Sunday, January 17, 2016

Buildling schools piece by piece, poco a poco......

One thing we take for granted in the US is primary education, like elementary school. Even the elementary school I went to 43 years ago was adequately supplied, comfortable and we had good teachers. This is not always the case in Chiapas. 

This school room is now being used on a regular basis. The parents of a poor San Cristobal suburb called upon Don Sergio for help to build a school. The government supplies the teachers.

The same room above: before
 During my two week visit with Sergio we stopped by a school he has been working on for a few years. He receives funding from various groups (usually international) and over time he's been able to build one room, then another, then the latrines, etc.  Most recently he has received support from a Swiss group that allowed him to finish a couple more rooms for the school he is showing me today. One, that I have been to several times before. If you look back through this blog you can see the progress of this elementary/primary school.

Outside the room, before: the masonry worker is hand applying the outer concrete/stucco.

Almost completed.

 The schools here in Mexico aren't like ours. They are basic concrete blocks with concrete floors, no AC, no heater, they have windows with bars and a chalkboard. No computers, no projectors, no drop-down screens. The basics at best seems to work. The kids love their schools as do the parents. Costly items are the desks and Sergio seems to drum up the money for that as well.

Completed and in use.
You may ask, why isn't the government building these schools? That question is hard for me to answer. All I can say is what I've been told: the money that is given to build schools is reduced along the way and sometimes, well, very little or nothing gets done. Fortunately, the government does send teachers and pays them if a school is in place. People want action and if there are kids in areas that need a school, the community advocates approach Sergio. Such a different world than ours in the US.

In construction.
Sergio hires workers he's known for years and sometimes pitches in to do the work himself. I enjoy visiting the workers and seeing the progress.
Almost complete. One room will be divided to make room for un biblioteca.

 Posted by Patricia Ferrer, PA-C.

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