Our history

More than 60 years supporting Puerto Vallarta population

Becas Vallarta was founded in 1961 by a non-profit group of foreigners and Mexican volunteers interested in changing lives in Puerto Vallarta. It originated with the work of pioneers Ed, Bernice Starr, Selma Gordon, and Guadalupe Sánchez de Covarrubias. They came together because the need arose in the 20th century in the 1960s; Puerto Vallarta did not have professionals with High School or University studies.

Fotografia Berenice Star

Berenice Starr

fotografia Guadalupe Sanchez C.

Guadalupe Sanchez C.

Our founders.

Therefore, young people who managed to study finished up to high school. It soon became clear that many young students had a desire for higher education, the volunteers sent the brightest students to get their higher education in Mexico City. The group grew, Bernice requested the help of Richard Seaton of Manhattan, Kansas City in this way, América-México Fundación was incorporated and constituted on October 30, 2002 under constitutive act number 8,696, in the offices of public notary number 9 in Puerto Vallarta Jalisco.

In this way, the ISR is obtained, the tax exemption that is still in force today. Through their love for the program, Bernice and Guadalupe, along with Haydee Nivison, Joan Blake, Judy de Galeana, Ron Walker, the Morehouses, and many others that group grew to become Becas Vallarta AC. For 2012, the City Hall on behalf of the people of Puerto Vallarta recognized the Association for its hard and uninterrupted work in the education of Puerto Vallarta people.

And it continues to finance scholarships till today for 220 young people from Vallarta, from their second year of middle school to university. In 2017 we were awarded the “Ignacio L. Vallarta” medal, which made us the first Civil Association to receive this recognition for 56 years, until then, of transparency and great work.

Our achievements and recognitions

The city hall of Puerto Vallarta town recognize the hard uninterrupted work of Becas Vallarta in benefit of the education of P. Vallarta students.


We receipt the prize "Presea Ignacio L. Vallarta" for being the first non-profit association having 56 years of trajectory, transparency and ininterrupted work.


We receipt a recognizement from "Alas de Águila" for transparency and social service.


"Alas de Águila" recognize us as a non-profit institution of high impact and transparency in the use of resources.


IJAS 2018 Prize: Second place in Social Assistance.


"Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía A.C (CEMEFI)" give us the accreditation in optimal level of transparency.


Becas Vallarta receives the recognition "Mi Huella por la Paz" by the International Congress of Innovation and Research in Applied Linguistics.