My youth was spent in and around Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada. I will always be grateful to a high school teacher, who took a special interest in my desire to work with preschool children. It was because of her, that my professional life started at a local community college and continued on to include every aspect of early childhood care and education.
Over the course of 37 years, I was the director of a child care centre, provided family child care when my own 2 children were young, worked for the provincial government as a licensing officer for family child care and later as a consultant. I also directed the largest early childhood association in the country, taught early childhood education at a local college and coordinated early childhood & education activities in Manitoba and BC.
So although I thought perhaps I would be drawn to another avenue for volunteering it was not to be… The mission and practice of the Apoyo Program in Chuburná Puerto spoke to everything I believe regarding children and their education. Besides, I had to find a way to keep getting hugs from children.
My husband Gord and I have made Chuburná Puerto our full time home since 2011 and I am proud to be a Director primarily responsible for Communications.
Growing up in rural Saskatchewan – as a prairie person with a love of the land and community, I saw first-hand how much was accomplished with volunteerism; be it a credit union, hockey rink, hospital or individual fundraisers. Grandparents who made clothes for and shared food with those with less, working collaboratively on boards and never letting a neighbours field go unharvested. These were my first experiences ofcommunity caring and volunteerism which grounded my personal and professional interest in serving the public. This eventually led me to both Indigenous studies and a Graduate degree in Social work with a focus on International Leadership .Middle school summers were spent travelling all over the USA and high school involved a few moves; all of which I attribute my interest in other cultures and travel.
I have been very blessed in my professional career working on reserve and in small communities and metropolitan centres from Emergency Room Social Worker, Family and Individual Therapist, Child and Family Protection Worker, Children's Advocate and lastly retiring from my position of Provincial Director of Quality Assurance and Service Improvement Child and Family Services.
I fell in love with Mexico on my first trip here at 21 and soon started dreaming about moving here “someday”. My husband Evan Olson and I now live in beautiful Chelem with our two furbabies (so far) Freya and Kiki.
Having worked with children and families allmy adult life I had a wish to continue in some capacity. Being invited to work with the ChuburnaApoyo Fashion Show Silent Auction and then as a board Director appears to be a perfect fit. Having been raised by a teacher and with two more in the family, I firmly believe in the strength of education. The Apoyo Escolar Chuburna is a well organized charity that mitigates the financial barriers to education while at the same time connecting people from diverse cultures inviting them to get to know one another. I am very grateful for this opportunity.
I grew up in the rural community of Delaware, Ohio and spent over eight years in 4-H and was raised with the importance of community giving and volunteerism.
I value my own education and the opportunities it has afforded me and it is a gift for life, best stated by B.B. King - “Education is the one thing that no one can take from you.”
My career started in finance and eventually migrated to information systems specializing in financial applications, where I still work remotely for a technology company in the US. This background helps me support the Apoyo program focusing on the financial and compliance needs and allows me to be part of an effective organization focused on education and the doors it can open for the students.
My husband, Randy, and I, have lived collectively in Mexico for over 20 years and the last eight in Chuburná Puerto.
Ligia Aracelly Valle Canto
I studied for my psychology degree and worked in the company "Sisprovisa" as an Administrator. I currently live in Chelem and my favorite hobby is reading. I'm very happy to be part of the team of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná as I thoroughly enjoy working with the students and also working with and getting to know members from the International Community.