Our 2016 mission to build a school in Baja California

Last year, a small group from the Sea-to-Sky corridor, including two Summit Lodge team members, helped to build a school in the San Quintin Valley, Mexico. Having seen the work of the organization firsthand and how it helped to break the cycle of poverty and abuse in the area, the Summit Lodge is now part of a 30-strong team from the Sea to Sky with the goal of build another two schools that will serve over 120 children.

The 2017 mission to the San Quintin Valley

The valley where the school will be built is the world’s largest producer of tomatoes, but also grows strawberries, chili peppers, cucumbers, and green beans which are mostly exported to the US and Europe. Much of the population is made up of migrants from the state of Oaxana who moved in hopes of a better life for their families. But many now live in unsanitary living conditions and homes that are shelters made of discarded cardboard and plastic.

“Whistler has strong links with Mexico,” explains Tony Medd, General Manager of the Summit Lodge. “A lot of our food comes from Mexico and it’s one of the most popular places we go when we need a break from the snow. However, it doesn’t have some of the social infrastructures that we benefit from. When I visited San Quintin last year I was shocked at the working conditions at some of the farms, the persistence of rape culture and abuse of women, and lack of access to education. I couldn’t forget the people I met when I returned to Whistler, and neither could my team.”

More often than not, their children are forced to drop out of school before they can complete their education, either to join their parents in the field or to care for younger siblings. This early drop-out rate is especially the case with girls who become pregnant in their teens. The lack of education then ensures that they have little, to no, choice but to follow the same path as their parents. The goal of the Mission San Quintin Dream Center is to help give these workers the resources they need so their children can remain in school and become educated. In this way, they aim to break the extreme cycle of poverty.

Find out how you can help by joining in out Sleepover Fundraiser