Improving the economic opportunities of the local people through education

Who are we?

We are a Mexican non-profit organization that provides language and literacy opportunities free of charge to the local people of La Manzanilla and its surrounding areas.  Our mission is to offer educational and professional development programs aimed at raising the overall literacy level of this Mexican community, so that they may have a more prosperous future in a changing time and economy.  Tourism is increasingly economic base of the Costa Alegre region and this has led community members to search out improved educational opportunities (especially for learning English) so they are better able to take advantage of the tourist economy.

Who do we help? LCEF empowers the local people of La Manzanilla and Ingenios by providing educational and professional development programs.  This is a vital component to the further development of the area as the majority of residents live in poor conditions and have little to no formal education; 90% of the area’s population works in service industries, such as house cleaning and construction; only 1/3 of the youth that start middle school go on to high school; and 1 in 20 children from the community receives a college degree. As the cost of living has drastically increased over the years, the community has increasingly sought out training and education that presents the opportunity for economic stability.

What is our approach? In order to support the community’s development, LCEF takes a grassroots, community oriented approach. Projects and programs are created in response to needs expressed by the community and continue due to collaborative efforts with community members. Operating since January of 2003, LCEF offers English language classes in the schools and in the adult community of La Manzanilla, mathematics classes, business development training, scholarships to students entering middle school, high school and college, tutoring to students with special needs, and assistance to the public schools with raising funds for their educational projects.  

What is our vision? Our strategic vision is that in 5 to 10 years, a significant number of the children in the schools in La Manzanilla will be relatively proficient in English, opening more possibilities for their future.  We are also aiming to significantly raise the overall literacy level of the children and the adult population, by teaching them literacy skills in Spanish and Mathematics. These skills, coupled with training in small business development, will work to help improve the economic opportunities of the local people.

Where do the funds come from? LCEF receives the majority of its funds from individual donors. As LCEF is a volunteer-run organization, these funds directly support the continuation and creation of valuable programs that work to empower the people of La Manzanilla.


Our Programs For more information on our programs please see our Programs page.

La Catalina Educational Foundation is looking for sponsors, supplies and donations to keep our programs running. To donate to any of these programs via PayPal please click on the donate button below:

To view the supplies wish list please click here.