Pacayal Joven

A new youth community center for young people in the micro-region of Nuevo San Juan Chamula, border state of Chiapas, Mexico

What is Pacayal Joven ?

Pacayal Joven is an initiative that seeks the construction and operation of a new youth community center for young people of Nuevo San Juan Chamula. The project aims to create a new space to promote the exchange, health and creativity of young people in this community, offering different activities such as educational, sports and cultural, responding to the dreams and needs of the new youth generations.

How does it arise?

During the work that has been done by IDEAS NGO since 2012 in Nuevo San Juan Chamula, through the provision of educational and artistic workshops which has trained more than 288 young people from 27 communities in less than a year and responding to the big enthusiasm shown by young people, the great musical and artistic talent that has been discovered during these cultural weeks and clearly lack of a space that could periodically host this activities rises the initiative to build a community youth center that fosters talented young people of Nuevo San Juan Chamula, which often don’t have enough opportunities to develop their talent or even gain higher education.


Right from the project phase, applying a method of participatory design, youth actively engages the design process, capturing their dreams, desires and needs within the architectural proposal.
This allows young people to appropriate the project since its inception.
With the creation of the new youth community center, we seek to create a platform for meeting and exchange between young people from different communities of the micro-region of Nuevo San Juan Chamula, promoting cultural, sporting and educational activities, where young people will be required to discover and cultivate their creativity and talent.
With the support of the authorities and various organizations, will be the same young people empowered, who will manage and subsequently give life to this new space.

Girls Home


The Girls Home supports the education and provides medical and psychological assistance to abandoned girls between the ages of seven and eighteen.

The girls are encouraged to maintain an independent life by actively participating in their community. The staff of the Girls Home help them with love, tenderness and discipline, to define their personalities.

The Girls Home is looking for the productive integration of the children into their communities. For the last 15 years the project has cared for more than 500 girls, who have been able to re-enter society or return to their own families.

The girls are accepted as they are; getting help they slowly regain their emotional stability and start a socialization process which leads them to greater independence.


Mexico City


For more information about the project please visit the homepage of Ayuda y Solidaridad con las Niñas de la Calle.

Against Blindness


Cataracts are the biggest cause of blindness in the world. This deprives many children and adults from living a full and normal life. The main objective of the project “Against Blindness” in Mexico is to help people with minimal financial possibilities to regain their eyesight through low-cost cataract operations.

Ayudamexico also assists the modernization of Public Ophthalmology Centers by equipping them with sophisticated technologically medical devices and by raising funds for medical training of Mexican doctors and nurses.

We are helping the opthalmology clinic in Acapulco, Guerrero with funds to purchase hospital supplies to perform these necessary cataract operations. In the past 18 months, these Centers have performed 4100 operations and 30,000 consultations.


The "Contra la Ceguera por Cataratas" charity operates in the Mexican State of Guerrero and Chiapas.


For additional information concerning the charity, please visit the website of Centro Público de Oftalmología en Guerrero.

Women's Handicraft


Improve the future economical and educational situation of women of Cuentepec (and their children) by enhancing the capability of their traditional clay work (handcraft) and finding markets for their products and selling them. Motto: Help to be able to help yourself.

Short description of project Cuentepec

The project (that startet in 2003) is aimed to improve the capabilities of the women regarding quality, design, overall know-how of their traditional clay work and work efficiancy.
At the same time the traditional character of the handcraft needs to be preserved. Participation at the project is free, only restriction: permanent presence to be able to take advantage of the developping group spirit and creativity. Donations are primarily used to finance in advance the works of the women by buying them and bring them to the nearby museum-store, where they are selled. Secondly to do investments to facilitate the womens work (builiding working spaces, ect.) and day to day spendings like clay, transportation, package material, etc. Besides the group of around 25 women from Cuentepec the project involves mainly two persons:

Susana Sotelo (Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico): , keep permanent contact with the group, buying each two month (or on demand) the works from the women and organize the transport to the museum store, consulting function, providing informations about project status quo and financials.

Sylvia Bidermann (Zürich, Schweiz): Responsible for overall organization, fund raising, contact to donators, information, visits on site.


Cuentepec is a small, very traditional town in the countryside of the state of Morelos, Mexico (ca. about 2 h south west of Mexico D. F. ). Cuentepec counts a population of around 5000, mostly children, women and elderly.

Projcet achievements

- Quality and disigns of clay work improved very much over the last 6 years

- The women are selling more pieces (some also look for and organise themselves a selling opportunity)

- More women (also younger ones and even some men!) are working traditional clay again to sell it

- Each woman who applies for has a covered working space

- Some have a gas stove (for better prevention from breaking)

- Women learned about the marktet and are putting reasonable prices to their pieces

- Women are selling the pieces in a store in Cuentepec that is provided by the project. The organisation of the store the women responsability.

- Project is providing labels to put on each piece with name, price and "mujeres de barro"-origin


-Looking for more selling points

-Potential enlarge scope of project to community development (f.e. providing computer classes)


For more information, please contact Miguel Steiner.

Happy Children

This project is in a town called Villa Hidalgo which belongs to the state of Jalisco.

One of our collaborators has a child with a disabiliy. Over time he has found out that in that small village, he is not alone with this problem; there are many children with similar disabilities, unable to go to a "normal" school.
A school was then created ad hoc on the porperty of one of the concerned parents, with specialized assistance from Guadalajara.

The condition is that our support is considered as a start up aid to give the project a positive psychological boost. It should not be used as a regular contribution to the success of the project, which shall subsequently operate independently.