An IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation
Sister Martha Cano Peña is the new school administrator, replacing Sister Catalina Orpineda, who was reassigned to Sisoguichi in August after 15 years in Cerocahui. Sister Martha has been a member of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor for 45 years and has worked throughout the Sierra Tarahumara, including Creel, San Juanito, Madera and Carichi. Her most recent assignment was in Monterrey, where she also served as school administrator. "I'm very happy to be here and to lovingly serve in God's name," she says.
We are often asked what happens to the girls after they leave the Tewecado School. This past June, nine Tarahumara girls graduated from sixth grade and continued their education at a similar boarding school run by the Sisters in Carichi, a town about two hours from Cerocahui. In the years since the Tewecado Trust was founded in 2002, we have seen this percentage increase dramatically, and to have the girls go on to junior high is now the norm.
Now the hope is that they will continue on from there and it is happening. Ramon Ordoñez, a wonderful volunteer at the school, has taken it upon himself to provide support - both moral and financial - for 27 of the girls and this fall, five of these former Tewecado girls started at the University of Chihuahua! They will be studying nursing, nutrition, ecology and software engineering. They will join the ranks of others who have become teachers, nuns and even a lawyer. We couldn't be prouder!
Leave a Legacy: Now that you've taken care of your own children, how about some of ours? Remembering the Tewecado Trust in your will is one way to assure your legacy lives on.
In June, I had the honor and pleasure to visit the Tewecado School in Cerocahui. The girls entertained us with delightful traditional danc- es. We toured the school, and the girls' dormitory, which was spotless and neat. We saw their dining room, and the amazing skill of one person to feed 100 girls in an orderly and efficient way.
Fellow board member Ann Brehm-Moline and I spent time reading with the girls in the school's library. About 30-50 girls came into the library over the course of a couple of hours. The girls were totally engaged by the books, reading to themselves, reading to younger students, or reading to us. The atmosphere was animated with many voices reading and the interest level was high as the students picked out books they wanted to read or have read to them. Many were very shy about reading to me, so I would try to read to them and they would end up helping me as I don't know Spanish, or we read together ("juntas"). I was very impressed with their reading.
The girls are so well behaved, and well cared for, but craved adult attention. Taking care of 100 girls is a massive job, and leaves very little time for extra attention, but it is clear they are thriving and loved by the sisters. It was wonderful to see that the school is making such a big difference in these girls' lives because of the Tewecado Trust. Without a doubt these girls would not be able to better their lives without the school and our support.
Laurence Ettari by Mary Ettari
CPeggy Hershberger by Gene Hersh-berger
Sarah Ovenden by Charlie Hunter
George Masek by Holly Stahl
Few children in Cerocahui experience the thrill of opening gifts at Christmas. For this reason each year the Sisters and the Tewecado Trust team up to provide each primary school student with a book or small toy and some sweet treats. We need your help to play Santa to over 300 children! We are budgeting $15 per child this year, so your $150 donation will allow us to purchase gifts for 10 deserving kids. Be sure and indicate "Christmas gifts" on your check.
In order to make their daily tortillas, the cook and her student helpers use 200 kilos - 440 lbs. - of maseca (corn flour) every two weeks!