BRINGING THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS TO BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR
Baja California Sur (BCS), a Mexican state renowned for its tourist destinations, scenic beauty and recreational activities, is a transit route for drug traffickers moving cannabis and methamphetamines from the south to the north.
Drug-Free World Ambassador Jan Storey, an American from Colorado, spends part of the year in BCS. She has been traveling to the quiet fishing village of Los Barriles since she was a child, but in 2016 began to notice a shift as the effects of the drug trade began to creep in.
“I hated it because it had been such a safe, quiet little community before,” she recalls. “That’s when I decided that I should do something.” Already familiar with the Truth About Drugs program in Colorado, she brought materials with her to BCS and immediately introduced them to the Mayor of Los Barriles, Francis Olachea. Mayor Olachea had a personal stake in the battle against drugs after losing her brother to crystal meth. “I have lived amongst people who used drugs all my life, because one of my brothers used drugs,” says Olachea.
The mayor then introduced the program to regional government officials, including the Executive Director of the Safe School Program of the State Department of Education. With this, delivery began with The Truth About Drugs Education Packages into the schools in Los Barriles and the surrounding areas, including Cabo San Lucas.
The initial delivery proved such a success that the State Secretary of Public Education wanted in. After reviewing the curriculum, it was determined that this program was needed in all secondary schools. So the first training was given to 50 principals from the five BCS municipalities, followed by the training of more than 800 teachers. To fully solidify the delivery, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Education Secretary of Baja California Sur and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World in what amounts to the largest-ever government adoption of the program. This included the delivery of over 2,200 of The Truth About Drugs Education Packages to schools.
With the teachers now delivering the full curriculum, nearly 40,000 students in 230 schools throughout the region have been reached, with a resulting 30% drop in first-time drug users in the state. “The drugs have been so crazy down in La Paz and Southern Baja,” says Storey. “This campaign is giving them hope that something can change.”
Join Us Against Drug Abuse
Every year we take action on United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking—a day designated to raise awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs.
On this day, Drug-Free World (DFW) volunteers and chapters hit the streets to distribute The Truth About Drugs booklets, have locals sign the Drug-Free Pledge and do seminars and school awareness campaigns.
We call on all volunteers and supporters to join us in such activities. This involves planning distribution and pledge-signing events in busy locations, having stores take them for their customers, delivering seminars to students and anything else to get The Truth About Drugs into the hands of people in your city. You can download the pledge at www.drugfreeworld.org/downloads.
Send us videos and photos of your DFW activities. The top ten best will receive our signature teal DFW T-shirt for their group members.
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