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.
Our efforts in Mexico originally began in March 2018, where we set up our base in the small village of El Jicarero, Morelos. Here we partnered with Happy Hearts Fund Mexico to reconstruct the Narciso Mendoza Primary school, projected to help 400+ students over the next 10 years. Additionally, we identified a great need at the Vicente Guerrero Primary School within Morelos and retrofitted classrooms, enabling 176 students to return to a safe and disaster-resilient learning environment. After completing our work in Morelos, we identified there was still a great need for educational facilities after the earthquakes and identified schools needing assistance within the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Oaxaca – Phase One
Our Oaxaca program began in January 2019, focusing on assisting the Celso Muñoz Primary School and the Jardin De Niños 13 De Septiembre Preschool, within the Oaxaca state.
Our work at Celso Muñoz Primary School centered around rebuilding seven classrooms, an office and library and providing WASH facilities. We also retrofitted four classrooms, to ensure students have a safe and disaster-resilient place to learn. This school will allow 170 students, between the ages of 6-12 to return to school and receive the education they need for a brighter future. At the Jardin De Niños 13 De Septiembre Preschool, we repainted the playground, rebuilt classrooms and refurbished the pre-school’s fence.
For more than eight months, we have been working hard to bring resilience to Oaxaca. We are delighted to announce our work on the two primary schools was completed in July and the buildings were handed over to the community in a wonderful celebration
Oaxaca – Phase Two
Two years after the devastating earthquakes hit, many schools in Mexico are still unsafe for children to learn in, forcing many students to study in unsafe, temporary learning centers. We are currently working on two schools in Milta, Oaxaca –– Itzcoatl Preschool and Revolucion primary School.
In addition to our work on the primary schools, we’ve implemented a community Disaster Risk Reduction Training program. During this training, basic concepts about recurring disaster risks have been taught, community vulnerabilities have been evaluated, reduction solutions have been discussed and at least one drill has been done. At the moment, we have formed two DRR committees, one for each school.
All Hands and Hearts arrives early and stays until the job is done. The time to get involved is now!
Volunteer Spotlight: Mathieu
While Oaxaca was Mathieu’s first program, it certainly won’t be the last.
See our volunteers in action and stay up to date on the latest program activities.
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