The School in Colonia Volcanes in Puerto Vallarta
    Arriving at the Volcanes School, you're amazed at how primitive conditions are in a city as modern and prosperous as Puerto Vallarta. To get there, you need to drive on dirt and mud roads that would stop most cars as you make your way further and further from the luxury resorts of the PV coastline.   And as development close to the seaside continues, the poor are forced further and further out to where they try to eke out a meager living. The poverty on each side of the street is appalling yet at the end of the dismal trek is a beautiful new school surrounded by a fence.  
Photo of Volcanes Primary School soon after being built around 2007.
(The old abandoned school behind it had been left stripped of windows and electrical.)

Thanks to the Volunteer Efforts by Volcanes Parents, the Grounds of Volcanes Primary School are now lush with trees.

Welcome to Volcanes Primary School Today

     It's impressive how a 
poor but 
dedicated community can accomplish so mush with so little. 
     In 2007, after waiting for more than a decade and putting up with horrible conditions at the old 5 room school, a
 new Volcanes Primary School 
with 
6 modern classroom 
was finally built to replace 
the old 
overcrowded 
school next door.  
The government then abandoned the 
old s
chool leaving it a gutted and decrepit shell.
 
 
    Yet, though Volcanes had succeeded in getting a new school for their children, there was still no funding for everyday necessities such as toilet paper let alone funding to teach students English or something so basic as computers.   As in most Mexican primary schools, students are only taught basic Spanish, Math, History, and other core subjects.
  
    But a
 small group of people soon realized that the old abandoned school building with its
 
five empty classrooms might somehow be used to help the children in this struggling little community.  A
 joint effort between 
the Volcanes Parents Association, the staff and Principal of the Volcanes Primary School, civic and local government leaders as well as Art Fumerton and the local Vallarta Sur Rotary
y lead to the creation of the Volcanes Community Education Project (
VCEP
) in 2011.
   
    After long negotiation sessions with local Government officials, the 
VCEP
 was give free access to the old discarded school building as long as it was 
re-furbished
.  After a bit of fund raising and donations, 
a small group of volunteers Volcanes 
began 
installing
 plumbing 
parents
, sinks and toilets for the bathrooms while work on new new electrical, lighting, fans, flooring, glass panes for windows, and finally paint was being done for all five classrooms.  Within months, those classrooms were filled with children learning English as well as Computers.  It was a great hit from day one.  This would help ready these children to reach and complete Grade 6 with as much potential as possible and for some to go on to Secondary School.
    Yet even in the poorest neighborhood (Colonia) in Puerto Vallarta,
 the teachers and students of Volcanes continued to work 
e
very day 
to improve the school grounds with grass and plenty of newly planted trees that will give shade in the coming years.   They and the families of Volcanes are so proud of their Primary School and continue to see it as the heart of their community.
       While at the new 6 classroom Volcanes Primary School, visitors can also easily see the remarkable work done to the once derelict former school building.  The VCEP re-furbished the abandoned school's five old stripped classrooms.  Refinished them with new windows, wiring, lighting, and computers.  They then began to offer after-hour English and Computer classes for the children to attend after their regular school day was over. 
    Two of the classrooms now have English classes for the kids, the third is the new computer classroom with donated state-of-the-art HP laptops and the fourth classroom is on its way to becoming the school's library.  The last two classrooms have been turned into one of Puerto Vallarta's few libraries and study/meeting room.   It's all on a shoe-string but it's working. 

Volcanes School