They are a Mexican non-profit organization and U.S. 501(c)(3) that provides language and literacy opportunities free of charge to the local people of La Manzanilla and its surrounding areas. Their mission is to offer educational and professional development programs aimed at raising the overall literacy level of this Mexican community, so that they may have a more prosperous future in a changing time and economy.

The problem?
The majority of residents live in humble conditions and have little formal education. An estimated 90% of the area’s population works in service industries, such as house cleaning and construction, and receive very low wages. When LCF began their work in 2003, more than 2/3 of the youth would drop out of school after middle school. This was due to a high teenage pregnancy rate and the necessity for the youth to work to help support their families. Only 1 in 20 youth from the community would obtain a college degree.

Making a difference…
As a result of LCF’s 14 years of dedication to the youth, major shifts have happened! Now less than 1/3 of the youth drop out after middle school. And a large percentage of students are completing high school and getting college degrees, through the support of our “Wings Scholarship Program” which has assisted hundreds of youth. Alumni from their programs are coming back to work or volunteer at LCF as teachers, camp counselors, and administrators.

What is their approach?
LCF follows a grassroots approach. As the cost of living has drastically increased over the years, the community has increasingly sought out training and education opportunities for economic stability. In order to support the community’s needs, projects and programs are created and carried out. The continuation of programs is also only possible through collaborative efforts with community members.