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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.

Notice

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. We are looking forward to inviting volunteers to join us on program between September 27, 2021 and January 31, 2022.

Thank you for your support!

We’re delighted to announce that our Tonameca Earthquake Relief Program is now complete! Thanks to the support, dedication and commitment of our partners and donors, volunteers, staff, local workers and the local community, Santa Maria de Tonameca now has two new, disaster resilient school campuses.

While the last few months have not been without challenges (namely COVID-19 and recent spells of heavy rain), we’re incredibly proud of how everyone has come together to successfully achieve our goals to rebuild, retrofit and refurbish Vicente Guerrero Primary School and Paulo Freire Secondary School. A special thanks to the communities of Macahuite and El Coco, which regularly hosted Tequios (voluntary work days) on Sundays to help out on the sites.

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.

Partner Spotlight

In the final weeks of the program, we were very pleased to be able to safely host a group of visitors from Happy Hearts Czech, an affiliate of All HAnds and Hearts. Having not been able to welcome visitors previously due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was a momentous occasion and everyone happily got involved, helping to paint a beautiful mural at Vicente Guerrero Primary School.

Karolina Bosakova, Director of Happy Hearts Fund Czech Republic and Special Advisor to EMEA said, “This donor trip was perfect. We visited the two schools, which will soon open their doors to over 200 children who have been waiting for a proper school for four years. I met many beautiful people in Mexico; volunteers, colleagues, and members of the community we serve, all of whom are taking part in our mission and helping us bring children back to school It’s wonderful to see how we have all come together to continue this important work, even though the pandemic is still making it difficult for us to work.”

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
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