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Mexico Earthquake Relief

Disaster Profile

On September 7, 2017, one of the most lethal earthquakes in Mexican history hit close to the southern state of Chiapas, with a devastating magnitude of 8.2. Just 12 days later and a few hundred miles away, a 7.1 magnitude quake rocked central Mexico, toppling buildings, breaking gas mains, knocking out electricity and sparking fires across the city and other towns in central Mexico.


COVID-19 Safety Measures

Review our COVID-19 Safety page to learn about the new operational standards we’re implementing on program to safeguard the people in the communities we serve, volunteers and staff.

Our Work

We are excited to announce that we are continuing our work in Mexico, rebuilding Guillermo Prieto Elementary School in Santa Maria Albarradas, Oaxaca. Our work will involve rebuilding one classroom, one library, one Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) facility and a storage room. We will also be working on minor repairs around the school installing a playground, court paint, and a new drainage system.

Current Activities

It has been a busy month for our team in Albarradas. At the beginning of December the team concentrated on completing the walls of the new building. In the second half of the month we focused on completing the concrete pour for the roof beams. With the assistance of five local carpenters, the formwork and rebar tying were completed by December 28, 2021. Thanks to the hard work of all involved, the roof pour was completed on December 30. A fantastic way to close out the year!

Meanwhile, work on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) infrastructure is progressing well. Despite the challenges the team faced with large rocks obstructing the ability to dig foundations for the cistern, with the use of a jackhammer, the area was successfully excavated and the foundation slab has been poured.

Program Spotlight: Disaster Risk Reduction Training

When serving disaster-affected communities, All Hands and Hearts (AHAH) goes beyond building strong structures. We work with the community to provide Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) training to prepare them for future natural disasters.

In Albarradas, the parents and teachers of Guillermo Prieto Primary School completed the final DRR session at the end of December. During these sessions, AHAH facilitated interactive trainings and drills with students and adults to build awareness and confidence. The DRR sessions focused on risk assessment, community vulnerabilities and capacities, emergency kits, and evacuation routes.

Partner Spotlight

In October and November 2021, we were delighted to welcome two groups of volunteers from our partner at RLH Properties to support work on Guillermo Prieto Primary School. Having not been able to welcome the company and its corporate foundation to the previous program due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was a momentous occasion. The partnership between RLH Properties-Sancus Foundation and All Hands and Hearts began in 2019, when employees from across national offices volunteered at Vicente Guerrero Primary School and Itzcoatl Kindergarten. By putting in the hard work that brought these schools back to life, they helped these schools recover from the impacts of the devastating 2017 earthquakes.

In total, 10 volunteers from RLH Properties joined us in Albarradas in Fall 2021 and happily got involved with the hard work on site. The dedication and commitment of the volunteers shone through their work as they were busy hand mixing concrete, joining the pour of the foundations for the new building and completing not one, but three rebar structures for the gable of the new building’s roof.

Help support our Mexico Earthquake Relief Program by donating today.

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Our efforts in Mexico began in March 2018, in El Jicarero, Morelos, where we partnered with Happy Hearts Fund (now All Hands and Hearts Mexico) to reconstruct the Narciso Mendoza Primary school, projected to help 400+ students over the next decade, and retrofitted classrooms at the Vicente Guerrero Primary School.

In January 2019, we began work at Celso Muñoz Primary School and September 13 Kindergarten in Oaxaca. At Celso Muñoz Primary School, we rebuilt seven classrooms, an office and library, built a playground, and provided WASH facilities, and retrofitted four classrooms. At the September 13 Kindergarten, we rebuilt and repainted the playground, rebuilt classrooms and refurbished the kindergarten’s fence.

In July 2019, we continued recovery efforts in Oaxaca, rebuilding Itzcoatl Preschool and Revolution Primary School. In addition to our work on the schools, we implemented a community Disaster Risk Reduction Training program where we worked with the community to identify disasters most likely to affect them, identified a timeline of weather patterns, and ran practical examples of risk assessments. We also reactivated a community waste management system and piloted an agricultural education program.

At Vicente Guerrero Primary School, we demolished four unsafe temporary structures; rebuilt, retrofitted and refurbished ten classrooms; rebuilt the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) facilities; refurbished a storage room and built a new roof for the dining room. We also implemented a new drainage system for the school At Paulo Freire Secondary School, our work included demolition of three unsafe buildings, rebuilding the office and WaSH, retrofitting and refurbishing three classrooms and building a new roof for the dining room. All of these important infrastructure improvements mean that more than 200 students can now return to their regular classes in a safe learning environment.

Community Stories

“Every morning, I wake up and go to work happy, alongside people who I respect and appreciate. The work ethic, the professionalism and the camaraderie that come from all the volunteers and staff members of AHAH is something inspiring and motivating. I have no words to thank you enough for what you are doing for our kids and for all the things that I am learning from each of you.” – Jorge, Local Mason at Vincente Guerrero

This year our Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) training was presented in the form of a podcast so that the local community could safely participate. Each of the six episodes received over 140 listeners, and upon completion, the team decided to run a contest for the students. “Heroes of Prevention” involved sending questions about the DRR training to the WhatsApp radio group over the course of one week. The student that got the most correct answers was Amairany from Vicente Guerrero Primary School. Amairany was delighted to be crowned the winner, and instead of a trophy, she appropriately won a  customized construction helmet!

Listen to the podcast below!

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Happy school children of Mexico smiling in a new All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response school classroom
Students Impacted
Schools Completed
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Students Impacted
Schools Completed
Volunteer Days

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