CFACT just completed an exploratory mission to Valle Verde, Mexico to establish a development project in conjunction with the Ciudad de la Alegria. CFACT found that the coalition of relief organizations will be an ideal host for CFACT’s efforts to deliver used laptops and provide basic computer training.
Valle Verde is located near the booming resort town of Cancun. Construction jobs and a healthy economy have attracted thousands to the region, including economic refugees from southern Mexico and Central America. The influx of population has created a strain on local resources and broken many of the fragile social services that failed to adjust. Like much of the area, the homes of Valle Verde are squatter settlements. Very few residents know the owner of the land they live on, and even fewer are able to make legal arrangements. A large fire in Valle Verde last year was attributed to a landowner aho was accused to chasing people off his land in a violent manner.
The Mexican government has recently built a school and power lines which run through the settlement, but it is still cheaper for the citizens of Valle Verde to run gas generators than buy electricity from the government. A few wells provide water that must be hauled back to the homes while sewer and trash service are non-existent.
CFACT is planning to return to Valle Verde this July with 20 Collegian members for the initial training mission. CFACT is taking applications from students now to be part of this important mission. If you are interested, contact Even Dent at [email protected] to apply.