Paz & Play is an after-school program that has been successfully serving local public school students ages 6 to 12 in Oaxaca, Mexico for four years. Our program provides English immersion through play, art, environmental education, and peace education in a Montessori setting. We hope to expand our program by starting a second youth empowerment program for students ages 13 to 18. Our goal is to provide academic support, community service opportunities, career planning, and emotional support.
In Oaxaca, public schools end between 12:30 and 1:00 in the afternoon. This makes childcare for many parents a challenge. There are few affordable, accessible programs that address this need. The lack of access to afterschool activities can lead to problems among youth in the community and put them in unsafe situations. We strive to provide structure to children's afternoon routine, support working families, as well as to provide children with engaging and fun educational alternatives.
Through Paz & Play we are able to address the community's need for safe, educational, low-cost after-school care. We provide students with an afternoon meal, English games led by fluent English speakers, and access to a beautiful environment in which to play, socialize and learn. We are fulfilling a need for high quality English education, and academic, emotional and career support. We want to empower youth to face the challenges of their lives with assertiveness, integrity, and leadership.
Through Paz & Play we are able to make Montessori and peace education more accessible to lower income families in Oaxaca. Paz & Play children become life long peacemakers and confident leaders in their community. We believe that by empowering youth, they will develop greater agency in their lives and build a better future for themselves. We hope the program's impact will go far beyond the individual students and extend to the larger Oaxaca community.