An IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation
Dear Friends and Donors,
They say time flies when you're having fun...or getting older. I guess we're having fun because it is hard to believe that another year has passed and there are 75 little Tarahumara girls once again getting ready for Christmas!
It has been a busy year at the Tewecado Mission School and much has been accomplished -- thanks to your generous donations.
I guess the big news is that Cerocahui has become part of the 20th century (yes, I mean 20th!). Electricity arrived in 2001 and now, believe it or not, there is actually a telephone at the school (which is being funded by the Tewecado Trust).
Earlier this year we discussed the need for a new stove in the school kitchen. Many of you responded with generous donations which are funding the connections and fuel for the stove. Harold Borgstrom, a former SME passenger, donated a brand new, commercial quality, six-burner, gas stove to the school. No more baking bread on a wood-burning stove! But getting it across the border was something else!
It started in El Paso when Sister Catalina "commandeered" a truck and its owner, Jorge Ponce, and didn't end until Librado Chavez, a wonderful school volunteer in Cerocahui, "drafted" several men to help transfer the behemoth from the pick-up to his truck.
And then there was the little detail of Mexican auto insurance... which I did not have...but I still drove the Sisters several miles into Mexico! The response from Librado when I brought this up was simply pl "It's ok...just follow me." And sure enough it was. As Ann said later, "Oh me of little faith."
When we crossed the stove we also took over 1,500 library books (in Spanish), two complete sets of Spanish language encyclopedias and a large globe for the library -- all made possible by a grant from the Joseph Stanley Leeds Foundation. Monies from that same grant were also used to purchase new lockers for the girls. You can't imagine the joy on their faces when they discovered that the locker doors actually closed...and stayed closed! The girls get "stars" for keeping them neat, and visitors are regularly dragged in to ooh and aah over their organizational skills.
Board member Tom Giannini recently returned from a week-long visit to the school where he worked with the teachers, training them in the use of a new overhead projector, educational games and other teaching techniques he learned in the Peace Corps. He also spent time working with Raquel, a local high school graduate who will be in charge of the new library. (Her salary is funded by the Tewecado Trust). In Tom's words, "The academic and practical work ethic demonstrated by the children is truly impressive. The girls are responsible for the maintenance of their quarters which are pristine!
"All the students and teachers participated 100% in the 'learning' sessions. I left Cerocahui with renewed enthusiasm and fully convinced that our support of the school is indeed a worthwhile endeavor.
"And," he said, "I am truly amazed at how efficiently Sister Catalina, Madre Lourdes and the entire staff use every dollar that is donated."
Visit the School Want to see the progress at the school for yourself? We are thinking about a special "friends & donors" trip to Cerocahui in the Fall of 2005. No details yet, but if you are interested, please drop us a note or email so we can keep you informed.
Christmas is Coming This year there is a big need for warm sweaters for each girl in addition to small gifts that will be distributed at their Christmas party. We need your financial help to purchase these items (in Mexico). Let's make this a very merry Christmas for the girls.
We are accomplishing so much with your help, but, as you know, it takes a lot to feed, clothe and educate 75 growing girls. Your tax-deductible donation -- $25, $50, $100 or more -- will help us continue our efforts on behalf of the Tarahumara girls at the Tewecado Mission School.
The Sisters, and their Tarahumara charges, thank you for your continued support.
James L. Moline