Celebrating the Holidays Together
I am so happy to report that we have begun repairs at our Casa Isabel program center in El Espinal Oaxaca. It may not look like it on the project, but we reached our goal of $10,000 USD. Between this project and the Casa Isabel Microproject #34316, we raised over 5500.00 dollars which were generously matched by the GlobalGiving Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund. This past January the matching funds were disbursed and we were able to start repairs.
All good news on the repair front, once the stucco was taken off the main supports that had minor cracks, the masons found no structural damage, so in the end, it was only the walls and bathroom. So the plan was set in motion, to repair and re-stucco the walls, fix up the damage in the four bathrooms, replace fixtures in the bathrooms that were damaged from disuse, put the water tank back on the roof with extra protection from the wind, reseal the roof, and paint the entire house. With a team for four workers, the work has been going quickly and we expect to be finished this month.
The happiest members of the Casa Isabel crew are our dogs (no students live here yet), who hang out with the workers while they have their breakfast. Work starts early, the workers arrive before 7 am, they take a break at 9 for breakfast and then continue to work until 3 pm. To save money we hired the team of workers, but have been purchasing the materials ourselves. It is a lot more work, and a bit of last minute running around when the workers find that one copper pipe or valve needs replacing. Now we are all experts in building material jargon and where to get the best price. Contracting only labor and making all the purchases ourselves saved us about 2,000 USD, which will be used for the repairs at our Casa Angles property in Juchitan.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to get any movement on the wall at the Casa Isabel property. The owner states that he is unable to repair the walls at this time, so we have to decide if we want to tear down the wall and put up our own, or just leave the fence we have for now. We have enough money, so we can make the decisions after we finish in El Espinal.
Winter is winding down, and spring will arrive soon, for us, it is the hottest time of year, and no one is very happy about April and May in the Isthmus, well maybe the iguanas. The work should be done before the heat sets in. We are excited about getting the house back in order. This week we will celebrate International Women's Day hosting a play called, Dancing Alone Every Night, a dark comedy about women in modern society and domestic violence. Juchitan has a newly formed theater company and Centro de Compartimiento has been working with the leaders of the company to see how we can work together with our young women. Drama is a great outlet for many emotional issues.
. It has been a difficult year and a half but knowing we have the support of so many wonderful people keeps us going. The aftershocks have not stopped, The reports from the government put us at over 28,000 aftershocks, but they are less and less strong, and most often we don't even feel them. Thank you so much for your gifts that have made these repairs possible. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have regarding our programs.
Damage at the El Espinal Student House
New stucco, no more cracked walls
Front Entrance to Casa Isabel
Aftershocks from March 4th and 5th, 2019