An IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation
From the New York Times, January 30, 2012: "A drought that a government official called the most severe Mexico had ever faced has left two million people without access to water and, coupled with a cold snap, has devastated cropland in nearly half of the country."
"Among the more seriously affected communities are tribal areas of the Tarahumara indigenous community in the Sierra Madre, in the north. Known for endurance running and selfreliance, the Tarahumara are among Mexico's poorest citizens. When false reports of a mass suicide brought on by hunger surfaced recently, journalists and aid organizations poured in to shed light on the situation."
Sister Catalina confirms that the situation among the Tarahumara is dire, as the land is too dry to grow their usual subsistence crops like corn, beans and squash. But, she stresses, suicide is not a "solution" the Tarahumara would embrace. To ensure they have enough to eat, families in the Cerocahui area are enrolling more children in the school and seeking increased aid from the Sisters for food staples. In fact, the Sisters have turned away over 20 girls this year for lack of space. The 92 boarding school students (up from 75 just a few years ago) are now sharing beds, lockers and even chairs in the dining room.
The Tewecado Mission School has new classroom facilities, thanks to a grant from the Chihuahua Businessmen's Foundation. The organization provided the funds and manpower to build a two-story classroom building on the school's western side and to remodel kindergarten rooms on the eastern boundary. The teachers and children moved in after Easter break in April.
As a result of the construction, the school library will be re-located and the girls' locker room will be moved into part of the remaining space. In domino fashion, the children's dining room will then be enlarged using monies Sister Catalina has obtained from the State of Chihuahua.
Thanks to your generosity, The Tewecado Trust has purchased some of the furnishings for the new classrooms, including teachers' desks, chairs, shelving units, filing cabinets and furniture for a teachers' lounge. In addition, your donations have funded new tables and chairs for the dining room, new bedspreads for the girls' dormitory, and a washer and dryer for the Sisters. Whew! We couldn't do it without you!
Construction of the new classroom building lasted six months, but the disruption was a small price to pay for the expanded facilities.
As if it isn't enough to run a school during a major construction project and be the caretaker of 92 little Tarahumara girls, the Sisters confront daily challenges unimaginable to most of us. Many of the new arrivals take extra care. Besides being malnourished, the girls often have much to learn, such as how to wear underwear, how to use a toilet, sleep in a bed and learn Spanish. Add to that the day last winter when 18 girls were laid up with the flu ... and then the electricity went out ... and then the water stopped ... and then the phones were dead. Or the day when 20 tons of beans showed up on their door step - a much appreciated donation from a friend of "Don" Ramon's - and needed to be distributed. The mother lode went to the school's pantry and to 330 families in 32 communities surrounding Cerocahui.
Laurence K. Ettari by Mary Ettari Peggy Hershberger by Gene Hershberger Mary Ellen by Richard Wing Al Klose by Joyce Klose Jerome Klotz by Barbara Klotz Trisha Pedroia by Martha Rowley
George Masek by Gerry McGinnis Robert Katrein by Ronald & Linda Barba The Cook Family by Richard & Diane Collins Patricia Sullivan by Mary Ellen Conrado Virginia & Roy Crippen by Joan Ponsford George & Nina Masek by Cynthia Stahl