VAMOS! (Vermont Associates for Mexican Opportunity and Support) is a small but powerful non profit based in Vermont that works with the poor in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. We started because we thought that we could and should do something about the poverty that we saw in Mexico.
While visiting Cuernavaca in 1987 we saw the incredible poverty that families lived in every day. Dirt floors. No water. Shacks made out of shipping crates from the nearby Nissan factory. Little opportunity and often no hope. When we see this, how many times do we say, that is terrible. We should do something. Well we did. A group of ordinary people made a decision to help our sisters and brothers in Mexico and so VAMOS! was born. We started with a few guiding principles. The first being that any money that people donated would go directly to support our programs. Thanks to a generous grant from a family foundation, the Woodhaven Foundation, which underwrites the salary and expense of our Executive Director and our Program Director in Mexico, we have been able to stay true to that pledge – every cent donated goes directly to the poor. We also decided that rather than come with our North American ideas and desires we would listen to the poor, and partner with them in their dreams for a better life. And so we do not go into a community and begin a project. We meet with community leaders as they pull together a process for working as a community. We provide materials, they provide the labor. We hire local people and provide the training that they need to do the jobs they are hired to do. And the only condition to come to one of our centers is poverty. Anyone and everyone is welcome! Today our 10 centers provide meals, education, medical services, computer classes, music classes and programs for women and the elderly. Each project is located in a poor colonia in Morelos, most of them on the outskirts of the city of Cuernavaca. In 2013 VAMOS! served over 165,000 meals at our various community centers. We get our funding through grants from some organizations but primarily through individual donations. Won’t you join us in making a difference? Won’t you commit to ‘do something’ to help the poor? Your VAMOS! donations go a long way too! Our meals cost an average of 87 cents each and they are all made fresh each day at our centers by local women. You CAN make a difference! Please check out our site at vamos.org.mx and visit our facebook page at facebook.com/vamosinmexico. Thank you!