Bring a Higher Level of Education

Bring a Higher Level of Education

Mano Amiga was founded in Mexico to bring a higher level of education that is rich in Catholicism to impoverished areas of the country. Since founding, 22 schools have opened in Mexico alone. Those 22 schools in total provide an education for over 15,000 students and give jobs to 1,200 people. Mano Amiga graduates have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, dentists, business professionals, loving parents and involved members of the community. More than 85% of Mano Amiga students proceed to institutes of higher learning; 83% of graduates are formally employed.

“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams

Mexico confronts serious problems including poverty, violence, corruption, drug trafficking, and social inequality, most of which are rooted in lack of education and opportunity. Mano Amiga grew in response to these problems. Only quality education can bring long-lasting change to the country. Read about some of the Mano Amiga campuses in Mexico here.

Quality Education Brings Change

Quality Education Brings Change

Mano Amiga Acapulco

Students: 765
Founded: 2001
Mano Amiga Acapulco is located in one of the poorest and most violent communities in the country. Parents are desperate for a safe place for their children to learn and grow. Mano Amiga Acapulco is the answer to their prayers.

Mano Amiga Cancun

Students: 875
Founded: 2009
Located just miles away from the beach and the tourist district, Mano Amiga Cancun serves the students and families of the surrounding region. Cancun is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean, but many of the local residents grapple with poverty. Mano Amiga provides high quality, Catholic education in a loving, family-like environment.

Mano Amiga Chalco

Students: 949
Founded: 1993
Mano Amiga Chalco was founded in response to a visit from Pope St. John Paul II in 1990. He urged the people to take care of their youth, and the people of Chalco responded. The school was built as 3 preschools, and has now grown to include every grade! Mano Amiga Chalco has matriculated over 10 graduating classes. 70% of the students go on to study in universities and technical schools.

Mano Amiga Conkal

Students: 404
Founded: 2005
Mano Amiga Conkal was founded after Hurricane Isidore hit Mexico in 2005. Mano Amiga is a comprehensive education center where children and young people in need receive the tools necessary to become successful people. Mano Amiga Conkal accomplishes this by meeting the poorest families’ needs and forming them spiritually, intellectually, socially, and on a human level.

Mano Amiga La Cima

Students: 423
Founded: 1991
Mano Amiga La Cima is a fantastic school with lots of beautiful and hardworking students. Several years ago, the school’s fencing was damaged by Hurricane Alex. As a result, the school was exposed to gangs who vandalized it constantly. Your generosity allowed Mano Amiga La Cima to rebuild its focus!

Mano Amiga Monterrey

Students: 950
Founded: 1974
Mano Amiga Monterrey serves students grades Pre-K through high school. Because of limited space, students attend school in shifts: boys in the morning and girls in the afternoon. The average student at Mano Amiga Monterrey has approximately 50% of their tuition covered by scholarships—provided by donors like you!

Mano Amiga Morelia

Students: 620
Founded: 2009
Morelia, one of the richest and most densely populated cities in Mexico, has the highest kidnapping rate in the country. While the government cracks down on cartels and crime, one of the best ways for children and their families to escape these horrible situations is through education. Mano Amiga Morelia is one of the safe havens that helps children and their families escape the cycle of poverty that perpetuates such crime.

Mano Amiga Puebla

Students: 776
Founded: 2006
Our own Deacon Rick Medina got to visit Mano Amiga Puebla in 2013. He was able to give out full-year scholarships, meet a widowed mother of two and hear her story of hope, and learn about other needs at the school. Mano Amiga Puebla has a high percentage of special needs students, whom they are finding creative ways to teach and serve.

Mano Amiga Querétaro

Students: 595
Founded: 2005
In Querétaro, many families are poor and can’t afford to send their children to school. The average student at Querétaro has 64% of their tuition provided by partners, benefactors, and donors like you! Mano Amiga Querétaro serves children in the community as well as their families.

Mano Amiga Santa Catarina

Students: 850
Founded: 1989
CWM Executive Director Deacon Rick Medina got to visit Mano Amiga Santa Catarina in 2013. There, he was greeted by students, faculty, parents, and the greater community. One of the families Deacon Rick got to meet was Javier and his wife, who have 4 children. Two are grown and work as an industrial engineer and psychologist, respectively. The younger two are still in school at MA Santa Catarina. They say going to school here is worth the daily 3-mile-long walk!

Mano Amiga Tapachula

Students: 774
Founded: 2006
Quality education is badly needed in Tapachula. There, about 75% of the population lives in poverty. 18 out of 100 people can’t read or write, and most drop out from school after 7th grade. Thanks to your generosity, 98% of Mano Amiga Tapachula’s students are given scholarships, making it possible for them to beat the odds. Thank you for all you do!

Mano Amiga Tijuana

Students: 192
Founded: 2008
Known as Mexico’s fifth largest metropolitan area, Tijuana remains a major cultural, municipal, and commercial center. The Mano Amiga School lies on the outskirts of this urban hub in a neighborhood familiar with underdevelopment and poverty.

Through the aid of Catholic World Mission, 100 percent of the school’s enrollment are granted scholarships. Because of the steadily increasing population, however, many families are still waiting to be granted enrollment and scholarship to the school.

Mano Amiga Zomeyucan

Students: 511
Founded: 1963
Mano Amiga Zomeyucan was the first Mano Amiga School to be founded by the Legionaries of Christ in 1963. It started with 14 students in preschool whose parents were determined for them to have Catholic education. Today, the school has grown to include over 511 students, and international serves students in nine countries! Mano Amiga Zomeyucan laid the foundation for 22,000 students and it is still expanding thanks to your generosity.



Juan Castro

Juan is a 17-year-old high school student at Mano Amiga Morelia. Ranking second in his class, he looks forward to a bright future. In fact, Juan has plans to continue his education in seminary training. This young man has much to be proud of and look forward to. But his story hasn’t always been as positive. Juan and his mother struggled greatly when his father abandoned the family years ago, before the he was enrolled in Mano Amiga.

Money was tight, and Juan was forced to work in order to help support himself and his mother. Despite his mother’s valiant attempts to keep Juan on a good path, resentment and poverty prevailed; Juan spent too much time with the wrong crowd and fell into some dangerous habits. He rebelled against his mother’s high standards of discipline, and had difficulty dealing with the pain of his father’s leaving.

Although this little family was very poor, Juan’s mother allowed him to stop working so he could focus on school and bettering himself. With the help from doctors, counselors and Mano Amiga, Juan eventually pulled himself together and began to see his potential. Mano Amiga has been a shining light in Juan’s young life. The gift of a great education will take him to new heights and allow him to realize the gifts God has given him.



Eunice Bolaños


Eunice Rubio Bolaños may be only in 5th grade, but she has a personal investment in her future at Mano Amiga Tapachula. Eunice keeps a piggy bank by her bedside, where she collects all the pesos she can to help found her education.

Eunice and her little sister, Liliana, are blessed to have received scholarship to Mano Amiga since the school opened in 2007. But as with all Mano Amiga families, they are required to pay a stipend for each child in school. Even a small amount is difficult for their parents to play.

The girls older brother is learning a trade in technical school and their younger brother is 2 year old, so Eunice pitches in around the house. Señora Bolaños has difficult pregnancy with her son, requiring Eunice to step up even more during that time. Eunice learned to work hard: jugging school and chores. Her work ethic has served this child well in school.

Eunice is quiet, although a good student. She enjoy learning, and the structure of school environment. She has learned at a young age that it takes hard work to follow your dream and build a better future.

Her parents are grateful for the opportunity to have their daughters at Mano Amiga, and make a sincere effort to take part in school activities.

Jesus Alejandro
& Jesus Francisco


Jesus Alejandro & Jesus Francisco

Two students from Mano Amiga Monterrey have recently been awarded scholarships to the Culver Military Academy in In-diana. Catholic World Mission congratulates these fine young men as they venture away from home to pursue their dreams.

Jesus Alejandro (right) will attend Culver for high school. He has proven himself as a dedicated and high achieving student. He also enjoys singing and acting as a professional clown in his free time. Always looking for enrichment, Jesus Alejandro plays three musical instruments.

Jesus Francisco (left) a middle school student, will be in the Culver Academy summer camp. An avid athlete, he is looking forward to the plethora of sports activities offered there. “I will be learning a lot of different sports – some that I have never played before!” he says Jesus Alejandro. “We’ve learned to become good people and make a future for ourselves. We’re like a family”

The Mano Amiga (“Helping Hand”) school have been bringing hope to poor families willing to help them – selves for nearly 50 years. Mano Amiga Monterrey is the original Mano Amiga School, dating Back to 1974. This school now has 984 families, with 90% of its high school graduates going on the higher learning, and 80% working in community.



Christopher Huerta


Christopher Huerta Arellano is fifth grader at Mano Amiga Puebla. This bright child enjoy physical activities, especially playing basketball and soccer in P.E. class. Keeping busy helps distract him from the hardships he has experienced at home.

Christopher and his 4-years-old sister are currently being raised largely by their grandmother and uncle. Neglected in early years of his life. Christopher has shown signs of a boy needing affection and love. Mano Amiga teachers do everything they can to fill the gaps. And Christopher is responding. “I like to be with my teacher and classmates because they pay attention to me and play with me so that I don’t feel alone. When it’s time for the Catholic values and formation class I get excited because it’s a class that I like to be in and I know that God listens to me and he is with me.”

On occasion, teachers can see that. Christopher isolates himself from his classmates. These are the times that Christopher usually needs a hug. In addition to P.E. and Chatholic Formation, this 5th grader enjoys memorizing multiplication tables, and participates well in math class. When assayed what he would like to do when he grows up. Christopher says he wants to be a doctor. “I want to help my grandmother when she is sick and be able to share my money with her and my mother so that we’ll always have something to eat. Also I want to help all the people who cannot pay for their medicine. I will give them services for free.

With God’s grace and continued help from Mano Amiga this passionate boy may well realize his dream.



Christopher Huerta


The youngest of four children in her family, six-years-old Jennifer Pérez is the first of the children in her family to attend school. When Jenifer started school three years ago at Mano Amiga Tuxtla, she had just finished treatment through a local hospital for malnutrition. Slight in stature and underweight, Jenifer suffered from the ramifications of not getting enough food to eat.

Jennifer’s father farms land near his home, and her mother sells home-made tamales. Their oldest son sells candy on the street. As much as this couple would like to provide for their children, there is never enough to go around.

Mano Amiga is able to provide Jenifer a good breakfast each day. School administrator coach the family on how to help Jenifer complete school work and ensure their children are fed.

Jenifer has a gift for spiking in native language, and says she wants to be a doctor someday, just like those who have helped her at the hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Perez have grown in their faith and express appreciation for helping hand of Mano Amiga.

Julio César Palacios


Julio César Palacio


Julio Cesar Palacios is a 16-year-old special needs child from Mano Amiga. Raised by a loving grandmother, Julio is taking the steps needed to lead a positive and productive life. This is his first year in the Mano Amiga school system.

Julio is learning disabled, due to an unfortunate situation during his birth, in which he was deprived of oxygen. Despite challenges, Julio dos not give up. He puts forth effort to complete all his assignments, and has settled in well to his classroom environment. However, Julio is behind’s classmates academically. The school is working to secure testing and documentation to allow Julio to continue with his secondary education with slower paced curriculum. “Julio has the ability to take high school level classes,” his teacher says. “He just needs to be supported in his pace and way of learning.”

Mano Amiga has help Julio in ways outside of academics. Among his other challenge, this teen suffer from epilepsy. School counselors have helped him with social and emotional growth, and may refer him for professional help as needed in adjusting to school and managing life at home.

For Julio, life is not always easy. But he knows that he can rely on teachers and administrators of Mano Amiga to carve a path for him that will allow him to use the gifts God gave him and look forward to a happy future.

Gabriela & Josmar


Gabriela & Josmar


Gabriela and her brother Josmar are students of Mano Amiga Conkal. Gabby, 14, suffers from a chornic kidney disease that requires frequent treatments.The family stuggles to provide basic needs for their children, let alone medical expenses. Insurance does not pay for the special foods Gabriella needs to stay healthy. She and her mother take on sewing work to help with expenses.

Josmar, a pre-schooler, has sacrificed because of his sister’s needs. Struggling with routine at the beginning of the school year, he “clung to the school fence and cried,” said his teacher. But the staff knew how to help Josmar, making him feel safe and happy in school. He has made friends and is learning social skills.

Gabriela encourages and mentors her little brother, and works hard in school despite her fragile health.“She is an excellent student, her teacher remarks,“especially in science.” Gaby’s goal is to become a nutritionist and help people the way she has been helped by others. She references her faith in god as the source of her strength.





Seven-year-old Miguel lives with his father and mother in a small house along with his 3 other siblings.With no running water or heat in the home, life can be a daily struggle for Michael, especially in the winter. His father works in the cemetery for a modest income.The family lives on a daily diet of tortilla and beans.To make life more difficult for Michael and his family, there are temp- tations from local drug pushers tempting children to get into the drug-selling trade.

Our Mano Amiga school in Piedras Negras has offered Michael a fighting chance at a better life.Through the generosity of donors, Michael receives a scholarship for his education, medical check-ups, clothes and food.The school helps Michael’s family through frequent dialogue about parenting and the importance of education for their children. Michael’s mother now assists and volunteers at the school.

It was a struggle at first to get Michael acclimated to school life. He had to be taught basic things such as personal hygiene and discipline. Michael is now well acclimated with school – showing respect to teachers and working well with his classmates. Michael’s favorite subject is Spanish. He wants to become a policeman someday.

CWM’s own visits Mano Amiga Cancun

November 2019

Stephanie Quinlan recently visited Mano Amiga Cancun, where she got to meet students, teachers, and administrators.

Deacon Rick Visits Mano Amiga Cancun

Spring 2019

Deacon Rick Medina, Catholic World Mission Executive Director, recently visited Mano Amiga Cancun!

Kindergarten Graduation at Mano Amiga Guadalajara

July 2018

3 Schools Graduate Their First Classes of High School

July 2018

The first students to complete high school at Mano Amiga Guadalajara, Mano Amiga Puebla, and Mano Amiga Torreón are on to the next step in their bright futures. Take a moment to pray for these amazing trailblazers!

Mano Amiga Torreón

Mano Amiga Guadalajara

Mano Amiga Puebla

New Desks for its Students in Conkal

March 2018

As a direct result of your generosity during the 2017 Back to School campaign, MA Conkal was able to buy 50 new desks for its students! Click through the pictures below to see the new desks, as well as some photos of the little ones making arts and crafts at their new desks. Thank you for your generous giving to these schools–you make it possible every day for students in the poorest parts of the world to receive quality education!

New High School in Tapachula


Thanks to your generosity in 2014, Mano Amiga Tapachula was able to build a new high school facility! Take a look at the photos below to see the various stages of construction progress.

Spread the Catholic Faith Across the World