Under the Same Moon is a 501(c3) not-for-profit organization run by a Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors along with our partners in Guatemala, the United States and abroad work together closely to achieve our mission: Building a Future, One Child at a Time.
Rebecca Center, Founder and Director, is a leading bilingual educator in the Framingham, Massachusetts public schools. Rebecca travels regularly to Guatemala to meet with selected vendors of handicrafts and jewelry, as well as the school’s Director and staff. Rebecca works side by side with the teachers, leading professional development sessions followed up by practice in the classrooms.
Mark Robert Schneider, President, is a retired American History professor whose books include Boston Confronts Jim Crow, 1890-1920 (1997), Joe Moakley's Journey: from South Boston to El Salvador (2013), and Gerry Studds: America's First Openly Gay Congressman (2017). Mark regularly visits the school and keeps up with current Guatemalan events through meetings with our counterparts around the region. He's part of the South Shore contingent--selling handicrafts at local events.
Dawn Mendelsohn, Treasurer, is a retired administrator from the Framingham Public Schools, where she developed community service programs that supported low-income children and families by raising over $3 million for the schools over her 17-year tenure. Currently, Dawn is a consultant with the Massachusetts Department of Education. Dawn manages UTSM’s finances and is in charge of inventory management and control.
Martin Brauer, Secretary, manages Educational Solutions, which promotes and distributes bilingual educational materials. Martin coordinates with educator conferences to provide opportunities for sales of our Guatemalan-crafted products.
Jane Zion Brauer, Ed.D.,is a bilingual educator and president of Educational Solutions, which promotes and distributes bilingual educational materials. Jane coordinates with educator conferences to provide opportunities for sales of our Guatemalan-crafted products. Jane also leads professional development sessions for the teachers from time to time.
Michael Yavorsky, Ph.D., is a retired international commercial banker, who serves as the liaison for the UTSM sponsorship program and grant applications. He's part of the South Shore contingent--selling handicrafts at local events.
Annemarie Reardon, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment of PTSD, and is also part of a boutique photography studio, Wry Photography, in Quincy, MA. She maintains UTSM’s website and is also part of UTSM’s South Shore contingent—selling handicrafts at local events.
Asociación Bendición de Dios
Asociación Bendición de Dios is a nondenominational, nonprofit school and community development organization in San Juan Alotenango, Guatemala. The school, Bendición de Dios, educates 500 pre-K through grade 6 children at a nominal fee to families. In Guatemala, students have to pay to attend public schools. Most families live below the poverty line and cannot afford the school fees. In the past few years, 7th and 8th grade programming has been added. Bendición de Dios is able to provide this support on a budget of only $150,000 per year. More recently, Bendicion has added new vocational classrooms: a large kitchen, a sewing room; and, a workshop for metalworking and repairs is currently under construction. Julio obtained backing from a Canadian non-profit to help fund this expansion.
Los Niños, a Dutch foundation, began providing economic support for Bendición de Dios in 2008. Los Niños has been a major financial backer of the school; however, its contributions will end in 2018 (as stipulated at the beginning of Los Ninos' involvement).
Under the Same Moon has become the school's largest supporter, contributing about thirty percent of the school's annual budget.
Guatemalan Ministry of Education
Bendición de Dios is now officially recognized by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education as an accredited independent pre-primary through grade six school.
With the help of Under The Same Moon and other partners, Asociación Bendición de Dios has been able to expand its mission and has become an educational, social, and economic resources for children and the whole village of San Juan Alotenango.
Are you interested in forming a partnership with Under the Same Moon and Asociación Bendición de Dios? If so, please contact us.