Teaching Local Women Sewing since 2015
     It took a great deal of time, fund-raising and effort to bring about the transformation of an unused day care building into a new Community Sewing School.  The VCEP sought out sponsors and people with vision who saw in those initial plans a special something that would work to help that community.  The construction period lasted many months and often stopped as new funding was needed.  Art, Josephina and their supporters at City Hall including the Mayor pushed to have this project go through.  Finally, the building was completed except for air conditioning when the first 30 women showed up a week before the official start of their training. 
     On Monday January 5 of 2015, 30 women arrived to help set up the school, equipment, and begin to get familiar with their sewing machines.  They ranged in age from 19 to 69, grand-mothers to single women to one mother of 4 who was already six or seven months pregnant.  The fear in their eyes was evident as most had last been in a classroom when they had been in primary school.  The reading level of these women also varied widely and it was quite a challenge for them as their training would be long and extensive. 

     A week later on January 12th, Sylvia from Sewing Seeds arrived with her 8 volunteers to begin a grueling and intensive two week training session that would last from 9am to 6pm every day and would be held Monday to Saturday.  The women all persevered but many fought back tears and thoughts of quitting.  Some felt they would never master the complicated machines and techniques.  Others feared not being allowed due to poor eyesight.  When the Sewing Seeds volunteers could not understand why one lady's work was so odd, the idea of lending her a pair of inexpensive reading glasses made all the difference.

    The Mayor and other dignitaries and sponsors were at hand for the official opening on Friday January 23.  It was a wonderful ceremony but 
a smaller more intimate graduation ceremony was held for these women the next day on Saturday January 24.  These 30 women has stayed for every day and hour of the course and for many of them, it was the first time in their lives they graduated and received and type of diploma.  With their friends and families watching, the tears of joy and achievement flowed from the participants and also from those of us watching on. 

    Over the next ten months, these women continued their training with two more intense two week sessions with Sewing Seeds bring their level of expertise from novice to expert.  Already, several have now been employed by PV hotels and businesses and are now earning money to support their families for the first time.  Those of us involved know this is the start of something very special for Colonia Volcanes.   

Help Needed Now To Help Women Learn to Sew
     During the first year of training at the Sewing School, the cost of providing trainers, materials, and much of the equipment used at the school was donated by Sewing Seeds.   But for subsequent years, the women who want to be trained will need financial help to take this training or be sponsored.  If you can help, please contact us and we will send you information on a local Volcanes mother who is trying to change her life.

 Building the Sewing School
    Work began in late 2013 on a long term project to bring much needed employment to one of the poorest neighborhoods of Puerto Vallarta.  The first part of bringing in jobs and income to Colonia Volcanes is recognizing that it is the mothers of children who need to be helped as they are often single and at home unable to earn money to help their children stay in school.   If the dream of creating jobs is to be realized, the first task was to train local mothers and then follow that up by creating small co-operative manufacturing business run by the mothers themselves.  
     The First Phase of this long term project was to train local area mothers in the art of Sewing.  But instead of a one time training session in a temporary location, plans began to build a permanent Sewing School to continue to train women over the coming years.  This process is now completed and the school opened in January of 2015.   

Click below for more information on what it took to build this Sewing School.