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MEXICO: Anti-Drug and Character-Building Programs

At least half of Mexicans live on less than $3 a day and countless families go without sufficient food, shelter and essential medical care due to multiple factors including low wages, high unemployment rates, illness, domestic violence, and divorce. Surrounded by poverty, corruption, drugs and violence, the decline to delinquency is a growing trend in marginalized areas of Mexico, with a stark rise in illicit drug use over the past few years and an appalling number of consumers being children and teenagers.

Proyecto Rescate’s humanitarian efforts help not only provide the essentials of food, clothing and medicine for impoverished communities in the Monterrey area, but its primary goal is to guide children and youth towards a brighter future outside their area of distress, creating a chain reaction of positive social change. Collaborating with the Council of Social Development, local schools, and communities, Proyecto Rescate promotes wholesome values and character education through its Vanguard of Values (VOV) program for children, firmly believing that values education must be at the forefront of the war on delinquency.

Designed for elementary age audiences, the VOV program focuses on anti-drug awareness and positive character-building themes such as forgiveness, honesty, patience and overcoming difficulties. The “Small World Playhouse” interactive shows employ drama, songs, stories, games, puppetry, clowns and group participation to engage the students in reinforcing positive moral building blocks, with relatable every-day applications. Distribution of character-building story books accompanies the program to help ensure that the concepts are reinforced at home. Parenting seminars are also offered to families, along with mentoring and guidance counseling. This past year, the VOV program was conducted primarily in areas of the city where families are exposed to high rates of crime and/or marginalized living conditions, benefitting 580 children.