Royal Resorts Caring for the Community: the Mano Amiga School in Cancun

Meet some of the children who attend the Colegio Mano Amiga school in the Ciudad de la Alegria (City of Joy) community center on the outskirts of Cancún, one of the causes supported by the Royal Resorts Foundation (Fundación Royal Resorts AC). The school was opened in 2009 to give children from low-income households in marginalized areas of the city and surrounding areas an education and the opportunity for a better life.

From preschoolers to senior high students, around 1,050 children now attend the school. They are studying in a stable and safe environment, eat nutritious meals in the school canteen and have access to regular health check ups. Counselors work with the children to give them the tools they will need for life and they also reach out to the parents, involving them in activities to strengthen family ties and improve the home environment.

Students at Mano Amiga School

The Royal Resorts Foundation visited the school recently to meet children and staff and the Royal Channel was on hand to take photos. Look at the video slide show and you’ll see the happy smiling faces of children who are being given a chance to learn and enjoy their childhood.

Transforming Young Lives
Despite the fact that access to public primary and secondary education is universal in Mexico, many children still miss out on school or are forced to abandon their studies early to help support their families. Even though progress has been made, a nationwide study carried out by INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estádistica y Geografía) in 2010 revealed that 3, 537, 926 children between the ages of three and 14 still did not go to school or were unable to read or write. Rates were highest in rural areas and among ethnic minorities and girls.

The causes for this deficit are many and range from extreme poverty and language barriers to family break ups and problems at home. These children are vulnerable, some may also be the victims of domestic violence and sadly others end up on the streets.

Migration is another factor. Headed by Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the tourism centers of the Mexican Caribbean are magnets for migrants from impoverished communities in other states who flock here in search of a better livelihood. Many have young children in tow and the Mano Amiga School is a haven for them as their parents seek work and strive to improve the family’s precarious living standards.

Students at Mano Amiga School

The Mano Amiga School is run by Fundación Altius, a Mexican organization with 45 years experience in the field of education. It now manages 37 schools in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Peru and the

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Philippines.

According to the Enlace study by the Mexican Ministry of Education in 2011, the performance of students attending the different Mano Amiga schools in the country was above the national average at both primary and secondary level, surpassing that of pupils at public and private schools.

The Goal of the Royal Resorts Foundation is to Provide Scholarships
The goal of the Royal Resorts Foundation is to raise $30,000 US and provide 144 scholarships for needy students, the equivalent of four whole classrooms of children! By donating to the Foundation, you can help these children fulfill their academic potential and pursue their dreams.

Students at Mano Amiga School

For more information on the Royal Resorts Foundation and how to donate to the causes it is supporting in 2012: children’s education, conservation of the Mayan Jungle, providing cancer screening and treatment and emergency relief for employees visit www.royalresortsfoundation.org

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