A donation of 33 new computers was accepted by three Progreso public middle schools — Carlos Marx, Rafael Chazaro Perez and Benito Juarez Garcia — for the students’ education.
The computers were donated by the Merida English Rotary Club and the Club Rotario Ejecutivo de Progreso. Donations to pay for the costs of upgrading old computer labs with air conditioning and network wiring were also made by the city of Progreso and the Progreso Apoyo Program.
The funds to purchase the computers came as a result of a two-year collaboration between two local Rotary clubs and the Progreso Apoyo Program AC, a civil association that provides scholarships to help students succeed in school. These three organizations worked together to submit a proposal for funding as part of a Rotary International initiative called “100 for 100,” which provided funding for 100 community projects in Mexico to celebrate 100 years of Rotary International service projects in this country.
The collaborative project, called “Computers for Progreso” was selected for funding from among 400 applications. Rotary Club members in District 6460, in western Illinois, raised more than $10,000 USD in support of this project.
For many years, the public middle schools in Progreso had no computers available to teach their students basic digital skills. There were computers in the schools a long time ago, but these became old and obsolete. So while the schools still had old computer labs, they sat empty because there was no funding available to purchase new computers. As a result, the 1,700 students who attend these public middle schools enter high school without having used computers at all during their middle-school years.
The work to raise money to buy new computers was truly an international effort. Organizations in the US, Mérida, and Progreso raised a total of $288,876 MX – enough to prepare the old classrooms into computer labs and to purchase 33 computers, 11 for each of the three schools. The funds came from donations made by the following organizations:
- Rotary International: 204,564 pesos through District 6460
- Local Rotary Clubs: 40,000 pesos
- Progreso Apoyo Program AC: 24,312 pesos
- City of Progreso: 20,000 pesos
At the presentation ceremony held Thursday, the president of the Merida English Rotary Club, Lic. Carolina Martinez Rojas, as well as the president of the Club Rotary Ejecutivo de Progreso, Lidia Yolanda Ortegón Padron, presented the computers to the directors of the three schools. In addition, Manuel Rosado, representing Mayor Julian Zacarías Curi, presented the donation of air conditioning units for Benito Juarez and Rafael Chazaro Perez schools. Finally, Speranza Avram, president of the Progreso Apoyo Program, presented the donation of new wiring and electronic equipment so the old classrooms would be ready for the new computers.
Director of Regional Services Maestra Maricela Arceo accepted the donations on behalf of the Yucatán Education Secretary Liborio Vidal Aguila. The directors of each of the schools provided words of thanks to everyone who contributed time and money to help their students prepare for the future.
The Computers for Progreso project is an excellent example of how foreign residents can work in partnership with local community institutions to improve services like education here in Yucatan. Go to Facebook for more about the Merida English Rotary Club and the Progreso Apoyo Program A.C.