Camp Estrella - Kindle the Spark

Summer Day Camp for Underprivileged Children in Chapala, MX

Why This Campaign? 

We are seeking funds to provide two weeks of summer camp for impoverished children in Jalisco Mexico. Just $50 will put a child through the day camp. All proceeds from this campaign will go directly to the children’s food and supplies for the camp. Our goal is to give this opportunity to 60 under privileged and at risk children. The camp is free to attend and we need your help to make it available to as many kids as possible!

Why Summer Camp?

Summer camps have a profound and positive impact on children; experiences and friendships can last a lifetime. Children build self-esteem, learn new skills, become more self-reliant, and acquire social skills.

Many children living in under developed and impoverished regions will never have the growth experiences afforded by summer camp. At risk children like this need to know there are other options available to them. They need to have their internal spark nourished, kindled and developed so they can grow into the star they deserve to be.  

Mentor the Stars of the Future

Camp Estrella aims to give the under privileged children living in the greater Lake Chapala area of Jalisco Mexico a better chance. The camp is free to attend and will provide flamenco dance lessons, singing, creative art projects, poetry writing, English literacy lessons, tutoring, one-on-one reading help, and food. The camp will culminate with a dance recital, a soccer game and a BBQ. 

Six volunteers have already committed to be camp counselors. Each counselor will be assigned a small group of kids to mentor during the camp. The “camp pods” will work on art projects together and learn a flamenco song and dance to perform in the recital.

100% of the money raised in this campaign will go directly to the children of Jalisco Mexico.

The Program

Camp Estrella will run as 2 separate one-week day camps accommodating 30 chlidren in each for a total of 60 kids:

- July 20-25, 2015 in San Juan Cosala at Agustin's restaurant

- July 27-Aug. 1 in Ajijic at the Cultural Center and Efren's Art Studio

Funds permitting, each of the 60 children will receive:
- Bi-lingual reading book (Spanish and English)
- Notebooks, pens, pencils
- Art supplies
- T-shirt with Camp Estrella logo
- Breakfast and lunch at camp
- Backpack
- Flamenco costumes (donated)

Each camp will conclude with a recital where the kids will perform their dance, read poetry, sing and we'll have a painting demonstration and a soccer game. 

Kindle the Spark!

Many children of the world hold the potential to be future stars but those growing up in depressed areas need our help to kindle their spark. Please donate today!

Who We  Are 

Camp Founder/Director is Cyndie Zikmund. I have lived and worked  in Silcon Valley for the past 35+ years. When I was orphaned at 15, neighbors took me into their homes and helped me complete my High School education. We didn't have foster care readily available in that small town in MT. It has been through the kindness of neighbors, friends and even strangers that I was able to receive a higher education and enjoy a succesful career in the nation's tech hub.  As I travel the world and see children in undeveloped countries struggling to have enough - enough food/water, enough clothing, enough schooling - I know I have an obligation to those who helped me to pass their great gift on to others. This is the second summer camp I have put on and is the first of many more. 

Camp Counselors: My ever supportive husband, Dave McMahon will be a Camp Counselor, guitarist and flamenco music teacher. My sister Audrey will be a Camp Counselor and my number one helper living in Chapala MX. My grand nieces Taylor and Sydney will be Camp Counselors and teachers.  Judy Dkystra-Brown , dear friend, will be a Camp Counselor and art instructor. 

Field Directors are Agustin Vazquez Calvario  and Efren Gonzalez. Agustin is a community leader and restaurant owner in San Juan Cosala, MX. He is Founder of Operation Feed, a monthly free meal program for poor 
families. Efren is a community leader and artist in Ajijic, MX. He created an after school program for young artists-in-training that teaches children how to paint with water colors and make beautiful greeting cards. 

Agustin and his Aunt

Efren in his studio

The children want to express their gratitude and send camp supporters a hand-painted note. Efren will lead the kids in the creation of hand painted Thank You notes for donations of $50 or greater. For donations of $100 or more, the children want to make a special "made at Camp Estrella" handicraft for you. 


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  • Jeanette M Winton 
    • $50 
    • 69 mos
  • Bernice Parris 
    • $100 
    • 69 mos
  • Gail O'Hanlon 
    • $100 
    • 70 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 70 mos
  • Sharon Wheat 
    • $10 
    • 70 mos
See all


Cyndie Zikmund 
Redwood City, CA
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