I'd like to begin by recalling a quote that many of you might remember from the inauguration ceremony of our first building at the Campus De Mita:
“Faces of our charity from the board to our staff are bound to change as our lives progress but the mission to create opportunities through education is here to stay”
The departure of our executive director has created a vacancy that will be filled in due course. It presents an opportunity to find someone whose skills align perfectly with our future needs. The growth, reputation, and mission scope of Peace make it an appealing prospect for seasoned nonprofit professionals, and we are optimistic about finding the ideal candidate. We have initiated a comprehensive search for the right individual to lead our charity into the next phase of our mission: to create educational opportunities for our cherished community.
This year, we have achieved much to be proud of. The fundamental operation of our daily programs, supporting traditional learning curriculums for our students, has been significantly bolstered by our staff's dedication and hard work. This year, we welcomed well-qualified teachers to enhance these programs. The success of the Campeones program has not only been replicated but also improved. It's clear that the children participating in our after-school programs are excelling in the local high school (prepa). This model for comprehensive programs has proven effective and will be crucial as we expand to include prepa-age students.
We want to assure everyone that the programs you experienced in 2023 will continue into 2024. Fully funded for the 2024 school year, these programs, along with our teachers, eagerly await the return of our students, both current and new, in January. We plan to relocate our classes and offices to the new school campus once it is ready and authorized to accept students.
Our Peace Campus school construction project is progressing on schedule and within budget. As we aim for a fully certified and operational high school by fall 2024, our facility will require basic furniture like desks, chairs, tables, and culinary equipment for an anticipated first class of approximately 70 prepa students. We will also need a comprehensive digital system including computer equipment, wifi access points for building security, and state-of-the-art learning systems, which are increasingly available across North America, including Mexico. Our fundraising efforts in the first quarter of 2024 will focus on these additional needs, separate from our general programming budget.
Considerable effort has been invested this year in fostering a relationship with the State Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) to administer a public high school curriculum in our privately-owned facility. The unique nature of our private-public partnership and the legislative environment in the State of Nayarit have posed challenges, but we remain committed to finding solutions.
The board of directors is actively determining which educational program will best serve our local needs. It's time to acknowledge that Peace Punta Mita has evolved into an educational institution with the potential to significantly impact not only our local communities but also the broader Bay of Banderas region. Realizing this mission will require additional funding and commitment.
The Peace board and staff are grateful for your continued support as we explore and decide upon the most suitable direction for our educational program. We will soon share opportunities for donors to contribute, including naming rights for our building, classrooms, and digital equipment.
Frank Hutto, President
PEACE Board of Directors