September 2023: Palapa Society News

The Palapa Society’s 

3rd Annual Scholarship Drive

🌟 Empowering the Future: Join Our Annual Scholarship Drive! 🌟

Education stands as a beacon of hope, unlocking doors to boundless possibilities and transforming lives. Yet, the dreams of many bright minds from low-income families are stifled by financial barriers. Introducing the "Empowering the Future" Third Annual Scholarship Drive, where we are thrilled to bridge this gap.

Our mission? To secure funds for eager students yearning to chase their academic aspirations. This endeavor carries immense weight as it strives to bridge potential with economic realities.

Mark your calendars! The drive concludes on September 15, 2023.

Your contribution is a catalyst for profound change. Scholarships will aid Palapa School, local middle/high school attendees, and university students, covering tuition, books, and uniforms. These individuals' dreams hinge on your compassion.

We cordially invite you to stand with us, to be a champion of education and be the difference-maker. Your kindness can forge paths for generations, transforming lives and creating an enduring legacy of educational inclusivity.

To Give Today, Please Click Here

Announcing Diego as The Palapa School Director

We're thrilled to introduce Diego Carranza Savall as the new Director of The Palapa School for 2023-24. With an impressive background in Industrial Engineering, international teaching experience in the US, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, and England, and prior roles as Co-Director and Director of English since 2021, Diego brings a wealth of educational leadership. His vision for The Palapa School includes a focus on purpose, measurable goals, data-driven decision-making, quality management, and leadership development. 

Diego looks forward to collaborating with Academic Vice Principal, Citlalli Balbuena Soriano, and Administrative Vice Principal, Jesus Armando Vasquez. Diego's commitment to excellence in education promises an inspiring journey for our school community! Welcome him as our Director, and anticipate the transformative impact he'll bring to our institution.

In Loving Memory of Tori Sepulveda

🌟 Tori Sepulveda: A Radiant Legacy of Love and Art 🌟

With profound sadness, we share that Tori Sepulveda's earthly journey has ended. Tori, a luminous soul whose impact knows no bounds, bravely battled cancer until August 21,2023.

Tori's presence within The Palapa Society spanned transformative years. Beyond a community member, she embodied its heart and soul. As a board member, creative guide, and Palapa advocate, her dedication ran deep, driven by a personal passion to uplift every person she encountered.

Tori was a cherished friend, an inspiring teacher, and a wellspring of creativity. Her energy and spirit, infused purpose and joy into every endeavor. Her love for Palapa remains an enduring flame, guiding our team through challenges and triumphs.

An accomplished artist, Tori's canvas captured landscapes, horses, and emotions with unparalleled skill. Her art immortalized fleeting beauty. Yet, her defining trait was boundless compassion, evident in her kindness and courage during personal trials.

Tori's memory lives in hearts she touched. Her legacy thrives in stories, dreams and friendships. She is survived by husband Oscar, son Tony, brother Marsh and extended family. 🕊️

Thank You for Honoring Tori's Legacy by Giving!

Cindy & Don Black

SaraGay Dammann

Julianna Giudici

Cindy & David Higgins

Walt & Donna Schultz

Susan & Jim Smith

More to come in our October Edition.

Palapa School Director

Diego Carranza

Teach for All - England

Can you imagine sharing educational practices, developing leadership skills, and gaining insights from diverse international perspectives on education? From June 26th to July 1st, our School Director, Diego Carranza, was a part of The School Principals Fellowship within the Teach For All network. During this time, 27 school directors from 14 different countries gathered in England to cultivate data-driven mindsets, explore strategies for enhancing student leadership, exchange innovative educational approaches, and expand our School's network of contacts.

All of this was accomplished after visiting 5 schools between London and Leeds and meeting with leaders in English education policy at the Department of Education. Specifically, the experience emphasized the importance of establishing a strong school identity supported by robust organizational systems, the significance of building meaningful relationships with students and parents, and the profound impact of promoting student leadership in the daily decisions and efforts within the school.

Diego returned with great enthusiasm and a determination to contribute to the creation of a better school inspired by the outstanding practices woven together from around the world. Our goal is to nurture our students into well-rounded individuals capable of transforming our world into a better place for everyone.

The Palapa Society Congratulates

Director Jacki Gillespie

Join us in congratulating Puente al Inglés Director Jacki Gillespie for completing her Teaching English as a second or foreign language (TESOL), Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL), and Teaching English to Adult Learners (TEAL) certifications.

Returning to school while working full-time can be very challenging, and we applaud Jacki’s initiative to be the best Director she can be for our Puente students.

Puente al Inglés para Niños

Summer Program

by Jacki Gillespie, Director 

Since Todos Santos is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, it’s important for local children to learn how to swim. Our Water Safety program returned after the pandemic hiatus, and it wouldn’t have been possible without swimming instruction from Mario Becceril and his team of Surf Instructors of Mario Surf School and van transport from his other company Todos Santos Private Transportation. Additionally, the private swimming pool was donated by Sharon Morris of Serendipity B&B.

Todos Santos is also a nature-lover's dream, and it’s important our youth learn about the local animals and how to care of the. Thank you to Christina Madabas of La Palapa del Sabor restaurant and Rodrigo of Beluga Veterinary Clinic for teaching this summer’s Dog Rescue and Care workshop.

Thank you to Noel Cianci of Los Sagrados horse sanctuary for allowing students to visit and the rescued horses at the ranch, and to Manuel Gonzalez from Deep Baja who makes learning about marine life memorable and fun. 

Contact Director Jacki Gillespie by clicking here.

Puente al Inglés (Niños)

Now Seeking Teachers!

Now Hiring: English Teachers 

Part-time contract

October 2023 - June 2024 

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 2-6pm


1 year minimum teaching experience required.  

Authorized to work in Mexico. 

Submit your CV by September 15

For more information WhatsApp 

Director Jacki Gillespie 

+52 612 204 5964

Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska

Library Update: Weathering the Storm and Embracing Change

By Paty Baum, Director 

During Hurricane Hilary, our library emerged unscathed, thanks to secure window seals. The Palapa Campus faced minor fallout with downed palm fronds and mangos—nothing major.

On behalf of The Palapa Society board and library staff, we extend gratitude to Maryann Douglas for 18 impactful years of service, contributing significantly to the library and Palapa fundraising. She's been a cornerstone and expert in ResourceMate software, infusing Fridays with library fun.

We're excited about our recent addition of 120 books acquired in June. These are swiftly being cataloged and shelved. Anonymous donations have further enriched our collection this summer, surprising us with remarkable titles.

The library now boasts A/C in the main area, courtesy of a generous Palapa board member. As protocols and temperature ranges are fine-tuned, this addition ensures a safe and pleasant haven during this sweltering summer, vital for our community as readers seek refuge.

Explore our new dys-hope-ian section, delving into visionary solutions for climate change and extreme weather.

Keen to contribute? Contact us to donate young adult books. Your support fuels our literary haven!

Puente al Inglés para Adultos

(Adult English Program)

By Kate Lewis, Director

Its time to start gearing up for our fall classes. The quarter will begin September 19 and finish up December 14. The Puente Program was given new smart t.v.s so we are looking forward to incorporating them into our programs. 

The more volunteer teachers we have, the more specialzed we can make our classes. If you are interested in volunteering with us, mornings or afternoon times are available.

Contact Director Kate Lewis by clicking here.

Masquerade Party

La Esquina Todos Santos

October 26, 2023

6 pm

$500 MXN

Live Music: Hijos del Tropico

Prizes for best outfits/costumes

Join us for a night of mystery and enchantment at the Masquerade Party! Get ready to dance the night away at La Esquina Todos Santos, where the atmosphere is electrifying and the music is pumping. Dress to impress in your most fun attire and don't forget your mask! This in-person event promises to be a night you won't soon forget. So grab your friends and get ready to have a blast at the Masquerade Party!

Proceeds raised will benefit The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C.'s community programs.

Click Here to Buy Your Tickets!

Support the Businesses that Support

The Palapa Society

Continuing our recognition of local businesses that have gone the extra mile to support The Palapa Society, we would like to thank our Marketing and Communications right-hand man, Ricardo Madrazo

Ricardo has been partnering with us for so long - over 8 years - that we often forget that he's not on the Palapa staff. Ricardo has been instrumental in developing our brand identity and for creating all of our digital and printed graphic design needs. He has been our primary photographer and videographer for all annual activities and events, including drone videography and voice-over work. Check out the 'We are Palapa' video posted on our homepage for just one example of his talents. He is our go-to for translating marketing content and communications into Spanish, and he can't help but edit any grammatical errors he's spotted in the English versions. What's special about Ricardo is that he cares deeply about our community.

He recognizes the importance of how The Palapa Society's educational programs serve local families, and has discounted his rate accordingly, to the point of us wondering whether he makes any profit from having us as a client. While we can't guarantee that his rates will be decreased for your business, we highly recommend Ricardo Madrazo for your graphic design, photography, videography, and content translation needs.

Special Thank you´s

Special thanks to Sharon Morris, Board of Directors member and owner of Hotel Serendipity, for donating a much-needed air conditioner for the Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska.

When temperatures started reaching 90° Fahrenheit in the library in July, Director Paty Baum made an urgent plea to the community for a donation. Sharon Morris came through, allowing the all-volunteer staff to keep the library open throughout the summer, even on the hottest days.

3rd Annual Scholarship Drive Donors



Gail & Scott Bosch

Jene Buckner

Timothy Case

Benjamin Cudd & Linda McCarty

Julie & Michael Dandurand

Angela & Ron Dobransky

Rhoda Jacobs

Erika Lessey

Sharon McCart

Paul Santucci

Frederick Schnider

Todd Spitzer

Leslie Stockton

Faith Wheeler

Our Family of Monthly Donors



Eleanor Andrews

Suzanne & Rick Arnold

Heather Bauer and Jerry Back

Gail & Scott Bosch

Sally & David Brower

Marjolein Brugman

Paul & Pam Bumann

Vickie Butler

Ryan Casey

Dennis Chapman

Karen & Judd Cuenin

Patricia Deuster

Julie & Michael Dandurand

Elizabeth Farner

Kristen & Rick Friedman

Jane Gehring

Virginia Gollery

Charley & Karen Haley

Jane Hall

Margot & Dick Hampleman

Marc Hankin

Charles & Ruth Herren

Cindy & David Higgins

Courtney Higgins

Marimar Higgins

Anthony & Lee Irons

Rhoda Jacobs

Coach & Marilyn Jacques

Bonnie & AJ Johnston

Janna Kinkade

Brian & Lynn Kuske

Marshall Laird

Teresa Laird

Becky Lopresti & Mike Carney

Jay Masaschi

Connie & Andy Mical

Jill Mollenhauer & Robert Bland

Chris Miller & Diana Pandell

Sharon Morris

Dennis & Nancy Naigle

Cathy & William Nation

Sophia & Stephen Nicholas

Patricia O'Connell

Maria Olaisen & Mike Block

Deborah Parrish

Kristin Rust

Jessica Spenser

Sydney & Greg Schweitzer

Tori Sepulveda & Oscar Rosales

Nancy Simpson

Angelica Velez Mendez

Stephen Carver & Stephanie Vetter

Kathy Warnert

Lisa Welsch

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?

  • $100 USD per month = 1/4-year scholarship*
  • $150 USD per month = 1/2-year scholarship*
  • $300 USD per month = 1-year scholarship*

Please consider becoming a part of our family of monthly donors today.

*Please note that tuitions for the high school and middle school have increased as of July 31, 2023.

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.
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube