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.
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.
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.
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.