Friday, September 5, 2008

Summer News from Chacala, July 2008


We ended the tourist season in March with a delightful fiesta in the school yard to give the visitors in town an opportunity to meet the kids in our program and learn what is happening at the Dale Reinhardt Learning Center. We invited the residents of Marina Chacala by email and flyers, and then distributed flyers to the RVers at the beach. Three of the teens (Alonso, Antonelly, and walked the beach at sunset the night before the party with Ana and talked to about 40 people, inviting them to the program and telling them about Cambiando Vidas. We had a pretty good crowd.

The show was wonderful. The kids sang and danced, both modern dances and Folklorico, complete with costumes. The also performed a few skits. Some refreshments were provided by the parents.

You can see the photos of this event at Sign in under my name “”, and enter password “EBACHfotos.” You can order prints as well.

Mary Jane Rintelman, Marina Chacala resident and CV supporter, took some wonderful video which you can see at the following link:

You will see several other “related videos” at that site. Two more of the fiesta and some from the beach at Chacala which will remind you how lovely it is there and that you need to return soon.

Ana returned to Chacala for 12 days in June.
“I love Chacala in June. It is very quiet and there are few tourists. I had lots of time to wander around town, visit with Viky in the Learning Center, and visit with Mexican friends. Only one RV was parked in the Palm Grove. The weather was rainy, but beautiful and the water was warm enough to float around or swim for long stretches of time. The sun appeared almost every day, and it was in fact cooler than Arkansas. Mid-eighties in Chacala as compared to mid-nineties in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Very comfortable.

“I was surprised that the kids are still in school. I had forgotten that they don’t get out until July 1, and then only for 3 weeks. The after-school program in the library downstairs is lively, with Isaak supervising. Viky is up in the computer center upstairs all day until 5 pm.

“It is so wonderful to have the computer center as a gathering place for the teens. It is a safe place to hang out and interact with each other, and they have Viky as resident counselor, to talk to about any problems or concerns.”

Ana reports the following news.


Our website has been redone, so be sure to go to and check out the completely new “Meet the Students,” with new photos and descriptions of all the students. If you have visited the website before, you will need to “refresh” the website on your computer or your computer may automatically pull up pages from the old website.

Our excellent group of 28 students met in May and elected new officers.

Alonso, who has served as the President for 3 years, will begin attending a Saturday program at the University of Tepic in August. He will graduate from High School (a Saturday program in nearby Zacualpan after three years of study there) in July. So he is now past-president, although always there when needed and still very much a part of EBACH.

The new President is Antonelli, and Raul is the new Vice-President. Monica will continue as treasurer, and Olivia as secretary. “Excellent choices,” comments Viky.


Jose Enrique of Majahua Restaurant, hotel and spa, has helped to develop an expanded “Limpia Chacala” program. There are new signs at the entrance to the village, asking visitors to keep Chacala clean.


Each week-end three EBACH students and one adult work at the entrace to the Palm Grove, picking up garbage and asking asking all the tourists to please pick up their garbage and take it out in their cars. They even get on the buses coming in to town and talk with the visitors about keeping our beach clean. Besides Jose Enrique, the other adult supporters who take turns helping the kids are Concha of Casa Aurora, Gora of Casa Aurora, and Luis of Casa Monarca. Viky reports that this project has been very effectiive

Viky commissioned a metal worker to make 7 large receptacles, which are placed around town for the disposal of plastics. Each Sunday, the children and Viky collect about 20 bags of plastic. A truck from Los Ayala picks up the plastic each month for recycling. This program is a model for other programs along the coast.

Viky is looking for a way to take the kids on a cultural trip to Guadalajara his summer. She is very good at getting the government to donate a bus and driver for these trips. They have money from the plastic recycling, and she will be working on ways to earn the rest of the money for the trip. She is very resourceful and determined to give the kids this reward for their hard work.

We announced earlier this year how saddened we were by the passing of Dale Reinhardt, the original founder of the Chacala Library, on December 28th. Dale asked that his ashes be interred in the Dale Reinhardt Learning Center and they have arrived. Later this summer, there will be a ceremony to place his ashes in a niche in the library wall. The winner of the design competition for the niche was Beto U.

Dale’s son, Mark has been working with Viky, our Learning Center Administrator, to carry on his legacy and complete the Medical/Dental Clinic, a project that Dale began a few years ago.   The clinic is looking good, lacking only doors and fixtures, and is scheduled to open in August or September. The governnment will send a doctor, a medical resident to staff the Clinic. The clinic is a wonderful opportunity for visitors, who are in the medical field, to come in to the clinic and volunteer their services.

VICTOR, OUR MEDICAL STUDENT in Hermosillo, writes the following to Mariana:

...I only want that it knows that I am very happy and thank for all the aid that offers me without requesting nothing in return, you are an example of life for me, and if I in the future can do the same for other people I going to do of heart.
I write to him [HIS SPONSOR] to talk that already I am going to finish to my 'Internado' in the first week of July her in Hermosillo and I am going away to return to El Capomo [NEAR CHACALA], to probably command me to do a social service in Las Varas one year, but I talked with Viky and she says that they are going to open a hospital in Chacala, I am going to investigate in my school to see if I can be in my social service in this place, I going to be very happy of being able to return a little of which you have given helping me in Chacala.
The good thing is that i going to stay closely together of my house and I believe that my expenses you would be smaller, but went the social service finish I want to make an exam to make a residence and to obtain a specialty, is a very heavy exam because they are few seats, for that I am thinking about taking some extra classes while I am in the service.

I want to say thank you very much and am thankful to God for it to have put to you in my way.
... and I hope to see it soon to you
PD. In my last vacations I went to the school of chacala and was teaching some things to the children, we amused much very well and I believe that them pleasure. 
and I am sorry for my english, I didn´t learn yet 


As a reminder to our donors, costs for the high school students are still $720 USD a year, $360 of which is transportation to and from Las Varas. The balance is for tuition, uniforms and school supplies.  If you sponsor a student studying locally in Chacala, who does not require $720, please know that your donation helps pay for the extra costs of the University students as well as all the programs and expenses in the Learning Center. We count on that extra money as not all donors can pay the entire expense incurred by their student. As you know, all the money donated to Cambiando Vidas must be held in one big pot and distributed according the the needs of the program. It cannot legally be earmarked for a particular student.

For our University Students, Cambiando Vidas contributes $200 a month for 10 months of the year, or about $2,000 for the year, which covers books and tuition. We trust our loyal donors will come through and help us to continue to send our kids to University. We are so grateful for all who have increased their donations.

Any size donation is welcome, of course, as a one time donation, or to sponsor part of a scholarship. Some families divide the scholarship between them, among three or four families. Some Rotary Clubs or other organizations also sponsor a student.


Total donations collected   $34,696
Expenses 2007:
Learning Center Salaries $8,463
         Learning Center maintenance $3,874
Misc. Expenses $2,560
  Scholarship Payout $21,045
Total Expenses were  $35,940
Loss 2007 $1,244

Your contributions are critical to our survival.


You can make a contribution to Cambiando Vidas by mailing a check to Cambiando Vidas, 245 Mt. Hermon Rd., PMB 312, Scotts Valley, Ca. 95066 OR by using PayPal on our web site, THANKS!


You can now take a deduction on your Canadian Income Tax by donating through the Tides Canada Foundation if the donation is over $1000.  

You may send a check to Tides Canada, who will take 5% for handling and forward the remaining monies to Tides San Francisco, who in turn will send us a check in US funds.  Tides Canada will send you a tax receipt for your income taxes as part of the service. You will have to submit a form letter along with your check—Mariana will send this to you upon request. For more information or the form letter write Mariana ( Canadian donors can also use PayPal at the website for no cost.

CAMBIANDO VIDAS is a charitable organization with United States Internal Revenue Service 501 (c) 3 tax -exempt status. EIN 73-1668982

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