of exciting and inspiring potential. During their meetings, they discussed current productive projects being done by current ECOSER students. One such project includes growing and harvesting mushrooms in the backyards at the ECOSER residencies and selling them to offset costs for the students. Students are also working on community service projects, teaching rural communities how to utilize rainwater catchment systems, pest management for avocado, plum and peach crops, and teaching indigenous communities how to grow and harvest mushroom crops for consumption and sales. They also worked on and discussed various ways in which they believe the program could grow, including the program’s visibility, social relations, different forms of financing and fundraising, as well as extracurricular functions of the program.

In conclusion, and on the final day of the congress meeting, the beneficiaries agreed to pursue the goal of establishing businesses and small companies based on successful community service and fundraising models in the past, in order to help foster the self-management of ECOSER. In doing so, they plan on developing a level of commitment for the beneficiaries of the program both past and present. They decided to enlist ECOSER graduates and their immediate available resources to implement a successful business model for mid-term and long-term work.

ECOSER Congreso Group Photo


Graduation Success

Graduation CapsFor many students, graduation from college is the ultimate education goal. Did you know that to date we have had 16 students graduate from college with the help of our Education Scholarship program? More impressively, five of those graduations have happened just this past year! Wow!! We are so proud of the hard work these individuals have put into their studies and achieving their dreams. We look forward to seeing how these recent grads will change the world around them.

Stay tuned for more graduation updates about specific individuals!

July 2013: a month of graduations!

Friends of Pimpollo is proud to announce that three students in the ECOSER Education Scholarship program will graduate from college during the month of July! They are three hardworking individuals who moved from small pueblos to Tuxtla or San Cristóbal to pursue an education.

DSC02031 July 5, 2013: Nancy Janeth García Pérez will graduate from Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas with a degree in Indigenous Culture and Language. Nancy will stay in the San Cristóbal area until she finds employment outside of the city. Nancy will stay close to the program as her sister Blanca is also an Education Scholarship student.



July 16, 2013: Carlos Leodan Roblero Cifuentes will graduate from Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas with a degree in Sociology. Carlos will stay in San Cristóbal until he finds employment near his hometown of Siltepec, Chiapas. Blog Post: Celebrating Carlos Leodan’s graduation



 July 20, 2013: Carlos Meléndez Girón will graduate from Universidad Maya with a degree in Marketing. Following his graduation, he will help coordinate the ECOSER program in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas as he looks for employment. Carlos is hoping to stay in the Tuxtla area and support the program in the future.


Celebrating Carlos Leodan’s graduation in San Cristóbal, Chiapas

Carlos Leodan

Carlos Leodan in front of the student house in San Cristóbal

Carlos Leodan, an education scholarship student living at the student house in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas will graduate from college on July 16th. Congratulations Carlos!

Carlos will be graduating with a degree in Sociology from Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas. Learn more about Carlos here: Meet Carlos.

In June, there was a special lunch in Mexico celebrating Carlos’s graduation. Carlos’s family arrived from his hometown of Siltepec and prepared a large celebration for family, friends and other students. It was a fun time with much laughter and excitement for the upcoming graduation ceremony. And don’t forget the cake!

graduation lunch

Carlos enjoying the meal with ECOSER program director Felix and other party guests

Carlos will be in San Cristóbal until he takes his professional exam in August, but hopes to soon find a job near Siltepec. Stay tuned for more photos and updates on Carlos as he begins this new chapter in his life.

Carlos, family and ECOSER

Carlos Leodan with his family and ECOSER program directors Chelo and Felix

Fifth Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Cinco de Mayo

Please RSVP to info@friendsofpimpollo.org

Today María became a college graduate!

This morning, Marisol graduated from the Technological Institute in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

Chelo and Felix, the Education Scholarship Program Directors in Chiapas sent us the following: “When a student graduates, we are filled with happiness and are thrilled by the occasion. Mission completed!”

Congratulations Marisol!!

Read more about Marisol’s story at:


Cinco de Mayo 2013

Cinco de Mayo pre-save the date

The Real Voices of Friends of Pimpollo: Rosalba

Meet Rosalba. Rosalba is a dedicated student in our education scholarship program. She works hard, taking civil engineering classes and helping to support her family. She has not had an easy life, yet she believes in the power of education. She says, “Life with a degree is much better, much easier, because you can take care of the ones you love.” She believes that education can break the cycle of poverty.

A special thank you to Wavelength Multimedia for this wonderful video!