Blog

Summertime

August 2022

Dear Friends of Liga MAC

Words no one wants to hear: “Summer is nearly over!” As the summer season winds down, students and teachers contemplate the start of a new school, while our Liga MAC staff continue preparing for student support program registration, orientation, school tuition payments, and uniform voucher disbursal. Classes will begin districtwide in person, for the first time in two years, on August 29 for junior high school (secundaria) students, August 22 for high school (preparatoria) students, and August 29 for university (universidad) students.

In recent months we have highlighted some major donations to one-time fundraising drives and some significant community involvement benefitting individual students. Also significant but flying under the radar are many community sponsors who contribute to Liga MAC on an ongoing basis. Our profile this month is of a local business that has been quietly benefitting Liga MAC and other charitable local organizations for many years.

During the 2021/2022 school year, pandemic learning meant that adaptations to our regular programs were required. We will review one of our outsourced adapted programs from the perspective of the facilitators. This fall should see a return to near normal pre-pandemic activities in Los Cabos and we are happy to share information about several upcoming Liga MAC fundraising events. Dr. Deneb Poli will give us a cautiously optimistic glimpse of the Los Cabos health scene in her Doctor’s Corner column.

 

Community Sponsor:

Back to the Rack

 

In 2008, ex-pat Canadian Muriel Olsen and her business partner, Angie Lehmann had an idea to fill a gap in the city clothing market, provide local employment, give back to their community and hopefully make a living for themselves. The pair started a consignment store that they named “Back to the Rack”. The store which outgrew its original location many years ago will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in January and boasts 12 employees in addition to Muriel and Angie.

The relationship between Liga MAC and Back to the Rack will also be celebrating its 15th anniversary and is genuinely a win-win. Liga MAC’s Donation Centre/Bookstore in Colonia Chamizal receives all types of donations which are filtered by the volunteer staff. 

Better quality clothing items are sent to Back to the Rack where they will garner a better price than the 5 pesos most items sell for at the Liga MAC centre. In addition, some Back to the Rack consignors designate their proceeds to Liga MAC or one of the other 4 Back to the Rack supported charities. 

The proceed split to normal consignors is 40% but in the case of the 5 charities 60% of the sale price winds up in the charity’s coffers. Further, once consignment items have run their course in the store, several carloads of unsold items a week are sent to Liga MAC’s Donation Centre for sale at much reduced prices.  

Back to the Rack also provides free clothing to those in need who are looking for work or who have lost their belongings in natural disasters. After Hurricane Odile in 2014, Back to the Rack teamed up with Liga MAC to supply high school graduates with grad gowns and has, for over 10 years, sponsored a fundraising fashion show for another local charity, Ayudando a Mama. As an indication of the income generated for Liga MAC by Back to the Rack, just in the past 18 months, the store has generated over $5,500 USD for Liga MAC’s programs.

The success of Back to the Rack is due, as Muriel notes, to the fact that anyone can afford to shop at the store thanks to prices ranging from 160 to 180 pesos. There is also a wide variety of goods which arrive in Los Cabos in the suitcases of visitors from all over the world. The store becomes the repository for holiday wear, some of it designer, that owners decide not to repatriate. 

As a result, Muriel and her staff have seen some pretty unusual and high end apparel including one consignment item that left them “All Shook Up”: a professional Elvis impersonator suit! 

In the words of the King, Back to the Rack: we “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with “The Wonder of You”!

Program Review: Spanish and Mathematics Tutoring

Recognizing that learning loss would be the fallout from school shutdowns and remote learning, Liga MAC decided to proactively engage professional tutors in the subjects of Spanish and Math for our educational support students. The tutoring program began in May 2022 and was conducted in 8 week intervals to accommodate 10 groups of Grade 8 and 9 students. 

Liga MAC worked together with the teaching staff from Centro Pedgógico del Valle led by Directora General, Griselda Pérez del Valle. In her yearend report, Sra. del Valle noted that the evaluation exercise given to each student at the commencement of the program indicated that 90% of the students were unable to correctly answer 50% of the evaluation questions. The remaining 10% of students scored only marginally better. 

Unable to tackle the entire course curriculum, the teachers concentrated on “the greatest amount of learning expected from the grade” with emphasis on the basic skills of reading, writing, and spelling. Math concepts were dealt with on an individual basis with students sharing their math problems and teachers discussing the underlying math concepts. 

The Directora summarized that, “overall the students were provided with tools that will be very useful in the rest of their academic lives as well as in their work and social lives.”

One of the teaching staff quoted in the report, Lic. Gabriela Sotres Orbezo, noted that although students started the program very timidly, lacking basic skills, they left with more confidence and better comprehension in the area of reading.

 

 Coming Events

For the golfers in the crowd, please make a note that the 13th Annual Knick Nac Golf Tournament at Querencia Private Golf will return on Thursday, November 17, 2022. A crowd pleaser, the event features an 18 hole team scramble format, dinner, silent auction (with rounds of golf at many hard to access courses), and heaps of fun! 

For more information please contact Linda Myers at lindalgklas@aol.com. 

 

The much awaited Tequila & Tacos event at Habanero’s Gastro Grill will take place on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. 

There will be “all you can eat tacos” plus tequila tasting plus live music and dancing. 

Come for the food, stay for the fun, and help support Liga MAC. 

As we approach the event, we will provide ticket information so stay tuned…

 

Learning Centre Update

Plans are now complete and have been approved by the Building Committee and the Board of Directors. Since May, a local contractor and architect has been working with Liga MAC staff to fine tune our needs for the Centre and develop detailed drawings. The plan is for construction to move forward this fall with construction completion in 12 months. 

 

Doctor’s Corner

By Dr. Deneb Poli

August has begun and we are well into a very hot summer. Along with the heat come storms and mosquitos! Los Cabos is an area where Dengue Fever (also known as Breakbone Fever) is endemic. 

Mosquitoes transmit this virus that causes high fevers, bone pain, headache (especially behind the eyes) and on occasion stomach symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Please take precautions not only to be prepared for the storm season with additional water, canned foods, batteries, candles and lamps but also with mosquito repellent.

COVID 19 incidence rate has slowly been creeping up again over the last 3 weeks, with an increase in cases and with roughly 60% positivity in testing. Thankfully almost all cases have been mild with low grade fevers, sore throat, headache, and in some cases diarrhea. Restaurants continue at 70% capacity and can close at 3 am and masks continue to be mandatory in closed spaces. 

There are currently over 450 active cases in Los Cabos all with reportedly mild symptoms. Vaccination continues to move forward and are readily available at health clinics and also with age specific campaigns on a larger scale at designated locations in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. 

We have had the first reports of monkeypox in Los Cabos and thankfully the cases were isolated quickly and effectively. As international travel continues, it was inevitable that at some point we would have the introduction of the virus into our municipality. Thankfully in most cases, the symptoms of monkeypox go away on their own within a few weeks. 

Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes. This is followed by or accompanied by the development of a rash which can last for two to three weeks. As we see how the virus affects us locally we will be able to determine what health safety measures may need to be put in place moving forward to mitigate the propagation of the virus. 

 

Closing Remarks

Who doesn’t recall the excitement of returning to class after two months of sun and fun with its incumbent trip to the store for new clothes, shoes and school supplies. The smell of new books, pencils, erasers and paper clogging our senses and helping to build the anticipation. 

Liga MAC’s students will share that same anticipation thanks to the contributions of our community sponsors like Back to the Rack and our many volunteers and donors. But more than shiny new things, our students look forward to the opportunity for learning that many others take for granted. 

With your help Liga MAC is continuing to help change lives through education!

Looking forward to a new school year!

Sincerely,

Maria Lindenberg, President

Liga MAC Board of Directors

 

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