In 1941, the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor, based in León, Mexico, founded a school for Tarahumara girls ("Tewecado" in the Tarahumara language) in Cerocahui, Chihuahua, Mexico. The sisters were appalled by the Tarahumara Indians' wretched living conditions - lives marked by hunger, disease and misery. Dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor, the sisters vowed to extend their mission to this remote culture in the lower Sierra Madre Mountains.
The school was established to provide young Tarahumara girls with food, shelter, clothing, medicines and, perhaps most importantly, the education necessary to ensure a healthy and productive future. Today, five sisters from the founding order along with nine secular teachers provide classroom instruction for almost 250 day students and a home for 80 Tarahumara girls up to age 12. In addition to the regular classroom curriculum, the girls are instructed in personal hygiene and cleanliness as well as Tarahumara culture and traditions.
In 2015, the Tewecado Trust Board voted to expand the organization's mission and include the Antonio de Oreña school in Sisoguichi. This is a smaller school located near Creel, Chihuahua, with 175 day students and 70 Tarahumara boarding students.
Because they live in such remote locations, some of the Tarahumara girls must walk for several days to reach the Tewecado Mission Schools. The Tarahumara families who bring their children to the schools from so far away have no way to pay for their education or care. Cash is a limited commodity in a culture where many people still live in caves and have no electricity or running water. The Sisters must rely on the support of individuals and organizations to continue their life-affirming work.
With the assistance of The Tewecado Trust, the schools have been able to improve the lives of the students at the school. In addition to regularly providing food, medicines, clothing and school supplies, the Trust has funded upgraded water and sewer facilities, a library with over 1500 books, lockers for all the girls and is in the process of replacing the roof over the entire school and dormitory complex.