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Living in Thunder Bay, lawyer Richard Buset and social justice advocate Elizabeth McWeeny CM founded Compassionet Impact Development Canada in 2008.

“We spent many happy times on family vacations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico before we started to explore some of the areas off the tourist maps in the poor Colonias (neighbourhoods) on the margins of the city.  We were shocked to find the terrible conditions in which many of the working poor are forced to live.


Most Mexicans working in the resorts serving us our meals, cleaning our rooms and trimming the gardens are paid between $10 to $20 dollars per day. Labourers in hotel construction make about $30 dollars per day. But if you check out the supermarkets you’ll see that basic food costs almost as much as it does in Canada and the US


.”Liz says, “Cocktails overlooking beautiful Banderas Bay didn’t seem right anymore, so we decided to ‘do something’. We founded Compassionet Impact Development Canada  as a registered Canadian charity in 2008 and began working with local partners including Compassionet Impact Mexico, New Beginnings, and La Vina. In 2009, we started to recruit volunteers, solicit donations and activate a response to the overwhelming poverty in the Colonias.”


Since then, CIDC donors and volunteers have:

  • given more than 20 newly constructed concrete homes to families living in tarpaper shacks;

  • built, equipped and are sponsoring a free Dental Clinic and a free Medical Clinic at La Cosecha Community Centre in Colonia Progresso;

  • taught English as a Second Language to children and adults;

  • facilitated and sponsored skills development and community building for women;

  • established a scholarship program for teens and young adults to stay in school;

  • financed hook-ups for sewer services

  • gifted the purchase of land for homes and home improvements and extended microloans

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