Dec 6, 2018

Still Waiting

Heydi and Bris with our holiday decorations
Heydi and Bris with our holiday decorations

We never thought we would be grateful for the fact that our lovely trees on our Espinal property are enticing to birds and they leave their droppings on any vehicle parked in the shade.  For years it has been a problem.  The lovely mahogany trees also form hard baseball size seed pods once a year and we have had cracked windshields on our van twice.  So I found a parking spot where only back end was under a mango tree, and the mess was limited to the back end of the van. I could not pull it any further forward because a sinkhole had formed next to the old unused septic tank.   Finally, our director told me to give up on the shade and park the van in the sun away from the trees and birds.  Not a week later the high winds blew off the water tank from the roof of the house and it fell... right where the van had been parked.   Since we have not been using the house, we did not notice that all the water had leaked out of the plastic 1100 L tank.  Leaving it vulnerable to the 50 mph gusts of wind that are common here in the fall and winter. 

Fortunately, the tank did not split from the fall and we can just put it back on the roof.  Unfortunately, the birds still love our trees.   One bit more to do to repair our program center, Casa Isabel, located in El Espinal, Oaxaca.   We have not advanced much in the repairs to our property.  We need about 10,000 USD and have so far raised around 4,400 on GlobalGiving.  With the 100% match that was initiated in September to help projects recover from the earthquakes in Mexico, we will be receiving an additional 4,400 USD from GlobalGiving after the matching ends after December 31.  That means with only 1,100 USD more in donations on GlobalGiving before December 31 and the match, we will have met our goal for repairs.  

We have estimates for the repairs and have chosen a builder for the work at Casa Isabel.  At Casa Angles, we closed off the space of the fallen wall with corrugated tin roofing sheets.  We have not yet come to an agreement yet with our neighbor about the repairs.  He propped up the ten meters of the wall that are still standing and put up a barbed wire fence in the opening, but we felt it was not enough, and then we began to get stray dogs roaming our property from his.  Now no one can see into our property from the outside and the dogs are gone as well.   We will have the funds to build a wall on our side of the property line, but we can do nothing until the old wall is completely torn down.  Negotiations are ongoing.

For now, the students are much safer, the dogs have been kept out and we are hoping to have the funds we need by the end of the year.  GlobalGiving will match at 100% every donation given to the project from now until December, so we are very near our goal.  As you look at your giving for the end of the calendar year please consider another donation to our project. Also, please share the project with your friends.  

We at Centro De Compartimiento wish you happy holiday season, and blessings this New Year.  We thank you for our ongoing support of our students.  

Rainy season opened a sink hole in our yard
Rainy season opened a sink hole in our yard
Dec 3, 2018

From Receiving to Giving

Greysi at Graduation
Greysi at Graduation

We are pleased that Greysi, one of our former students, is back and active at Centro De Compartimiento (CDC).  But now she is not receiving services but giving back to CDC.  Greysi came to CDC eight years ago to go to high school.   Greysi is from a small fishing town on the coast of Oaxaca.  She was raised by her grandparents and her aunt after her mother died and then her father left when she was a small child.  After her grandfather had a stroke and could no longer work, the family did not have the money to send Greysi to school.  Greysi's family heard of CDC's program through another young woman in her town who was a resident student at CDC, and they came to visit the program.  Greysi was accepted into the program, and she started high school with a specialty in nursing. 

It was not an easy adjustment, on the surface a happy young woman, she had trouble with motivation, often missing chores and getting up too late for school.  Although cared for by her family, the loss of her mother and abandonment of her father were open wounds that were interfering with her ability to move forward.  At CDC she found a place not only to go to school but also a place to share her story, heal her wounds and find other young women who had lived and survived tragedy in their lives.  

She finished high school and was accepted into Universidad del Istmo nursing program.  She left CDC when one of her cousins came to town to study high school, and her family asked her to look out for her cousin.  She lived near CDC and often visited, as a mentor to the younger students and to keep in touch with her friends still in the program.

Greysi graduated from nursing school and is doing her year of National Service at the Military Hospital in Ixtaltpec, Oaxaca.   She is considering her options after her year of service including enlisting in the Mexican Navy as a nurse.    This fall we invited her to be on our the board of CDC. Her experiences in the program and the community will be of great benefit to our programs.  We are so happy that she had decided to join our work.  She is excited to be able to give back now that she is firmly on the road to her career. 

We thank you all for your continued support of the young women here in Mexico, helping girls like Greysi get an education and then become active members in their community to help others.  As the holiday season approaches please consider a year-end gift to support our program.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the program.  

The staff and students at CDC wish you all a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year. 

Greysi in CDC course in 2011 (far left)
Greysi in CDC course in 2011 (far left)
Sep 4, 2018

One Year Later

New school year new faces
New school year new faces

This week will be one year since the 8.2 earthquake hit our region causing massive damage.  As we come upon this anniversary we sat down as a group to see what have been the effects of the quake, where we are today and what comes next.

The first question that most people voice about the earthquake is "When is it going to stop?"  Just this past Sunday we had a 4.9 aftershock with an epicenter less than 5 miles from Juchitan.  On October 25th the National Seismological Survey had registered 39 aftershocks from the Mexico City earthquake of September 19 and over 9500 aftershocks from the earthquake of September 7.  Today the predominant emotion in the region is fear.  Now each time we have an aftershock we pause in fear, asking ourselves "Is it a small quake or  just the beginning of something bigger?" No one feels completely safe and there are many rumors about the future and new and more terrible earthquakes.   To the extreme that one rumor states that the entire region is now permanently unsafe and uninhabitable and that the government is going to relocate entire cities. The lack of information is difficult, a google search about the quake and aftershocks reveal that indeed our quake was unusual in origin and strength and a mystery scientists want to investigate.

Tension, anger are the second most common emotions.  Many people have been able to rebuild in some way and housing is no longer so hard to find, but business has not reopened, so jobs are scarce and many people are frustrated at the lack of support from the government.  Much was promised and little delivered. 

In this continued chaos, Centro de Compartimiento continues our commitment to rebuild spirits and provide an emotional haven.  Not just for our residential students, but for other people in town as well.  

With the anniversary looming we have begun the new school year.  We have filled the house in Juchitan with students,  It sustained little damage in the quake, but we still cannot use our housing in El Espinal so we have space for fewer students. Most schools are still in temporary buildings or using alternative spaces.

We were pleased that our students returned and that more students applied for the program.  We were afraid that many students would not return out of fear, but most told us that they have no other options.  They are happy to be back but feel that they are not quite up to speed in their school work, having rushed through many topics to complete the year. Many school teachers have told me that the kids have taken their start of year evaluations and the majority are not at the level that should be.  

It has been a hard year and will continue to be difficult as the region slowly rebuilds.  We thank you for all your support this past year and hope that you will continue to support our program and the young women who aspire to a better life through education and personal development. 

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