Mexico D.F., May 12, 2015. Today Fundación MAPFRE and Universidad Panamericana opened the “MAPFRE-Universidad Panamericana Community Center”, a 1,600-squaremeter space, which this year alone is set to address the needs of 5,000 underprivileged people in this region, home to 750,000 Mexicans of whom three in ten live in poverty and 18,000 in extreme poverty.
Funded and administered by Fundación MAPFRE and Fundación UP-IPADE, the center will be run by Universidad Panamericana professionals and more than 400 volunteers from the two institutions, providing basic food, healthcare, vocational training, psychological counseling and legal advice to the beneficiaries.
One of the services offered by the center, which has opened after an initial investment of more than 25 million pesos, will be the Comedor Santa María food bank, where 330 meals will be served every day to babies, children and young people as well as pregnant women and senior citizens in extreme poverty.
The opening ceremony for the “MAPFRE-Universidad Panamericana Community Center”, which will be extended to Brazil and Colombia in 2016, was attended by Antonio Huertas, President of Fundación MAPFRE, who stressed that the foundation was "honored to be involved in this project into which so many of us, people and institutions alike, have poured our determination and part of our hearts". He went on to say that "being able to offer new life opportunities to more than 5,000 people in this community, in the first year alone, enables us to feel very proud of fulfilling MAPFRE's pledge to contribute to the development of the countries in which it operates".
HRH the Infanta Elena, Director of Projects at FundaciónMAPFRE, also attended the opening, while Dr. José Antonio Lozano Díez, Dean of the UP-IPADE Network, underscored the pledge of Universidad Panamericana to provide an efficient response to the needs of the world through research and education. "The launch of the Community Center is an opportunity for the university and business to improve society and support the development of those most in need," he added.
The MAPFRE-Universidad Panamericana Community Center offers a general healthcare clinic, primarily to deal with children, pregnant women and senior citizens; a nursing center where they can be vaccinated free of charge and obtain guidance on nutrition and preventive medicine; and a pharmacy offering medicines at affordable prices. Psychological counseling and legal advice will also be provided free of charge to help people defend their own rights and those of their children.
As one of the center's priorities, training will also be free. University professors will provide support to help children and young people improve their academic performance, as well as English classes and basic IT skills in the use of new technologies.
A parenting program will also be created to inculcate important values in child education, healthy habits and accident prevention, both inside and outside the home, and there will be a series of workshops on horticulture, woodwork, locksmithing and plumbing as well as dancing, painting and theater.
Fundación MAPFRE is an institution deeply committed to society. Its principal mission is to improve the economic and social conditions of the most disadvantaged people and sectors of society, disseminate culture, fine arts and literature, and encourage the safety of people and their assets, with a particular focus on road safety, prevention and health promotion. During the course of 2014, the foundation organized more than 25 social projects in Mexico, which benefited more than 350,000 people and represented an investment in excess of 33 million pesos.
UNIVERSIDAD PANAMERICANA. For over 45 years Universidad Panamericana has been forging a reputation as a higher education institution known for its solid academic programs, scientific rigor and Christian humanist values based on the quest to find and uphold truth. Spread across three campuses (Mexico D.F., Guadalajara and Aguascalientes), the university contributes to the training of more than 7,000 students enrolled in degree programs. Its main outreach initiatives include the construction of rural homes for the indigenous population, entrepreneurial projects with women, and advice and job boards for people with disabilities.
FUNDACIÓN UP-IPADE was created in 2011 to build alliances and obtain funding to further the educational, cultural, social and environmental aims of the UP and IPADE, with a special focus on Mexico.