An IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation
In 2002 when we founded The Tewecado Trust, the Corporation's initial purpose was to provide financial support for the Virgin of Guadalupe School for Girls ("Tewecado Mission School") located in Cerocahui. This emphasis in our incorporation documents was intentional in order to allow the Board to expand or amend the Trust's mission if necessary or desirable.
We believe the time to broaden our mission has arrived. The Trust will continue to work in partnership with The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor, not only to improve the living and learning environment for the Tarahumara and Mestizo children at the Tewecado Mission School but also other Tarahumara boarding schools throughout the Copper Canyon region.
Several factors have gone into our decision: one, the generosity of our donors has far exceeded our initial expectations. This has enabled us to provide numerous capital improvements to the school in Cerocahui and to budget regular payments for operational expenses, such as food, electricity, and teachers' salaries. We will continue to build an endowment fund to ensure these last items are covered in the future.
In addition, we are facing regular turnover in the religious staff at the school. Although this is a new situation for us, annual change in personnel is the norm for this community of sisters. We founded the Tewecado Trust during what was, essentially, an anomaly: Sister Catalina Orpineda had been administrator at the school for several years before we started our organization and remained there until 2013. This enabled us to identify, plan, and fundraise for capital projects that spanned a several-year timeframe. Unfortunately, with little continuity of staffing, we are unable to properly monitor such projects and ensure that your donations will be used as intended. This is a logistics issue - not a criticism of the Sisters, who come to the school with love and enthusiasm and a sincere desire to make a difference in the lives of the girls.
We are still working out the details, but we envision a "petition-based" approach that schools within the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor system can use to request funds for specific operational needs. We have taken initial steps toward our new approach by including the Antonio Oreña boarding school in Sisoguichi in our end- and beginning-of-school-year disbursements. Other schools will be considered in the coming years.
We believe this change will enable us to continue to be good stewards of your generosity while at the same time holding dear to the cause of Tarahumara girls' education and well-being. We thank you for your continued support and welcome any feedback you may have. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (This email comes directly to board members/founders, Jim Moline and Ann Brehm-Moline.)
Mother Superior Benita took some of the older girls to Chihuahua City for a back-to-school shopping trip. Most of these girls live in dirt-floored huts or caves. What a clash of cultures seeing them in a Costco! (It looks like they're a little bewildered, too!)
Staff for the 2015-2016 school year in Cerocahui includes (l. to r.) Sister Juana, Mother Superior Benita, Sister Victoria and School Administrator Cristina.
Every year the Sisters and the Tewecado Trust team up to provide each primary school student, including the Tarahumara boarding students, with a book or small toy and some sweet treats. This year, since our "family" has grown, we especially need your help to play Santa to over 400 children in both Cerocahui and Sisoguichi. At $15 each, your $150 donation will allow us to purchase gifts for ten deserving kids. (Please indicate "Christmas gifts" on your check.)
Peggy Hershberger by Gene Hershberger
George Masek by Pete McGinnis Family
George Masek by Meg Linton & Marc Meredith
George Masek by Dariush & Kristine Mehrabani
For years we have been using a charming drawing of a Tarahumara girl in our promotional literature. The artist, Victoria Osorio Palmas, (pictured above in 2003) was a student at the Tewecado who went on to graduate and become a sister in the order that runs the school. We are delighted to announce that she has returned to Cerocahui this year as the "in-charge" for the boarding school girls. How cool is that??