We Can't Hide From Our Future


Groundbreaking Silicon Valley Latino Report Card identifies serious challenges that confront Latinos and threaten Silicon Valley's long term prosperity.


One out of four people living in Silicon Valley are Latino. 80% of South Coast residents are Latino and 20% Anglo. It so happens that the findings in this report are also relevant to many Anglos in our rural community--their struggles are often unseen and neglected.

While education is identified as one key area for improvement - the academic outcomes in this report are dismal - Latinos also have higher rates of obesity and diabetes, tend to live in environmentally stressful areas, and immigrant Latinos in particular have strikingly lower rates of health insurance. This report card is the sort you might hide from your parents - a few A's and B's but way too many D's and F's.  Read the report.

Sadly, within these statistics, the South Coast's grades are on the low end of the spectrum. This is in part due to the additional stressors of rural isolation and the significant disparity of basic government resources allocated throughout the county.  The well being of Latinos, and all of those who are struggling in our communities, concerns everyone who lives and works in Silicon Valley and beyond. This is about quality of life not just for Latinos, but for us all.

In this issue, you will find out how your support is changing lives and how Puente is responding to the findings in this ground breaking report. We know that with your continued contributions as donors and volunteers, change is possible. 


In this issue
We Can't Hide From Our Future
Program Updates
Is Opportunity A Myth?
College Pennants Open Eyes
Youth Open Doors
Disaster Preparation



The best way to help


Become a monthly donor by joining Puente Partners for Sustainability. With your gift each month of any amount, you make Puente stronger and more sustainable.Your consistent gift allows us to plan more effectively and it saves paper.
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Lobel speaks out on "Dream Act" 

Puente Honored at 12th Annual San Mateo County Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watch Kerry Lobel's remarks as Puente is honored at 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.




Program Updates


Puente's 3rd annual Día

de los Niños celebration was attended by more than 200 children and adults.

Read more here.


Puente staff members, Jorge Guzman Zavala and Alejendra Resendiz, participated in commencement at Notre Dame de Namur.  Read more here.

Read more here.

Farmworker Justice
La Sala (the Living Room), Puente's oldest program has provided family- style hot meals and other services for

farm and nursery workers since 2001. 

As advocates and friends, we know first hand the unique struggles that this community faces in their lives.

The following groundbreaking report underscores what we have learned first-hand over the last 10 years.


wendy farmworker



Get Involved 


Team Backpack Launches 2011 Campaign

We are predicting that 250 of the 366 students attending Pescadero and La Honda schools will need a backpack with basic school supplies for their first day of school. Check out the full supplies list. We need large quantities of these items - any amount will help us reach our goal. If you have sources for school supplies or a way to broadcast the word, email klobel@mypuente.org 



Puente open house at New Leaf Market on May 26

5% of all items sold at New Leaf Market in Half Moon Bay on May 26 will benefit Puente. Join us for an open house from 5-7 PM featuring Mexican food from Pescadero chefs. Click here to RSVP for the Open House. 



Volunteer & Donor Appreciation

Mark your calendars. On Sunday, October 16, Jeff & Kate Haas will host Puente's second annual volunteer & donor appreciation party at their lovely ranch in Loma Mar.     


Learn more about how you can get involved.  







Is opportunity a myth? 


How do you instill the belief in a young person, or an adult, that they have true options--that opportunity does exist, and it is possible for them to shape their future?


Truth be told, many children, youth and their families really don't have options. At least to speak of. It's not fair, but it's the reality of far too many of our neighbors, many of whom keep our struggling agricultural economy ticking.


Pulitzer prize winning author, David Shipler writes in his award winning book The Working Poor ..."If problems are interlocking, so must solutions be. A job alone is not enough. Reliable transportation, careful family budgeting, effective parenting, effective schooling are not enough when each is achieved in isloation from the rest. There is not single variable that can be altered to help working people move away from the edge of poverty. Only where the full array of factors is attached can America fullfil its promise."


In the spirit of possibility, we stand together with those who have the resources to fund and those who have the time to volunteer. We stand together as equal partners with the working families who are on the front lines every day to bring justice to our South Coast community and beyond.


We know that it is only through partnership that options exist. The constellation of services that you make possible - mental health counseling, academic assistance, training, jobs, and mentoring to name a few are exactly what is needed for lasting change. Together, we are setting the stage for a just and healthy future for all who live and work on the South Coast.

Colorful college pennants open eyes to possibility


Dozens of spirit-boosting college pennants now adorn the walls of the Puente Learning Center thanks to Rachel Moody, Learning Center Coordinator and her outreach campaign to colleges and universities around the country. Rachel, who grew up in Pescadero and will be going to graduate school in the fall at Stanford for her Masters in Education knows the value of a college education and works to instill that in her students.
The colorful flags have been streaming in from Berkeley, Cal State East Bay, Harvey Mudd, and Stanford, among many others reminding students each day of options and possibilities. 
Tutoring, SAT preparation, and negotiating the competitive and complex college application process is one aspect of Puente's Youth Leadership Development Program.

Do you have an old pennant from your alma mater that you'd like to donate?
Check out our list of pennants and if you have one that is not on the list that you'd like to donate, email Rachel at rmoody@mypuente.org
Youth open doors to their future

Many of the teens who graduate from Puente's youth programs will be the first in their family to go to college.
There's always a lot going on, both at Puente and on the road.
Most recently South Coast teenagers spent the day at Año Nuevo State Park learning how to use the full gamut of navigational and orienteering tools to master new skills for a future career.
They learned the basics of how to plot coordinates, chart a course and map out an area - skills key to job requirements in park service, city planning or paleontology.
The navigation lesson was the final exercise of Puente's Green Jobs Corps Program, a series of workshops done in partnership with the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District to impart job skills to help boost the economy. Starting last September, the program funded an environmental field studies course at Pescadero High School and several free tutorials on wilderness survival, watershed management and environmental monitoring for Puente youth workers and young men at Camp Glenwood.
"This is a combination of hard skills and soft skills," said Kerry Lobel, executive director of Puente de la Costa Sur. "It builds confidence in an unknown situation. There's a huge amount of fear of the unknown, and this helps break through that."
As a wrap up to the program, there will be a Green Jobs Fair at Pescadero High School to get the students networking with job recruiters in fields that could use their newly acquired skills.
La Honda Fire Captain comments on Youth CERT Team in Tsunami evacuation
La Honda Fire Captain comments on Youth CERT Team in Tsunami evacuation

Preparing for the inevitable


When disaster strikes in isolated community, we must be ready. 


When Puente received news of the March 11 Tsunami warning, students and staff moved to action, helping evacuate farmworkers from the ocean side of Highway 1 as well as helping staff the emergency shelter.


Leadership group raises funds for school PE unforms

Every 7th - 12th grader will have their own uniform for physical education, thanks to Puente's youth leaders and community support.

Youth in Puente's middle and high school leadership groups raised funds to buy school PE Uniforms for the entire student body at Pescadero Middle and High Schools. These uniforms represent much more than having something to wear. School spiri, feeling good about participating and taking physical activity seriously  are important to class outcomes.

Thanks to Puente staff Suzie Hughes and many generous donors to making this project possible.





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