Founders of Sailfest
Richard & Gloria Bellack.
Sailfest began in 2002, as the result of a chance meeting between long-time ex-pats, Richard and Gloria Bellack, and a sailboat named Latitude 38 (of sailboat magazine fame).
The Bellacks were already involved with a local indigenous school called Escuela Primaria Netzahualcoyotl, and were more than happy to accept the boatload of supplies the sailors had brought with them.
Word soon spread, and a few dozen other cruisers decided to join in a weekend of boat races, raffles and fun to raise money for indigenous children. The makeshift fundraiser with the help of other ex-pats and locals, raised $1500 US, in its inaugural year, which was then matched by the Bellack Foundation. And so Sailfest began!
Providing Access to Education
Welcome to Sailfest, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to education for the kids of Zihuatanejo. We believe that education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle and creating a better future for all. Our focus ranges from preschool all the way up to university students, and we work closely with the community to identify areas of need and provide educational support. In many cases, we provide scholarships for kids to go to college who would otherwise have no way to do so. We invite you to be a part of our mission and join us in making a lasting impact on the community.
Por Los Ninos
Por Los Ninos is a non-profit association was created by Sailfest and the Bellack Foundation to administer and distribute the funds raised by Sailfest related activities. The nine-member advisory committee is made up of both international and bilingual Mexican residents.
Click below for more information on Sailfest spendings.
Sailfest has worked hard to make a positive impact on the world. We believe that education is a fundamental right and that every child deserves access to it.
Our goal is to make education accessible to the children of Zihuatanejo who are in underserved communities that lack the resources necessary to provide quality education for their children.
We are looking for passionate volunteers who share our values to help us on our mission. Join us and be a part of a global movement to make education accessible to everyone.
We could not put on this event without the generosity and passion of our sponsors who provide donations for the auctions, musicians who donate their time and talent each year, our panel of volunteers who provide their professional skills and expertise... the list goes on and on... but most importantly are the local businesses of the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa area. Please go out and support these organizations and businesses and tell them that Sailfest sent you!
How Can You Get Involved?
Sail your boat to beautiful Zihuatanejo and become part of an exciting festival each February
If you can’t do that, fly down and join in the fun and support a great cause at the same time
Donate to Sailfest or Por Los Ninos online.
Sponsor a child through for about $500 US a year.
Over the years we have had a lot of fun putting on this event, but that's not what it's all about. It's about the children and the impact we have had on them. In the past 20+ years, Sailfest funds and your generous donations have raised millions of pesos. Here is what was accomplished.
Built or refurbished :
175 projects which include classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens & playgrounds
this includes 18 kindergartens, 31 primary, 6 secondary and 5 high schools
Scholarships & sponsorships:
assist smart, motivated students to fulfill their educational dreams often cut short due to poverty
Rice and Beans program feeds up to 129 students a year at Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico which is approximately 30,000 meals a year