Knoxville, Tenn teachers visit San Quintin
Gail Kempler and Miles Merritt do it again - what a great video of the Tennessee teachers visiting San Quintin during Spring Break 2015.
Thank you, Edd, for your dedication and perseverance. Click on red text link below.
From Edd Bissell: When first approached by several of the ESL teachers about the feasibility of a trip down here I was excited. All of them have primarily Mexican kids in Jefferson, Hamblen and Knox Counties where they all work and were very inquisitive about what kinds of backgrounds their kids came from before traveling to the US.
I feel not only were they able to satisfy their curiosity BUT for sure brought new and exciting things into the Village and School. They were able to use my Casa as their base -- met with loads of the Village parents, elders, youth, etc.
What an exciting time the kids had each and every day being exposed to things from blowing bubbles to making their own Ice Cream in a Ziplock bag to finding out how a volcano works. Hopefully this will open up the door to many more trips like this one.
From Laura Darby, one of the teachers: We prepared lots of lessons months ahead of the trip and brought all the materials we needed.
In the paper roller coaster lessons, we taught about potential energy, kinetic energy, gravity, speed, distance, velocity, and design.
We taught social studies-geography, land forms, Amazon River, Himalayan mountains, ice crystal formation, volcano eruption.
Lots of hands on activities to make the science and social studies real for the students.
Escuela San Quintin
Facebook page - Escuela San Quintin
San Quintin, is a small village of 34 homes and 144 people, sited in the Sierra Madre mountains between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. The village is composed primarily of three ejido (native) families: Lara, Corona, and Romero. Until 2007, no child had ever gone past the sixth grade. Now in 2013, there is one child in college, three in high school, one in special education, and eleven in secondary school.
Background: Edd Bissell, a retired pharmacist and self-described "redneck from Tennessee," lives primarily in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (Puerto Vallarta), and occasionally goes home to Knoxville.
Edd's housekeeper Patricia lives in Punta de Mita with her family, but her parents live in San Quintin. One day, as Edd was driving to Sayulita, he gave Patricia a ride to visit her parents. Edd asked Patricia why she moved away from the village, she explained that Punta de Mita had better schools. And from that day forth, Edd's passion has been to give back to "my new community, as many people did for me in my formative years."
Escuela (School): In the last six years all the infrastructure to the school has been met from electrical, school desks, playground, 300 books in Spanish and English. The school is Kindergarten through sixth grade. His emphasis now is to ensure that all children who wish to go on to higher learning are able to do so. With friends and neighbors and internet acquaintances, he has grown from the initial two children going on to higher education to sixteen children. His hope is that the school will continue to produce good students who eventually want to give back to their community.
Sunday Brunch: If you're interested in going with Edd to San Quintin for Sunday brunch, call or email; you will be expected to make a donation, in addition to paying a nominal fee for your meal. "Sunday Brunch is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Landon & Connie Hollander, and Bill and I went with Luis and Edd to San Quintin last Sunday Brunch (August 2013). We arrived at 9:45 AM (I think Brunch stops at 11 AM - maybe I should say it was breakfast), the choices were fresh tortillas, jamaica, quesadillas, birria, and menudo. How fun! After breakfast, we toured the village, met the elders, talked to children, visited the school, and walked through the slightly wet arroyo to visit the home of one of the townspeople. Edd is such an inspiration, true believer and totally dedicated to making a change in people's lives while giving a tough love approach to education and change. Please help us help Edd continue his work in educating the children." Amy Welch firstname.lastname@example.org
Education and Awards: In 2013, San Quintin children have been awarded by the state of Nayarit as being some of the highest scoring students on state exams in Math and Spanish. It's not a fluke, Edd has the children drilled daily in, e.g. multiplication tables, writing and reading.
Values Education: Edd instills into each student the rewards of not only good schooling, but making a living, and the value of work. Children are now milking cows before school, raising rabbits and chickens for money, washing cars, tending goats, helping keep a neat house - all in addition to going to school. Edd also takes students out of their environment to introduce them to the real world of hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and those new-fangled escalators and elevators.
Warning: Edd's a talker - you'll love to meet him and learn to love the children and families of San Quintin. Edd's dry wit will have you rolling with laughter, but he's serious, too. You will fall in love with Edd and the townspeople - help us support this lovely man and his vision of education and reward.
(011 52) 329 295 5004
What's New in San Quintin? A Bridge and a Plea to bring us your old Laptop!
Local Town Gets New Year Gift - January 2014
by Landon Hollander, www.insidelacruz.com
Long-time La Cruz resident Edd Bissell has a pet project. He has made the improvement of infrastructure and education in the nearby town of San Quintin his ongoing project for many years. This is a driven man with a mission that he doesn't take lightly. And when he starts talking about what's new in San Quintin, it's hard to stop him. But it's ALL good as we have seen on a trip to San Quintin with Edd.
Also from Edd: "All of my friends that are in the La Cruz area - or have friends returning to the area - I am in need of at least TWO laptops for two of my Escuela San Quintin students that are now in Secondary (grades 6-8) and Preparatory Schools (grades 9-12). Everyone has a child or grandchild or next door neighbor that has one just "laying around" - lots of kids got new ones for Christmas - so do something of value with your old laptop. Put it in your suicase and bring it with you to La Cruz." Please remember the charger/power adapter. Our local computer guru, Eduardo Miranda, owner of CompuElectronica, can re-format the hard drives and install a Spanish language Windows Operating System.
MexConnect articles about Escuela San Quintin and Edd Bissell
Gringos are Changing Mexico - article about Edd Bissell and his introduction to San Quintin
Mexico Mid-Term Gradecard: Primary School in San Quintin - article about Adolfo and the school
Understanding Mexican Education - less than 20% of Mexican children go past the sixth grade
Ask an Old Gringo about Education, Politics, and Miracle Cures - are Mexico's schools good, bad or awful?
Sneaking north: an illegal immigrant returns to Mexico with honors - Luis Martinez, a former San Quintin teacher