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Homeschooling movement grows in Mexico
"We left to come to the homeschool conference with just enough money for our room and food, and some left over for materials," said Jesus and Carmen Garcia, Mexican homeschooling parents. On their way to the conference in Saltillo—a city of over 500,000—this past summer, a tire went flat. Then the spare went flat as well. "We had to buy a new tire, and we no longer had enough money to buy any materials."
But when they arrived at the conference, they found a "great surprise." A scholarship check was waiting for them at the registration desk, a gift from Vida Nueva Ministries.
Giving "great surprises" like the one related in Mr. and Mrs. Garcia's thank you letter is nothing new for Mike and Pam Richardson, who moved to Mexico in 1993. The Richardsons organize the Saltillo conference and are themselves homeschooling parents of nine children. "The Lord has led us to the decision not to charge for the magazine, conference or the cassettes given to each family. We do not take up offerings at the meetings . . . As a result of the generosity of some Christian brothers, we have been able to share with many families—helping them purchase their school materials."
"After coming to Mexico, we began to meet a few families from all over the country who were teaching their children at home," Mike said. The Richardsons observed that in addition to facing limited financial resources, these families all struggled to find home education and parenting materials in Spanish—such resources were few and far between.
To help meet those needs, in 1996 Mike and Pam began publishing a three-page bulletin called El Hogar Educador, distributed to 70 families. Today, the bulletin has grown to a 28-page bimonthly magazine, still sent free of charge to over 2,000 families throughout Mexico and 28 other countries. The Richardsons also organize the only annual national homeschool conference in Mexico, with more than 900 people in attendance last year at Saltillo. They recently initiated the first annual homeschool conference in Mexico City and obtained printing equipment to enable them to inexpensively publish materials translated into Spanish.
"Vida Nueva Ministries has changed the lives of hundreds of families, giving them hope for their children," says HSLDA Attorney Christopher Klicka. "Without the Richardsons, homeschooling would be an impossibility for many of these families."
>> For more information or to help provide a curriculum/materials scholarship, contact:
Mike and Pam Richardson
Vida Nueva Ministries
1001 South 10th St., Suite G-529
McAllen, TX 78501