June 1, 2021
June 2021: Palapa Society News
Art Program Through the SAMH Foundation
Through the "Student Support Program," monthly workshops are conducted with students of the Palapa School. The goal is to deliver artistic education content focused on the students’ socio-emotional development. With the support of the SAHM Foundation, a workshop was created with an emphasis on stress management using Art Therapy. Some students' projects dealt with the identification of emotions through mindfulness exercises, meditation, movement, and art.

Both secundaria and preparatoria school students participated, generating works from drawing to sculpture using free techniques. The use and integration of art in the classroom is especially important for the development of students’ emotional side during the pandemic.
Student Project Photo Reports:
Article by Yurixchi Ochoa
Without a doubt, teaching and learning in times of COVID-19 will be one of the topics we reflect upon in future years. It has required learning in the homes which in turn impacted personal space and privacy of students, parents, and teachers.
The student work entitled: Photography as a Community Diagnostic Tool was carried out during the months of April and May 2021. The goal was to design a creative, playful, and analytical adaptation of the subject that, on the one hand, would allow diagnosis of the conditions of social distancing in the Todos Santos community, while allowing us to identify their potential areas of opportunity, needs, and problems.
From the observation and visual record of the Palapa School students, they carried out a critical reading of how the community of Todos Santos’ inhabitants occupy the physical space, social relationships, relationships with the environment, and the integration of the inhabitants with the landscape. Although we know it is not an exhaustive diagnosis, the students and teachers will continue to develop and analyze creative works which generate positive impact at the local level.
Sex Education Meeting with Parents
Dr. Liliana Itzel Garcia Juarez met with parents to discuss how to talk with their teenager about the human body, relationships, and sex. The Zoom-based discussion, delivered to parents, began with an overview and concluded with a Q & A. Topics included the best way and age to discuss sex with their teen, how to establish a healthy relationship, accurate names of body parts, establishing a positive understanding of one’s body, and being transparent and honest with their teen. In a follow up, parents and teachers noted they felt the information was helpful and complete.
Preparing for the Next School Year
As the current school year comes to a close, enrollment has officially opened for the next school year. Coincidently, most applicants are also enrolled in our after-school English language class known as the Puente Program. It’s exciting to note that the Puente program naturally generates interest in the Palapa School. After students apply to the Palapa School, the candidates take an admission exam in math and Spanish. We wish them all good luck on the exams and hope to see them in class next year.
Student Spotlight:
Evannette L.N
Our student profile this month is Evannette who started at the Palapa School to learn more, meet new people, and try new things. As a high school student, her favorite things are the interesting classes, seeing a different educational system, and being able to be with more people. Her favorite class is English, and while she likes all the subjects, she finds physics the most challenging.
Evannette is most excited about next year’s return to her previous in-person routine, learning more, and being able to see her teachers and her classmates again. “The distance learning has been different but good. Initially I didn't like it, but once I got used to it, I liked it well enough.” Her future plans include college where she hopes to study criminology.
Teacher Spotlight:
Melissa Chen
Melissa Chen began teaching at the Palapa School in the spring of 2019. From her point of view, “Palapa School is different from other schools because we try to customize our classes and projects to the interests and needs of each student, and we try to make learning fun and creative. The teachers and staff truly care about providing the best education possible for our students. Every year we have added one more grade level of students to the school, and in the next 2021-2022 school year the high school will be complete with all grades and a new building. What a thrill!”
What she likes most about teaching at the Palapa School is being with the students. They never cease to amaze her with their dedication, creativity, and interesting ideas. “I have been very impressed with the effort our students have made to learn, despite the difficulties of the pandemic. Learning has a social aspect that is very important and that has been difficult to replicate with online learning. Students learn a lot from each other, not just from the teacher, and in-person learning facilitates that process.”
A Fond Farewell to Our
Palapa School Director
As the 5th school year at The Palapa School comes to a close, it is with deep gratitude that we bid a fond farewell to our Palapa School Director Juan Diego González Castro.

Juan Diego helped build the foundation on which our School can thrive, and we salute his dedication and many accomplishments in this inaugural role.

Thanks to years of constant work and determination, Juan Diego achieved one of his primary objectives, to acquire Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) certification for The Palapa School. This feat included compliance with a variety of strict government regulations for campus construction and hiring of highly-qualified teachers, plus development of a rigorous curriculum that met and exceeded SEP requirements.

Juan Diego developed deep relationships with Palapa teachers, parents, and students, as well as public school administrators and teachers to ensure quality education was accessible in our community.
Most of all, Juan Diego’s passion for teaching and his passion for learning will be embedded forever in the DNA of The Palapa School. He expanded the imaginations of our students by exposing them to the works of globally renowned writers and philosophers, encouraged our students to compete in the areas of science, math, and music with some of the best schools in Mexico, and supported our students as they learned to express themselves and find their voice.

His stamp upon The Palapa Society is not contained to The Palapa School. The Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska stands as a lasting reminder of Juan Diego's vision in forging a friendship between The Palapa Society and the legendary, award-winning author.

The Board of Directors would like to thank our founding Director and his team of extraordinary teachers for making The Palapa School what it is today, and for providing a strong foundation for our students to be successful during their academic career and in their lives after graduation. We are truly grateful.
Celebrate Our Special Milestone With Us!
The Palapa Learning Center is completely built out to house our Libraries, Community Programs, Secundaria (middle school) and Preparatoria (high school). We chose to commemorate this moment by holding a small intimate ceremony to honor our Foundational Donors and to everyone that played a role in helping to make this campus a reality!

Please take a few minutes to watch the below video.
Alianza Cero Basura
Volunteers needed
The Zero Waste Alliance of Todos Santos and Pescadero is the next stage in the highly successful Desplastificate movement in Baja California Sur. Its mission is to educate, inspire, and connect our community. The program has a commitment to support waste management systems that improve the health and well-being of our communities, our environment, and our economy. The Palapa School looks forward to supporting their efforts in alignment with our Carrera Técnica curriculum of Community Development and Leadership.
A central focus of the Alliance is to eliminate waste from the town dump by helping to support local businesses with recycling, composting, and mulching. This program will start with a town-wide trash audit in June, which will determine the volume and value of the trash we generate as a community. We need your help to make this program a success:
How You Can Help:

Be an Audit Program Helper: Help the team now with tasks in preparation for the audit, including labeling over 2,400 trash bags before June 7th.
Be an Audit Volunteer: Help sort and track the contents of household trash. All health and safety protocols will be strictly observed. Protective gear, sanitation, and hydration stations will be provided. Ideally, we are looking for a six week or a minimum of a six consecutive day commitment. Shifts run Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sign up today: Email Alejandro Flores at afloresm83@gmail.com or Caitlin Allen at caitlinallen1991@gmail.com
Palapa School Music Program
Instrument Donations
Our community continues to surprise us with generous donations for The Palapa School Music program. Part-time resident and Music Hall of Famer, Peter Buck started the trend with a donation of 12 guitars, which Palapa students used to perform at the Cultural Center. Longtime Palapa family members Nancy and Dennis Naigle gave an electric piano, allowing students to play, record, and save their songs.
This month, we’d like to thank Wendy Rains for donating her father Eddie Scharf silver Yamaha drum kit, complete with throne and extra drum sticks. A former professional jazz musician with a fondness for Frank Sinatra, you may have had the pleasure of hearing Eddie play around town. We are honored to have this addition to our Music program. Rest in peace, Eddie. May your drums carry your extraordinary legacy of creating great music.
In Memoriam
Tod Diamond
Family, friends, surfing, fishing, love, and laughter. These were the things that defined this special man who sought no attention but to whom so many were drawn. May the memory of him inspire us.
Alison & Jeff Wagner
Andrea Kingman
Ardice Farrow
Bayley , Brad & Flora Diamond
Bill David and Kathy Cate
Charlie and Karen Haley
Cindy & Dave Higgins
D.H Diamond
Diamond-Estrada Family
Don ,Kerry, Ian, Sloane Campbell
Don Black
Doug & Denise Pegors
Doug West
Dr. William & Kathy Nation
Evelyne Lamson
Gary & Mary Emert
Jamie & Ricardo Madrazo
Janna Kinkade
Jene Buckner
Jim & Karen Ferguson
Jim & Katie Staska
John & Martha McCullough
K. Diamond
Karen Stevens
Kathy Kirkwood
Kathy Warnert
Kimberley Diamond
Patricia O'Connell
Rick & Susanne Arnold
Robert & Erin Beck
Rosaleen Power
Susan Schaffrath
The Staska Family
Tommy Diamond
Tony & Janelle Palma
Tori Sepulveda & Oscar Rosales
Vickie & Hal Butler
Walt and Donna Schultz
Palapa Society
May 2021 Donors
Andy Boretto
Jene Buckner
John Tyler "In Memory of Ilga Tyler"
Julie Swaggart
Mimi Saltzman
Whitney Cranmer
Our Monthly Donors
Make a Year Round Impact!
Thank YOU!
AJ & Bonnie Johnston
Ann Hazard
Angelica Velez
Bill & Christine Durboraw
Brian & Lynn Kuske
Cheri Myers
Connie & Andy Mical
Deborah Parrish
Dr. Bill & Cathy Nation
Dennis & Nancy Naigle
Eleanor Andrews
Gail & Scott Bosch
Grace Tuttle
Hal & Vickie Butler
Heather & Jerry Bauer
James Masaschi
Jane Gehring
Jane Hicks
Janna Kinkade
Jessica Spencer
Judd & Karin Cuenin
Julie & Michael Dandurand
Karen & Charley Haley
Kathy Warnert
Kristin Rust
Lee Purser
Liane Collins
Lisa Goodman
Margot & Dick Hampleman
Marilyn Jacques
Maria Olaisen & Mike Block
Marjolean Brugman
Marshall Laird
Nancy & Dennis Naigle
Nancy Simpson
Pam & Paul Bumann
Paty Rains
Regina Cerda
Ryan Casey
Sharon Morris
Stephen Nicholas
Susan & Jim Smith
Suzanne & Rick Arnold
Sydney & Greg Schweitzer
Tori Sepulveda & Oscar Rosales
Virginia Gollery
Monthly Gifts Help Make a Big Impact!
Becoming a monthly donor helps to stabilize our annual revenue needs.

How Far Can Your Gift Go?

  • $50 USD per month = 1/4-year scholarship*
  • $100 USD per month = 1/2-year scholarship*
  • $200 USD per month = 1-year scholarship*

Please consider becoming a part of our family of monthly donors today.
The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. exists to make a positive difference in people’s lives through inspirational quality education and timely support through community service and programs.

It is the vision of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. to be a sustainable, accessible community focused organization in which quality educational programs empower choice filled lives and create positive transformational change.