These past months have been rough on everyone. We all have had to make adjustments to our lives, and whether we like it or not, things have changed.
On our side, Tijiohtli underwent a couple of major changes, as with most changes with COVID-19, changes that were somehwat forced on us by the circumnstances, but changes that in the end made a lot of sense.
So what happened in these months?
THE HIGH SCHOOL:
10 Students graduated online, in August 2021. 13 more will be graduating in December, also online. And 10 more will keep on studying until August 2021.
We did not receive any new applications for the school this year. In part because we were very uncertain of what the future held, and we could not be certain that the minimum conditions required for new students to learn could really be met. In specific, we didn't know if we could trust our computers to new students whom we didn't know at all; or if they could keep up with the demanding school schedule by themselves, without having first a period of adjustment with us; or if we had the capacity to break up our groups in small classes coming at different days / schedules.
We decided instead this coming school year to focus our resources on strenghtehing our theoretical framework, and enhancing our instruments for measuring our short term results and long term impact.
We closed for good our installations for receiving students overnight, and our kitchen to feed the students. This measure that we once thought impossible, has reduced our costs tremendously, and in the process we found out that the students and the teachers could adapt well, bringing their own food from their homes -food which was more culturally adept than what we offered.
We received under freeloan a good deal of caprentry and sewing machines, from Germinalia, A.C.
The agriculture workshop allied itself with 2 more producers of coffee, and 3 students' families, to sell quality coffee in more quantity. With the help of the graphic workshop, we developed a special package for the coffee, mimicking the big sacks where coffee is usually transported in the rural areas. Also, the idea is to work with these producers not only their coffee, but their general practices for their land, in order to make them more sustainable and agroecologic.
The textile workshop continued to produce new models of tshirts for women, so that in alliance with the graphic workshop, we have now around 5 different models of printed tshirts for women to sell
We opened a store in Puebla, in alliance with Centro Cultural Nopalli, to sell our products and other products from people in Puebla. We will now be shipping orders from this store! We tried briefly to ship it directly from Cuetzalan, but the waiting time was too long. The furniture for the store was made by our Bamboo artisans in the Bamboo workshop.
We had a robbery in the school, at night. The burglars took about $2,500 worth of goods, between different tools and machines from the workshops and one laptop. We managed to have a video of the burglars leaving our premises, but we still haven't gotten any lead as to who it might have been.
We started building our own bathrooms, with capacity for around 60 people. One of the bathrooms will be waterless, as to serve as future demonstration for areas where this might be necessary. Also, the installations are being built with a combination of bamboo and masonry. In order to do this, we also built a tub where bamboo is being treated, so as to improve its lifespan. This will be a tub that will be helpful in general to sell bamboo products that are durable outside our place.
Approximately we have managed to retain 6 alumni in the workshops, paying them for the work they do, and at the same time encouraging them to keep on studying and perfecting their talents and habilities.
Shortly we will be sending you our catalogue for the upcoming X-mas! Thank you for your support and interest in our cause.
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