Combatting Covid With Crowdfunding

2021 John Chalmers  March 2021

By John Chalmers on the March 2021 Edition

Among the many operations in the Manzanillo area that have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are community-related and charitable organizations. One such example is the Santiago Foundation, which operates two Learning Centers to give children and adults alike a leg up with the many opportunities offered.

In both the Francisco Villa district of Santiago in the urban area of Manzanillo and in the small town of El Naranjo near the city, facilities of the Santiago Foundation are used to provide educational and skill-building courses in after-school programs. Training is offered in both general interest and job-related subjects.

These include instruction in tap dancing, cooking, sewing, quilting and making jewelry and piñatas. Courses in cosmetology and carpentry can lead to jobs and English taught at the centers helps to open opportunities in many areas.

In addition to providing instruction, the Santiago Foundation provides scholarships for secondary school and university and for skills to support job training and to foster Mexican culture. Funds raised are used to pay staff and provide maintenance for the two centers operated by the Foundation.

This year, due to the pandemic, the annual “Festiago” gala dinner event which is normally attended by some 200 guests who have the opportunity to bid on items in silent and live auctions, regrettably has been cancelled.

As well, an annual rummage sale has been cancelled due to lack of donations, and other fundraising events have been put on hold. In previous years, an open house event at El Naranjo has provided a showcase for the work done by students.

Despite the loss of revenue in 2021, the cost of maintaining the Learning Centers still continues. To cope with loss of funding from the annual dinner and rummage sale, a crowdfunding campaign has been started. Donations can be made online and the campaign can be reached when you click here. Your contribution  will  enable  the  Santiago  Foundation  to  continue  the work it began when it was formed 38 years ago, in 1983, to serve the Manzanillo community.

There are several ways to provide financial support for the Santiago Foundation. One way is to contribute to the crowd-funding campaign by clicking on the link above. If you shop online at Amazon, a portion of the purchase price is donated to the Foundation when you shop through Just designate Santiago Foundation as the beneficiary to add your support.

In 2013, the Benefactor Circle was introduced. It made possible the construction of a new roof at the El Naranjo facility and purchase of tools and supplies for the carpentry program. “The Benefactor Circle allowed us to accumulate a small cushion which we have used for extraordinary needs and events due to weather and aging facilities,” says board treasurer, Joyce Murphy.

“With the loss of revenue from our annual dinner and auction, as well as the strict COVID restrictions on public gatherings, we are left with few options for fundraising this year.” For information on the Benefactor Circle, contact Joyce at

The Santiago Foundation is a registered non-profit organization (USA and Mexico). In a normal year, as many as 600 students benefit from attending classes at the Foundation’s two Learning Centers. Financial support for the Santiago Foundation, when donated through its web site at is eligible for tax-deductible donations.

Even though fundraising events in 2021 have been cancelled, and activity has been very substantially reduced at the Learning Centers, teachers have still been paid, as income they earn is crucial to the well-being of their families. The board wanted to continue acknowledging the teachers’ loyalty to Santiago Foundation, which is entirely funded by private donations, with no funding available from government. Thus, your contribution is an investment in education, skill development and job opportunity for the Manzanillo community.



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