"To provide better opportunities for our community in their most basic needs: education and employment."
During the last 30 years, Mar de Jade under the direction of Dr. Laura del Valle, has been actively involved in community development. For 25 years we ran a Primary Care Clinic, which received medical students and professionals as part of a volunteer program. In addition, we have been responsive to other community needs as they have arisen, creating over the years: a human rights group, a sewing co-op and a citizen education program.
We currently operate two community projects: an educational and cultural center for children and teens called “El Club de Amigos” (The Kids Program); and “El Rancho” (The Farm), where we grow organic produce and process organic goods such as marmalade, peanut butter, etc.
Coming soon! Thanks to your support, we will soon begin building an art, education and recycling center; a space dedicated to the children and community of Chacala.
Due to economic problems and lack of family and societal support, many youth are at risk of dropping out of school, early teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol use and abuse, drug trafficking and other illegal activities such as robbery and prostitution.
Since 1994, we have operated El Club de Amigos (After School Kids Program) in the farming town of Las Varas, Nayarit. At this after-school center, over 50 children and adolescents (6 to 18 years old) participate in activities that nurture their creative, emotional, physical and social abilities.
Workshops and Activities:
- A healthy meal
- Tutoring and help with homework
- Music and singing
- Dance and Theatre
- Art and Arts & Crafts
- Sports and Martial Arts
In addition, the club offers professional psychological assistance and counseling for children, adolescents and parents.This project exists thanks to the invaluable helps of guests, volunteers and donators. Thanks to your support, every day many kids benefit from this program.
One of our exciting projects started in 2006 is "El Rancho", a 19 acre Organic Farm seven miles from Chacala, where we are growing abundant vegetables, fruits, and legumes. In addition to consuming the produce fresh, we process them into delicious and natural products for use at Mar de Jade and for sale. The intention is to create a sustainable industry of healthy and organic products created by our community.
- Marmalades: Mango, Jamaica, Pineapple, Orange...
- Peanut butter
- Salsa, preserves and dressings
- Yoghurt, cheese and creams.
Our organic farm has several purposes:
1. To supply our Kitchen with healthy, organic, fresh produce to prepare for guests at Mar de Jade to enjoy while on vacation or attending a yoga retreat. As well as to provide healthy food for our non-profit, After School Kids Program (El Club de Amigos) in the town of Las Varas, Mexico.
2. We hope it will serve as a model for the local farming community, which is dependent on mono-culture crops, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, of how it is possible to return to self sufficiency and abundance by cultivating a wide diversity of nourishing foods with non toxic farming methods.
3. We are creating food-processing micro-enterprises in order to employ local women in producing goods such as mango marmalade, peanut butter, cheeses, dried fruits and vegetables and other products to be consumed at Mar de Jade and for sale.
There is a steep learning curve for Organic Farming and Permaculture in the tropics and we can use all of the help we can get! Although we now have an Agronomist and several full-time farmers working the ranch, we can always use an extra pair of hands for planting seeds, preparing the soil and harvesting.