Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays

Here is to another successful year as 2018 brought new members, new projects and new opportunities to follow up in 2019. We would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and to know how grateful we are for the support, advice, ideas and time given to us in 2018.

We acknowledge that our success is due to the commitment and support from Mundoers, funders, and community members we work with on the ground. We are merely an entity that allows like minded individuals to come together for the common cause of improving the lives of those less fortunate in the world. 

2018 is a perfect example of completing initiatives, one project at a time by visiting communities, meeting with local leaders, presenting to potential partners, recruiting volunteers and looking for the next important project. We want to ensure we continue the same approach in the coming year.

From all of us at the Isa Mundo Foundation, we wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year!!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Boca Education Project

Mundoers were on-site this week and visited the Boca school.  We are happy to report that the IMEC is doing well and many activities are being held inside the centre.  During our visit today, we were able to see students participating in various English literacy and reading lessons led by Maestra Cynthia and a volunteer.

We observed closely the interaction between teacher and students and more importantly, how the IMEC laptops and library have become part of their daily school curriculum. This allowed us to assess that we could expand in 2019 by providing additional space and technology to allow more students to access the IMEC.

We were also able to coordinate another visit next week by Mundoers (Ed and Jo) to meet the Boca students and bring another teacher from Yelapa as a guest to assess the education project in the village.  In the future, our goal is to launch an IMEC in the village of Yelapa. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Visit to Casa Connor / Pasitos de Luz

We are happy to be back and enjoy the day with the children and staff at the new Casa Connor, the new home of Pasitos de Luz program. We are always grateful for the opportunity to visit and learn from some of the most inspiring people doing important work in the community.

We were glad to see old friends, happy faces of children, and learn about new projects and challenges on how to sustain and improve the services provided in the facility. We participated in dance activities, play time, helped feed the children, learn about energy use and met with the Founders (Peter and Teena) on plans for 2019!

We are discussing how to launch or support Pasitos de Luz in the coming year and will be looking for new partners and volunteers to brainstorm ideas that we can implement to contribute to existing services at Casa Connor. If you have any advice, please contact us at info@isamundo.org.

PS. We introduced the youngest Mundoer to the world during this visit.  Meet Eva, the little sister of Sila.  We are hoping that the two of them find inspiration during these trips and take Isa Mundo farther than we ever think is possible.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bienvenido a México

Mundoers will make its last trip of 2018 to Jalisco, Mexico the first week of November. It has been a very productive year in the region for Isa Mundo as it launched a new Isa Mundo Education Centre (IMEC) in the village of Boca de Tomatlan. We will be bringing books, education supplies and laptops to enhance the centre.

The trip in March with GYLN and a follow up visit by Mundoers in May, allowed us to assess further needs of the IMEC and the after school program. The last visit will determine how to move forward in 2019 and set the objective to carry the IMEC into year two of our five year commitment.

During our visit, we will also have the opportunity to visit Casa Connor / Pasitos de Luz to volunteer for a day to help staff with activities and day to day operation. 

We will update on site and thank you for everyone's support on our on-going projects in Mexico.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is celebrated each year on August 9th.  Since our launch in 2006, we have supported the United Nation's message to protect and promote the rights of Indigenous peoples, specifically in countries and communities we work with.  Our education projects have ensured that Indigenous languages are also in the forefront of curriculum development along with other languages taught to improve literacy.

Isa Mundo has also supported traditional agricultural practices that are promoted by Indigenous peoples and are deemed sustainable by community members for their own needs.

Indigenous peoples remain some of the most vulnerable groups in the world. Their traditional knowledge has shown to provide solutions to some of the challenges we currently face in environmental and social issues.  Today, we celebrate and commemorate their languages, knowledge and cultures that continue to inspire and contribute to the world.

To learn more, visit the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples website.

Photo courtesy of @UNESCO. #WeAreIndigenous

Monday, June 11, 2018

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

In our most recent visits to the Philippines and Mexico, we are reminded of the gap in the standard of living between North America and parts of the developing world. The inequality in education, health and safety is evident and that reducing poverty to improve situations of the less fortunate must be an inclusive one.

Facts and Figures from the United Nations include:
  • A significant majority of households in developing countries—more than 75 per cent of the population—are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s
  • Evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold, inequality harms growth and poverty reduction, the quality of relations in the public and political spheres and individuals’ sense of fulfilment and self-worth
  • In a global survey conducted by UN Development Programme, policy makers from around the world acknowledged that inequality in their countries is generally high and potentially a threat to long-term social and economic development
  • Evidence from developing countries shows that children in the poorest 20 per cent of the populations are still up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in the richest quintiles
  • Despite overall declines in maternal mortality in the majority of developing countries, women in rural areas are still up to three times more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centres
Isa Mundo Foundation remains committed to support all our international projects to ensure that we work collaboratively with local organizations, community members and decision makers to narrow the gap on inequality in education, children and youth and environmental health issues.

To learn more about Goal #10 click on the poster Reduced Inequalities: Why it Matters.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mundoers in Boca de Tomatlan... AGAIN

Isa Mundo sent volunteers back to Boca de Tomatlan to follow up the successful launch of a new education project in the village.  Isa Mundo formally accepted Boca de Tomatlan as the newest Isa Mundo Education Centre (IMEC) in Mexico and will continue to support this IMEC in the future.Mundoers brought additional laptops and educational supplies; engage and work with students; and do a formal assessment of future upgrades to the learning centre. Gracias once again to ERA and staff for their support.

Mundoers were able to provide on-site update and photos to share with our members and supporters.

Blog provided by Troy Liu. 

On May 24, 2018, we visited Boca de Tomatlan, a small fishing village just south of Puerto Vallarta. The goal of this visit is to bring additional supplies such as laptops and books to the local primeria (school), to help increase its capacity and accessibility to learning tools and materials. This was a follow up visit that Isa Mundo and GYLN completed in March. We spent the morning with a class of bright and eager children, conducting activities on the laptops and decorating a fishing net to celebrate Mariners’ Day, a local festivity to honor family and friends who have been lost at sea. For many of them, this was one of their first interactions with a computer. 

It was amazing to see their reactions as they learn basic skills such as how to change the text from black to any colour of their choice. I was quickly reminded of the wonderful feeling and amazement when I first discovered what a computer was. After class, we would hear waves of laughter and splashes coming from the children at the beach. This has been an amazing experience and it really helped put things into perspective for us. We see that with the same access to resources and opportunities, these children can also chase their dreams and grow up to be anything they wish to be and contribute to their community and society at large. We would like to thank Cynthia Leigh, who coordinates the English and computer programs at the primeria.  She is an inspiration and we thank her for hosting our stay in her local accommodation. 

We can't wait to return again to this wonderful village and school. 

Troy y Yvonne

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

In various travels that Mundoers have accomplished, we have seen all forms of transportation, infrastructure and communication technology. Some are advanced, others are decades behind while parts of the world still lack any of those same services and technologies that people enjoy in the developed world.

Facts and Figures from the United Nations include:
  • Quality infrastructure is positively related to the achievement of social, economic and political goals
  • About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time
  • 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic sanitation and almost 800 million people lack access to water, many hundreds of millions of them in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia
  • In developing countries, barely 30 per cent of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing. In high-income countries, 98 per cent is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness
  • Manufacturing is an important employer, accounting for around 470 million jobs worldwide in 2009 – or around 16 per cent of the world’s workforce of 2.9 billion. In 2013, it is estimated that there were more than half a billion jobs in manufacturing
In our visits and meetings with community members and local organizations worldwide, we have learned that developing technology and infrastructures such as - transportation, energy, communication and access to water - is a key factor in improving productivity and health situations of community members.  Isa Mundo Foundation continues to work with local organizations who are focusing on alternative energy and sustainable agricultural practices to improve conditions in their communities.

To learn more about Goal #9 click on the poster Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Why it Matters.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hola Boca de Tomatlan!

Members of the Global Youth Leadership Network - GYLN (Kelvin Au, Janice Lee, Aileen Lai and Chris Cheng) and Isa Mundo Foundation Founder and Director (Paul Lorilla) arrived in Boca de Tomatlan today to aid the development of a learning centre in the village of Boca de Tomatlan.

We arrived early in the morning and received a warm "Bienvenido" from students, teachers and Cynthia Leigh, the Lead Coordinator of Boca de Tomatlan Community Education Program.  Cynthia outlined the operation of the school and showed us the classroom that will become the main space for her after school English lesson, literacy and computer program.

GYLN representatives spent the morning with students teaching them about their organization and stories of their lives in Vancouver and abroad.  They read books, participated in curriculum activities and led outdoor games with all the kids. The rest of the day was spent building shelves, assembling a storage system, setting up laptops and organizing books for a future library. The group also had time to visit the Secundario school and a hike to explore the rest of the Boca village and local life.

The first day ended with a stop to Old Vallarta area to see souvenir shops and local eateries to celebrate the day.

The next day will be another busy morning and an afternoon trip to Casa Connor to learn about Pasitos de Luz and spend time with the children and staff of this important facility serving children with disabilities in the area.


GYLN and Isa Mundo!

PS: Wanted to acknowledge ERA again for their continued support in providing much needed laptops to children and students in schools we work with.  Gracias ERA!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mexico Project March 21-27, 2018

Isa Mundo Foundation will be joining a youth group in Mexico this month to officially launch a new partnership with the Boca de Tomatlan school. Mundoers visited the school for the first time in November 2017 and continued discussion on how to develop a partnership moving forward.

The group provided a blog as a formal note to Isa Mundo Foundation and its members.


We would like to introduce the Sunwah Foundation Global Young Leaders Network (GYLN) - a non-profit organization that provides social services internationally, with on-going projects around the world to serve communities, support people in need and develop leadership skills in young leaders.

The organization was formed by a group of volunteers who are passionate in giving back to societies and develop a network to exchange cultural values and diversities. We establish chapters and recruit members globally to strengthen local connections and provide direct support to communities.

GYLN's objectives align well with Isa Mundo's approach in providing service to less fortunate communities around the world and supporting families in need, while collaborating with other not-for-profit organizations to create a larger impact globally. The experience of Isa Mundo in Mexico, where resources for schools are not enough relative to those local schools in Canada, provides us an insight of the importance in serving our neighboring countries as well. We believe that partnering with Isa Mundo will allow us to explore the vast opportunities of volunteering in areas related to schools in Mexico.

This will be our first project in Mexico and we are planning our visit during the week of March 21 - 27, 2018. The first stage of the week long project is to support the refurbishing of classrooms, bring school supplies and host teaching activities for students in Boca de Tomatlan School. We are also planning a visit to Casa Connor/Pasitos de Luz to understand the health and situation of children and the facility. This visit will provide an opportunity to assess potential long-term support in the future. It will be a great experience for our chapter to learn the local culture, establish connections, and explore any possibilities of future projects in the region and surrounding communities.

To learn more about our organization, please visit our website at www.sunwah-gyln.com

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Andrée Lacasse - Distinguished Alumni Award

We are pleased to announce that our Co-Founder and Chair, Children and Youth Projects, Andrée Lacasse, was recently awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Victoria. Andrée's contributions in her career working on Indigenous issues and her volunteer work as a Board Member of the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre were recognized by co-workers and Indigenous community members. 

Andrée has been instrumental in the success of the Isa Mundo Foundation and we congratulate her on this well deserved acknowledgment and honour.  We are proud to have her in the Isa Mundo family.

Well done, Andrée!

To learn more about her alumnus cohorts, please visit UVIC Distinguished Alumni Awards. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Visitor to Pasitos de Luz / Casa Connor

We would like to share a blog written by one of Isa Mundo Foundation's project site visitors. We were able to arrange a visit to Casa Connor for Kiara Scott and family to visit the Pasitos de Luz centre.

As always, we are grateful for Teena and Peter Oudman for their dedication in coordinating visits for volunteers and travelers who are interested in seeing this important facility and space.  Thank you also to Kiara for sharing your story and experience with us.

Blog written by Kiara Scott.

On December 23rd, 2017, I had the honour to visit Casa Connor and the Pasitos de Luz centre , a facility that provides local children with disabilities with a safe, loving space. With the guidance of Teena Oudman, the cofounder of Pasitos de Luz, I was personally toured around the site. We met at the local grocery store in Puerto Vallarta and her friend drove us about a half hour out of town into an developing suburban region where Casa Connor is located. 

During the scenic drive, she told me about the history of Pasitos, how far it has come, and her visions for the future. She showed me photos of the land that Casa Connor was built on, demonstrating how it started from nothing but has grown with hope and dedication. Now, the building has taken on a beautiful, simple structure with high ceilings and cut-outs that bring life and sun light into the space. There are classrooms, a cafeteria, a kitchen, bathing rooms, physical therapy rooms, playrooms, and bedrooms. Teena spoke about the immense generosity that they have received from donors, offering up big bucks for staples like therapy baths and air conditioning. Despite these contributions, she emphasized that the organization is seeking more sustainability through monthly donations to pay the staff that keeps everything running day in and out. Seeing Casa Connor and learning about how far it has come, and seeing how much more there is to become from it, was a very humbling experience. I am inspired by the intense work and perseverance it has taken Teena and her team to build Casa Connor from the ground-up, yet, it is evident that there is an important role for each individual staff member, supporter, volunteer, and donor for the success and capacity of the organization.