My Sister’s Closet

The “snowbirds” are in Yucatan right now, and the year-round international residents find themselves with much more company than during late spring through early fall. Right now there are a lot of dinners and cocktail parties, special events.

And in order to have the support of winter friends, many service groups based in Merida and along the beach, hold their fund raisers during this period. Among such groups is “El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburna Puerto A.C.” (The Port of Chuburna School-Aid Project) They have a facebook page: Apoyo Escolar Chuburna Puerto. They also have a website: Take a look at both, and see all the great resources this group of dynamic women provides for their community’s local children. I read all the info pages and I learned…

Chuburná Puerto is a town of approximately 2,500 people, most of whom are under 18 years of age. Elementary school is “free” in México, however, the children require uniforms, shoes, books, school supplies, and there are costs that the parents must meet – so actually – it is not affordable for many of the town’s poorest families. Studnts who want to attend high school must cover  registration and exam fees,  books, supplies and transportation.

Believing that education is imperative for a better future, Canadian Beverly Melchior, along with Americans Marta de Quesada and Nancy Draper,  FOUNDED El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto.  

Since the idea took hold in these women’s minds, it has grown from a concept to a reality. In May 2009, the women began the program by matching sponsors with 39 local students; they became a registered Mexican Charity on August 14, 2014, and now have well over 100 students enrolled in the program. Their Mission is to foster the education and well-being of school aged children (4th grade through high school) in Chuburná Puerto, Yucatán, México-

This non-profit charity is overseen by a volunteer board of directors &  supported by members of the International Community.

Yesterday, January 23rd, “Apoyo” held it’s number #1 fun & fund raiser of the year – now in its 10th year –“My Sister’s Closet” – a fashion show / boutique / Silent Auction / Raffle. I am often out-of-town  on the date of the extravaganza, so this was my first time to attend, and I must say I was blown away by the energy and creativity of this group. I also felt humbled by their generosity.

To keep costs down, the organizers of “My Sister’s Closet” did not choose a high-end venue for their fiesta. “Sala de Fiestas Emily’s” is a big “warehouse-looking” building – in a unusual location – right across from the graveyard. The volunteers made spectacular festive decorations, modeled the clothing with elán, and collected the gorgeous boutique and raffle items. The Apoyo members’ husbands, boyfriends, brothers and uncles all gave of their time and did a bang-up job as waiters and hosts.


Our delicious lunch… also prepared by volunters

The tasty sandwiches, spinach salad and pudding dessert wiere prepared by yet another hard-working group of volunteers. All the happy attendees received pretty fans and a serving of botana. Delicious!

Last but not least, the Silent Auction also caught the interest of everyone attending the event; the organizing committee want to acknowledge the 85 + generous donors, and the volunteers who managed the Silent Auction… they made this portion of the “My Sister’s Closet” most successful to date.

There is so much more I could say about this fundraiser… BUT a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and here you have a slideshow with a few of my cell phone snaps…


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Great job Ladies! I am already looking forward to next year.


Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

6 thoughts on “My Sister’s Closet

  1. Thank you Joanna for such an kind, accurately written blog about our program and especially the Fashion Show… Connie Frost shared it with me and I want to post it on our Apoyo Facebook page to share with others.

    However, before I do, can you please also include the fact that the over 350 meals served were also made by volunteers.. It is a critical part of our show and I know the women would be very sad to not have been included.

    Thank you so very much again.. Looking forward to meeting you next year if not sooner!..President, Dorothy Kaytor


    1. Hi Dorothy… thanks so much for your comment. It was a WONDERFUL event. I am glad you mentioned that the meals were also made by volunteers… I thought so but I didn’t want to write this in the post without being sure.


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