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As the old adage goes, the only certainty in life is change, and nowhere is that truer than at the Tewecado Mission School. In August, school started as usual with four sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor at the helm, all with impressive experience and expertise in caring for indigenous children. What changed? All four are new to the school.
Reassigning personnel on an annual basis is typical for this order of nuns. During the last fifteen years, Cerocahui was an exception to this rule, with former administrator Sister Catalina's lengthy tenure and Madre Isabel's 5+ years.
Our new mother superior and school administrator, Sister Ana María Ponce Esparza, brings a strong academic background to her new role. Formerly director of Amiga de la Obrera, the sisters' school in Chihuahua City, Sister Ana María has already instituted a number of changes. She has hired seven young, educated girls from the local area to serve as classroom aides, one for each grade and preschool, to help with students requiring remedial help. In addition, she has extended classroom hours: classes previously started at 9 a.m. and ended at 1:30 p.m.; today that schedule is 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. After school, tutors will be available to help students with homework assignments.
"I've certainly shaken things up a bit," confesses Sister Ana María, whose focus and energy are as apparent as her desire for the children to succeed.
Teachers and administrators may come and go, but The Tewecado Trust remains fully committed to the school. Communications with the new administrator have been open and transparent, and we believe the new sisters will continue the mission set forth by the school's founder 75 years ago. Please show your support by sending your donation today.
Welcome Sisters! New staff members this year are (l. to r.) Mother Superior Ana Maria Ponce Es-parza, Sisters Benita, Isabel and Judith. Benita and Isabel are in charge of all facets of the Tarahumara girls' at the school, including food, health and welfare, and spiritual education. Sister Judith serves as assistant director for the primary school.
Every year the Sisters and the Tewecado Trust team up to pro-vide each primary school student, including the Tarahumara boarding students, with a book or small toy and some sweet treats. We need your help to play Santa to over 300 children. At $15 each, your $150 donation will allow us to purchase gifts for ten needy kids. Be sure and indicate "Christmas gifts" on your check.
The school has been the recipient of numerous upgrades over the last 15 years, but one area of the boarding school that could still use a little TLC is the Tewecado kitchen. To prepare the meals for over 100 little girls, long-time cook Doña María labors in a cramped space smaller than many US home kitchens. Sister Ana María aims to change that by redesigning and updating the facilities.
Sister has a lot on her plate right now, so stay tuned. We hope to bring you more details in our spring newsletter.
We ask that God shower you with his gifts and blessings. May the love, peace and happiness of this Christmas season reign in your hearts and those of your families. God bless you today and always.
Laurence K. Ettari by Mary K. Ettari
Helen Nussbaum by James Nussbaum
George A. Isley III by Carol Abrahamson
Peggy Hershberger by Gene Hershberger
Nina C. Masek by Holly Stahl
George A. Masek by Holly Stahl