Cozumel’s new mayor, Aurelio Joaquín, and his administration inaugurated on April 10th is already demonstrating their focus on education! Eloisa Buenfil, President of NUAFA, recently shared the new administration is offering a loan program to support Cozumelenos pursuing career education. As a single mother of four sons ages 10-22, Eloisa is thrilled about potential opportunities for her own children and for many other families with limited resources.
The loans help local citizens gain formal education and skills needed to obtain professional licenses. Individuals who qualify receive a low interest loan to be paid back over a specified period of time after completing their career education. The loans benefit the individual, enable loan recipients to gain career training leading to better jobs to support their families as well as develop capabilities needed to improve the community.
Along with opportunity comes personal responsibility . . . Eloisa also shared there are strict regulations for timely loan repayment and provisions to guard against default on the loans. For example, families must provide copies of their home property titles and/or other documentation as part of the accountability procedures.We know many children and families who can directly benefit from educational loans. For example, in 2010 one of Eloisa’s sons was accepted in medical school in Merida. Eloisa hopes to find resources to allow him to finish med school and return to the island as a doctor for NUAFA and families who can not afford healthcare. Two of Eloisa’s other sons have temporily suspended their education to work to support themselves, their mother and brothers . . . loans may allow them to resume their education. The School Supplies Project sponsored by Friends of Cozumel has expanded to benefit young adults in “Prepa” (high schooll). Educational loans open doors of opportunities for students who would not otherwise be able to pursue education beyond public high school. KUDOS to the new administration for “investing” in education! ~~Karen