The Panamerican Institute is a fully accredited Mexican technical school. The Institute prepares deprived teenagers for jobs that would otherwise be out of their reach. Currently, the school provides a free secondary education for 75 students from Tijuana. President Juana Santos and most of the teachers are graduates of the Institute. Other teachers work half-days at the school, and in return, are awarded scholarships to continue their education at the University of Tijuana.
The school building has five classrooms, a science laboratory, a library, and an office. Here, the students are taught to read and write English as well as learn basic clerical skills, including bookkeeping, filing, and documentation. They learn how to compute currency in the American money system. There are classes in history and science as well. All of these skills will make employment highly probable upon graduation. Though Mexico does not allow religious education in their public schools, the faculty at the Panamerican Institute studies the Bible each week to better convey Christian values and ethics, by lifestyle and example.
Since its founding, part of the philosophy of the Institute is that each one would “give as one receives.” Consequently, the students are expected to clean the building, assist in the office or library, clerk in the “thrift shop,” or help in some way with maintenance. Additional help in the maintenance of the building comes from Congregational Churches who send volunteers to Tijuana to work at the Institute.
An ongoing need exists for typewriters, desks, chairs, and school and office supplies. Bus fare for the students, some of whom come from a distance of 30 miles, is also a key to aiding students in their education.
Visit their website at: www.panamericaninstitute.org
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August 2012 Update