Project information

Armonía Indigenous Mexican Scholars (AIMS)

We support young students from very remote and impoverished communities in the south of Mexico so they can reach and complete their university education. We aim for the youth of these communities to be able to stay and work in Mexico and benefit their communities through sustainable transformation

January 2018 - January 2019

Charity information: Armonia (uk) Trust

Armonia (uk) Trust logo
  • Need


    There is a lack of schools and opportunities in the rural indigenous villages of Mexico. The state of Oaxaca has 18 ethnic groups, that divide into many more languages. The physical and linguistic isolation in which these communities live worsens the level of poverty that they have experienced for hundreds of years, with not even the most basic level of infrastructure, very limited access to education and a life of exploitation, helplessness and hopelessness.


    Armonía promotes education amongst some of the most marginalised communities in Mexico, allowing young men and women to have the opportunity to finish their high school, enrol at university and be able to have a profession. They will then act as a catalyst for sustainable transformation in their home villages. We provide a students' residence in Oaxaca City, food and transport, a caring community, as well as a programme that integrates community service and the learning of other life skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide young people with scholarships to obtain education and promote sustainable transformation.


    » Provide supervised and safe accommodation for young students for each day of the school year
    » Provide skills training such as woodwork, art, music, cookery, language and social enterprise creation
    » Facilitate provision of community & health promotion services for the local community and student-led sustainable transformation in their own village

    What success will look like

    Through each of these students finishing high school, completing a university level degree and initiating and leading sustainable transformation in their home communities.

  • Impact


    The project will bring huge opportunities to young people who would otherwise have few options. Each student will be educated to degree level. This will help not only the individual student but the community from where the student comes. The AIMS programme encourages these students to return to their villages and serve them by bringing their trades, acting as a catalyst for sustainable transformation, and also linking with groups of volunteer doctors and health providers from the US and UK.


    One of the risks is that the students arrive with a strong level of malnutrition and a very low academic level from their original primary and secondary school. In most cases they need to live in other villages away from their families in order to study and the infrastructure that the state provides for them is extremely basic. We have dealt with this by offering a nutrition programme and a remediation programme for the students who live at the Armonía Students Residence.


    We regularly report students academic progress, as well as encourage donors to visit Armonía and meet the students themselves. We also invite specific UK and US donors to join us during trips that we make to the villages where the students are from and where we can provide health promotion services

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £8,000 Scholarships Scholarship for 4 students for 1 year inc. school expenses, food, accommodation, transport, etc.
  • Background


    Oaxaca is one of the poorest states in Mexico, with 18 ethnic groups and around a 4 million person population. Our Student Residence is in the municipality of Etla, which is in the outskirts of Oaxaca City. Oaxaca has historically been one of the most abused and abandoned states in Mexico. During colonisation, the indigenous population was scattered into the most remote mountains of the state where agricultural land was scarce and the poverty has remained down the generations since.


    We aim to benefit the poorest of the poor from these villages through students returning to their homes and brining sustainable transformation. This includes through health promotion programmes, the continuation of the education of their youth and the return of those that have studied to participate in the construction of their communities. We currently work with 5 ethnic groups in Oaxaca: Zapotec, Mazatec, Mixe, Mixtec and Chinantec, some of whom have been historically at war with each other.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Armonía has worked in promoting and supporting education amongst some of the most marginalised communities in Mexico for over 30 years. It was funded and is run by Mexicans, who started working in a rubbish dump in the northeast of Mexico City, in order to work with one of the largest and most vulnerable communities. Founded on Christian principles, our purpose is together to transform poverty into an abundant, complete and dignified life. It understands and is trusted by the local communities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Pilar De Cruz

    Armonía Fo-founder and Director

    Saúl Cruz Valdivieso

    Armonía Assistant Director

    Guadalupe Suárez

    Armonía Indigenous Students Programme Coordinator

    Sergio Suárez

    Armonía Indigenous Students Residence Leader