by Peter Edmunds, Border Partners cofounder and board member
I’m forming the impression that the Mexican government’s vision of running a school system is at best rather strange. They build the buildings and pay the teachers (poorly, at that). But then they contribute little else. And certainly they don’t provide much money for supplies (like paper) or any other learning necessities. Nevertheless, a visit to the secundaria (middle school), Technica 25, in Palomas always inspires and informs me.
Better yet, Border Partners was able to provide them some little helps recently:
- For $30 each we added RAM to about half of the school’s computers, and
- for $4.60 each we’re ordering bulbs for their overhead projectors. Again: The government provided the machines, but the school has no budget for projector repairs. And the bulbs aren’t even sold in Mexico. Now that the projectors will function again, the Silver City schools are giving us eight more overhead projectors to pass along to the secondaria.
I saved the best help for last …… the new school lunch room!
This formerly one-walled structure was once a garage for the school’s collection of dead buses. But the 40′ by 60’ building has three new walls now as well as a repaired and insulated roof. New windows will be installed soon.
The secret component in all this accomplishment is the teachers. They’re doing the construction work– building the walls, repairing the roof, installing the roof–in addition to their regular teaching duties.
The community raised the money for the construction themselves: by hosting bake sales and contests, as well as collecting, baling, hauling and selling about 15 tons of cardboard.
They’d like to add a plywood ceiling in the building. That would cost $1,000.00. And they’d also like to paint the walls. I hope they do a nice mural using some of the miss-mixed paint local paint stores often donate to us.
In this season of celebration and decoration, we give thanks for these four walls and roof in Palomas.
And we are grateful for our supporters whose contributions allow us to help the secondaria teachers build a lunchroom for their students.