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Location: Colonias
Telephone: +52 99 88 88 06 66
In Colonia La Gloria
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Isla Mujeres, Q. Roo
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Have you ever wished you could give a little back to say thank you for all you have received from Isla Mujeres? Would you like a way to have more communication and connection with the people who live on Isla, from the fishermen to the homemakers and shopkeepers? Do you enjoy volunteering but are not sure how or what to do? Let me introduce you to La Gloria English School!

The mission of the school is to give the residents of Isla Mujeres, with special focus on people living in La Gloria, the opportunity to learn English. The school opened in January of 2004, and is offering basic and intermediate classes in spoken English with emphasis on pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. We are teaching adults, teens and children. We also have an on-site children’s library to encourage reading in both English and Spanish.

The building was constructed with the private funds of Wisconsin residents Tom and Maggie Washa, who saw the need for English on Isla as the island changed from a fishing village to a tourist destination. Although the Mayan culture is romanticized, the Mayan people living on Isla are almost all at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. There was no affordable English school available to most Isla residents. The School itself is a non-profit, and at this time, the space, materials and teaching are all donated. Tuition is charged to the students, but at a rate they can afford, which is not enough to cover the school’s start-up costs and expenses.

Future plans include English-Spanish conversation partner programs and a scholarship fund to provide a higher education for the best students from the community.


Donate yourself!
If you are good at listening and enjoy the role of assistant, we can use your help in the classroom. With extra helpers, the teachers are able to do small group work, and students get more individual attention. You do not need to speak Spanish, and it can be a great setting to get to know some very friendly people in the community! Contact the school or come for a visit to find out when and how to volunteer in the classroom.

There are also ways to help out in the office, if classroom time does not appeal to you.

Donate money!
With cash donations, we can meet expenses that a donation of materials cannot cover. If you are a U.S. citizen, your donation to "Friends of La Gloria English School Inc", a U.S. non-profit, is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Send a check or money order payable to "Friends of La Gloria English School Inc" to:

Dr. John Lalor
2995 Kentville Drive
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
ATTN: Friends of La Gloria English School

or visit www.folges.org and go to the How you can help page to make a secure donation on line.

Donate yourself as an ESL teacher!
We are looking for a few good teachers who will donate their time and their hearts to teach English at the school. Contact Maggie Washa if this interests you. mservais@tds.net

Bring stuff to the school!
We can use school supplies, simple word games and office supplies. Also, donations of good used clothing are very useful to the community. Periodically we hold our own rummage sales to offset school expenses.

Donate good used laptop computers!
There are a number of students in the community whose families have stretched their budget to the limit to get them to college, but cannot afford to own computers. Without them they are faced with the extra work and expense going to Internet cafes to try to complete assignments in a poor working environment. Having a computer can make the difference between staying in school and giving up. The computers need to have some version of Windows and an internal modem.

Spread the word!
The more people who know about us, the more help we will get.

La Gloria English school is located in the community known as La Gloria, about 4 miles south of the city center. It is a 5-minute walk from The Little Yellow School House (for children with special educational needs), the Red Cross, the Women’s Bead Cooperative and the Mundaca Preserve.

This project started as a dream for the future and is now becoming a reality. People are learning English, kids are getting exposed to books, students are getting laptops and there is the possibility of scholarships for young scholars. At this time we are getting daily requests for English classes by people living in the community. Our waiting list is getting longer and longer! When we can pay teachers, we will have more classes to offer the community. With enough resources, this school can become an invaluable resource for the people of La Gloria, and for everyone who visits Isla Mujeres.

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