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Educational Trip to Mexico

Educational Trip to Mexico | Previous Years

Every year, the students of John Stanford take a trip to our sister school in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The trip is  open to all John Stanford students and their families. Students attend a half-day of classes at our sister school, Juan de la Barrera (JB). Parents are encouraged to volunteer, either in the classroom or helping to improve the school grounds and infrastructure.

Preparations are underway for the annual trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The trip is planned for mid-winter break (Feb. 20-24, 2016), and is open to all JSIS students and their families.
There will be an informational session in November and a meeting in mid-January with all the families that are going on the trip.

Mexican flag

The registration fee is $50.00 per family member going on the trip. Children under 4 do not have to pay a registration fee.

Students attend a half-day of classes at our sister school, Juan de la Barrera Primary School (JB). Parents are encouraged to volunteer, either in the classroom or helping to improve the school grounds and infrastructure. Afternoons are free for sight-seeing, swimming, etc. JSIS staff or faculty members accompany the families. Contact Srta. Matamala at mbmatamala@seattleschools.orgor details.

Mexico Trip FAQ

How much will the trip cost?

Mexican pesos

There will be a $50.00 non-refundable deposit for each person going on the trip. This money is used to help pay for the airfare for the JSIS staff/faculty going on the trip. You are responsible for your own airfare, hotel, transportation, and meals. Airfare is currently about $575 round-trip; hotel costs about $65 per night per room. Ground transportation costs are minimal; meals can vary from tacos from a street vendor ($2.50), to dinner at a nice restaurant ($15-20 each).

Where will we stay?

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Posada de Roger

We stay at the Posada de Roger in old-town Puerto Vallarta (PV). Since we reserve as a group, the hotel gives us a free room for the JSIS staff/faculty and a discounted rate for other rooms if at least 10 families stay there. Last year, rooms were about $65 per night. We will make the reservations for you, may need payment in advance to get the discount. The modest hotel is located near many restaurants, 4 blocks from the beach, and 10 blocks from a grocery store. There is a swimming pool, shared kitchen, and attached restaurant.

How do I sign up?

hand raised

Trip registration opens in late October, and you’ll need to pay the deposit at the time of registration. We’ll need at least 40 participants, with a maximum of 25 JSIS students, for the trip to succeed. Siblings of JSIS students are welcome to accompany families, although younger children will need proper supervision, and older children may be asked to volunteer in some capacity.

Do I need a passport?




What’s the health situation? Do I need vaccinations?
For the latest information, visit the CDC website.

What if I don’t speak Spanish?

My first Spanish picture dictionary

PV has a very developed tourist infrastructure and most store, restaurant, and hotel staff speaks English. However, the school is located in a disadvantaged area of PV and most students and teachers do not speak English. There are usually several Spanish speakers among the teachers and parents. Although JSIS Japanese students have participated successfully in the past, most JSIS students are from the Spanish track.

Puerto Vallarta Seahorse Monument

What is a typical day like?

  • Wake up at 6:30am or earlier
  • Meet in the hotel courtyard at 6:45am
  • Get on the city bus to school at 7:00am
  • Arrive at school at 8:00am and enjoy some recess before class starts.
  • Attend class 8:30am to 12:30pm
  • Take bus back to hotel, arriving around 1:30pm
  • Free time all afternoon for swimming, sight-seeing, shopping, etc.


Do the kids go to school every day?

Yes, we require students to go to school each day they are in Puerto Vallarta.

Will the kids be with their friends in class?

Puerto Vallarta visit

Yes, but they will sit with a JB student. The school is for children grades 1 to 6. Some of the JSIS 5th graders may be put in the 6th grade classroom, and K students will be placed in first grade.

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Posada de Roger pool

Do the parents go to school every day?
Parents do not have to go to school every day if they can find another adult to be responsible for their child(ren). Participating in a volunteer project is highly encouraged, however.

What do the parents do while the kids are in class?

Puerto Vallarta visit artwork
  • Parents do a service project for the school. In past years we have cleaned and painted exterior walls and classrooms, picked up trash, and planted a garden.
  • Parents are also asked to organize one art project for each classroom at Juan de la Barrera. You can work with the other families in your grade.
  • JSIS holds a plant sale in the Spring to raise money for Juan de la Barrera. Before or during the trip we discuss with the school officials how best to use it for the benefit of the school community.

Puerto Vallarta visit

Are there other planned events?

  • Sunday evening at 7pm we usually have a meeting at the hotel.
  • Monday morning there is usually a flag ceremony at the school and some welcome speeches. We sing the National Anthem.
  • Friday morning there is usually a performance and lunch for the families prepared by the teachers.


Can I design my own trip?

Yes. We do not purchase plane tickets together, so families are free to schedule their arrival and departure days. In the past, some families have arrived a few days early or stayed later, in order to spend more time in PV or visit other towns up and down the coast and in the mountains.


What will the weather be like?

Puerto Vallarta is always about 80 degrees Fahrenheit in February. It is cool in the mornings when we have to get on the bus so pack a warm sweater.