October 5, 2022

October 2022: Palapa Society News

2nd Annual Scholarship Drive:

New Matching Fund

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to our second annual scholarship drive.

We have received a special matching offer for anyone who donates to this special drive (up to $25,000 USD).

Please note if you have already donated your gift will be added to the match.

In addition we are extending the deadline to October 10, 2022, allowing you a little more time to take advantage of the special matching funds.

Click Here to Give Today!

Exercising Creative Minds

By Instructor Omar Aviles

In one of our first projects this year, the high school students created their favorite characters using recycled materials such as soda bottles, styrofoam, and cardboard. In another creative unlocking exercise, students drew doodles as they listened to the rhythm of music, creating funny, whimsical, meaningless strokes that were then colored in to take shape. It is wonderful to see the imaginations of our students come to life.

If you have any art supplies or materials that you would like to contribute, please contact us at Secretary@PalapaSociety.org

The Palapa School

Buckle up, school has already started!

Monday, September 5th was high with emotions as teachers and students replaced the silence of the summer classrooms with the Palapa School fall opening.

There was learning, questions, raising the dust on the courts, and filling the school with fun and improvements. The reception was warm and students, with smiles from ear to ear, found their rooms for the year, were excited to meet new teachers, and happy to see their friends again. 

The parents also soon took center stage with an informative parent meeting where programs, policies, and procedures were shared.

Students are certain to experience great moments this year from academics, to extracurricular, to personal interactions bringing them closer to their maximum potential. It won't always be easy, but surely exciting.

Fasten your seat belts; this is already started!

Student Blog: Trip to Denver

Baja Under The Stars

By F. Menendez

The Palapa Society recently allowed me a wonderful experience with a trip to Denver. The goal was to be a featured speaker at Baja Under the Stars.

While in Denver, we also visited the Museum of Science and Nature with four floors full of fascinating and interesting information.

What I liked the most was that at the top of the museum we were allowed to see towards the sun, of course with the necessary protection, which in this case was a telescope with a filter so as not to damage your eyesight.

In my opinion, it was incredible to be able to observe the largest star in our solar system, and it was great to see how small gas emissions came out.

I was also able to see the moon and all its craters. And the best thing is that it had a part dedicated only to space and all its mysteries. It was a great day!

By S. Pertusso

Being able to go to Denver as a student speaker at the Baja Under the Stars fundraising event was an extraordinary opportunity.

I felt very proud of myself for earning it but also truly thankful to The Palapa for thinking of me.

I experienced and visited amazing places in Colorado like Red Rocks, two beautiful museums, parks, a concert and the beauty of Denver itself.

The day of the event was pretty stressful but really rewarding afterwards. Seeing all of what amazing people put together for our school is very impressive and feeling like I helped even a little bit made me even more happy. 

One of the things we were able to do was go to the Museum of Nature and Science which was amazing.

It's huge and intimidating but really entertaining.

It's full of interactive activities which made the experience even better.

My two favorite parts out of so many incredible new things, were the fish story and being able to touch the oldest rock on earth!

I learned so many crazy facts about not only fish in this area but also about the beginning of living things.

In conclusion, it was awesome. 

Puente al Inglés (Niños)

by Jacki Gillespie, Director 

We are excitedly preparing for our return to English Classes for children. Registration will begin on October 4 from 3-5pm for returning students, and on October 5, 4-6pm for new students.

We will return to class Monday, October 10. One-hour classes are held Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 3, 4, and 5 pm. Cost is $120 MXN per month. The cost includes all supplies. 

We are still looking for Volunteers to help teach. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me at puentealingles@palapasociety.org.

Puente al Inglés (Adultos)

By Kate Lewis, Director

Our 3rd quarter session began with registration last week and will run through mid-December. We have four levels this term with a total of 43 students. In general, our biggest classes tend to be at the beginning level, and it’s very exciting to see many of our Level 1 students from the Spring quarter continuing their English studies and moving up to Level II. 

Spring session will begin Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023, and will run through March 30th.

Class times are 9-10:30 a.m. or 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost per quarter is $500 MXN, which includes all materials. 

We are always happy to have new volunteers. If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact me at adultenglish@palapasociety.org

Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska

By Paty Baum, Director


Libraries in the 21st Century are not just about actual physical books. By necessity they have become places to access digital information, which can mean the ability to download ebooks, audio books, movies, magazines, academic papers and government documents. Unfortunately, due to the high costs of these services it only makes sense for libraries with 10,000 or more patrons to offer free access to digital content.

The Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska is still a print-only library; we are not able to provide digital materials, but that does not mean we have to limit what our members can access. Therefore, I am reintroducing audio books to the library starting with a few titles and expanding as we acquire more donations.

Audio books can be enjoyed while relaxing at home, driving to La Paz or Cabo, or on more extended road trips. I had Louise Penny’s, The Madness of Crowds to help me get from Portland to Baja Sur. I had to listen to it twice; even at fifteen hours it was not long enough to get me all the way to Todos Santos. 

We invite the public to an Open House and Book Fair at the Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska and the Biblioteca Infantil, Saturday, October 15th at 12 - 2pm. We will have paperbacks, oversized, used art, design, cook and architecture books for sale, as well as some giveaways for children and young readers. The fair will inaugurate our new book drop and welcome new library members of all ages. Children and youth under 18, and students of all ages, get a free membership.

BEP hours M,W, F, 10:00 -1:00

will continue through summer.

Baja Under the Stars 2022 Event Re-cap

On September 17, 2022

The Palapa Society took Todos Santos to Denver for our second stateside event. 

Over 100 guests attended and had the opportunity to meet a few of our Palapa School Students.

Fatima and Serena wooed the crowd by sharing their stories and experiences with our guests. 

The evening was a huge success. Our auctioneer Vic Lombardi helped us to raise over $144,000 USD and still counting. 

Some guests selected to donate via their Donor Advised fund, so the total will be increasing over the next week or so.

Thank you to everyone who came to show your support of The Palapa Society.

We couldn't achieve our mission without each and everyone of you! 

Volunteering from Abroad

César Sámano Heras recently contacted us about volunteering with The Palapa Society.

Though he lives and works full-time in Arizona, he’s passionate about education and helping Mexico, his country of birth. He was excited by the programs he read about on The Palapa Society website. 


Growing up in a rural town south of Mexico City, César’s childhood was similar to the youth in Todos Santos.

His parents graduated from middle school and worked in agriculture. They understood the value and importance of an education. His father subscribed to magazines that could help expand the children’s imaginations about the world beyond their town. His father recruited his friend to teach César math, and he fondly remembers his lessons while working in the field. 


With the help of scholarships, César attended university, earned his master's degree in Chemical Engineering at New York University, and worked at global companies in offices around the world. He has taught at University and been a volunteer teacher for tutors who were learning how to tutor high school students struggling to graduate. His sister and brothers also found success in their lives through education his sister is a teacher, his brother is a medical doctor, and the other brother became a chemical engineer like him.


César will start by helping The Palapa School Committee with a project - researching public universities in Baja and mainland Mexico, charting names, locations, areas of focus, tuition cost, process for enrollment, opportunities for scholarships, and more. From there, he will help The Palapa School develop the Path to University program for students and parents, which starts in middle school with studying, with dreaming, and with planning.


Are you looking for a way to grow some roots and make a positive difference in this community? Whether you prefer to work with children or adults, on a team or alone in the comfort of your home, part-time or just the day of an event, we have a role for you at The Palapa Society.

To learn more about Palapa volunteer opportunities including library assistant, classroom teacher or aide, committee member, event helper, and more, contact us at Secretary@PalapaSociety.org. 

In Memory of Bill ‘Memo’ David

Todos Santos is filled with generous souls who quietly support The Palapa Society in a variety of ways. 

Bill ‘Memo’ David was a man of many talents - maker of bread, berry jams, and chili sauces; skilled woodworker and carpenter; good poker player (most of the time!), and above all, a great friend to many, including The Palapa Society. 

Memo was not only a monthly contributor, but always a willing volunteer.

He could be counted on to help at the annual 5k Run and the Tianguis (Flea Market) fundraisers. He helped hang the white boards in the classrooms. He built the beautiful desk that provided a welcoming atmosphere for patrons of the Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska, where his wife Kathy Cate has volunteered as a librarian since it opened.

We are going to miss Memo’s willingness to lend a capable hand with a ready smile, easy laugh, and positive attitude.

Rest in peace Memo.

Your memory lives on in The Palapa Learning Center, and in the community it serves.

The Palapa Society's Community Event Calendar

 Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska

Open House, Book Fair

October 15, Noon-2pm

Gastrovino 2022

November 11, 12, a 13, 2022

Todos Santos, BCS

 Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

February 3 -5, 2022

Special Thank You's

Thank you to Robert Lawrence for donating tools for our toolkit and for offering to help fix and repair things around campus when needed. It takes a lot of work to keep The Palapa Learning Center in excellent shape, and we appreciate Robert donating his time, experience, and tools.

Thank you to Steve Jacobi for offering ​​to help our Art program with clay, equipment, materials, or any technical assistance for a unit on ceramics. We appreciate everyone who offers their talents to help Palapa students find their voice through creativity!

Thank you to Dave Thompson at Over the Edge, who gave The Palapa Society a discount on a bicycle tune-up. The bicycle was donated to a teacher who needed it for his commute to and from school.

Baja Under The Stars Donors 

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and donated to Baja Under the Stars 2022! Please note if your name is missing from the list and gave via a Donor Advised fund or by check we will note you in the October Newsletter. 

Susan & Al Adams

AF Construction

Jim Anttonen

Lorri & Alan Avery

Jeanne Beaudry

Kristen & Jim Bender

Cheryl H. Benware

Marsha & Gary B. Blum

Briana & David Bosch

Gail & Scott Bosch

Michelle & Steve Bosch

Kimberly Boyd

Michael Brass

Rhonda Brown

Pam & Paul Bumann

Paul Bunn

Vickie Butler

Christie Cadwell

Margaretta & Brew Caesar

Christy & Campy Campton

Susan & Terry Casey

James Chiddix

Susan & Ken Churchill

Kim Colsman-Horner

Caron and Gordon Cromwell

Benjamin Cudd & Lynn Mcarthy

Daniel Cummings

Marla & Michael Cunningham

Greg & Carol Dobbs

Linda & Grayson Drexel

Peter & Peggy Eggers

Explora Baja

John Fielder

Barbara Frank & Ronni McCaffrey

Barb & Larry Fullerton

John Funk

Terry Galpin-Plattner

Allyson & Robert Gottsman

Peter Griffiths

Margot & Dick Hampleman

Betsy & John Hays


Cindy & David Higgins

Courtney Higgins & Nathan Dyke

Kearsley Higgins & Todd Vaziri

Kim & Dr. Ted Higgins

Marimar Higgins

Higgins Hopkins McLain & Roswell

Monica Hill

Max Horn

Sheila & Stephen Jagenteufl

Eric Jensen

Bonnie & AJ Johnston

David A. Karoly

Dana Kirkland

Laura Kirsch

Dayna & James Klein

Nikki Kraslin

Lynn & Brian Kuske

Steven Lass

Meg & Michael Leonard

Fred & Martha Long

Jay Masaschi

Jackie & Donald McJunkin

Catherine McKenzie

Tom & Lisa McLagan

Jll & David McLain

Michael Mills

Patsy Morrow

Lynn & Dan Moyle

Eric Neste

Erick Ochoa

Breck Overall

Mark Piquette

Ann & Tom Rader

Rancho Corazon y Düm

Bryan & Janet Raydon

Raymond James Financial

Linda Rengel

Marilyn Rhodes

Michael Ricci

Dianne & Jim Robinson

Leslie & Gary Russell

Erin Sands

Christine Satterfield

Karen & Jon Sawyer

Sharon & William Schell

Michael Seguin

Jeff Smith

Staley Capital Advisers, Inc

Bill & Denise Steffenhagen

The Stewart Family Foundation

Julie Swaggart

Emily Szymski

Sommer Wall

Jill & John Wallen

Dr. Geoff & Gina Wickwire

Marsha & Jim Williams

Marjorie Wurster

Peter Van Veen

Angelica Velez Mendez

Ardis Young

Second Annual Scholarship Drive

John Batson

David Brower

Andrew David

Deborah & Gerald Hilgenberg

Chip Houde

Christie Hurta

Claudia Kopkowski

Nancy & David Lacey

Albert & Pat Newman

Carin and Juan Ramirez

September Donors

Christa Assad & Kevin Wickham

Ruth & Marc Bjorklund

Dennis Canty

Linda Corbet

Jason & Tracy Durland

Sarah Givens

Ann Hazard

Anne Hebebrand

Cindy & David Higgins

Steve Jacobi

Maxine Jacobson

Tori Sepulveda & Oscar Rosales

Wendy Seskind

Jill Wyatt-Logan

Our Family of Monthly Donors

Eleanor Andrews


Suzanne & Rick Arnold

Gail & Scott Bosch

Marjolein Brugman

Pam & Paul Bumann

Vickie Butler

Ryan Casey

Kathy Cate

Karin & Judd Cuenin

Julie & Michael Dandurand

Elizabeth Farner

Ken Ford

John & Sharon Foster

Kristen & Rick Friedman

Jane Gehring

Virginia Gollery

Lisa Goodman

Karen & Charley Haley

Jane Hall

Margot & Dick Hampleman

Cindy & David Higgins

Marimar Higgins

Lee & Anthony Irons

Marilyn Jacques

Bonnie & AJ Johnston

Janna Kinkade

Wendie Kruthers

Lynn & Brian Kuske

Marshall Laird

Teresa Laird

Karen McDaniels

Connie & Andy Mical

Cheryl V. Myers

Nancy & Dennis Naigle

Cathy & Dr. William Nation

Sofia & Stephen Nicholas

Jay Masaschi

Diana Pandell & Chris Miller

Jill Mollenhauer & Robert Bland

Sharon Morris

Patricia O'Connell

Maria Olaisen & Mike Block

Deborah Parrish

Janet & Bryan Raydon

Kristin Rust

Tori Sepulveda & Oscar Rosales

Sydney & Greg Schweitzer

Nancy Simpson

Angelica Velez Mendez

Lisa Welsch & Doug Colton

Kathy Warnert

Robert Bruce Westbrook

Monthly Gifts Help Make a Big Impact!
Becoming a monthly donor helps 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.
Click Here to Give 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.
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