November 10, 2020
It’s been more than a year since the last time we reached out to you about our computer project at the Rancho San Francisco school outside of San Miguel. Thanks for your past support.
We don’t have to tell you that the world has changed completely since then.
WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!
Until recently, things had been going very well for the small rural village and its school. The computing center is open 6 days a week, 12 months a year. Thanks to Rosy, the young woman who supervises the center, almost everyone in the village has had the opportunity to learn to use the computers (and the kids all learned Facebook and YouTube, of course). The building has been kept neat and clean – we recently repainted and waterproofed the roof. Rosy has supported the center by providing some simple school supplies – not available locally – to the schoolchildren. Things like notebooks, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons, etc. It’s hard for us to imagine the lack of such supplies at a public school.
Another local group of knitters made colorful hats and scarves for all the schoolchildren this winter.
The outdoor pavilion, completed two years ago with your help, has also been well maintained and is heavily used by the school and the community for classes, lunches, play and meetings. Below, Jordan Saturen, a certified language teacher, is teaching English after school in the pavilion.
When we returned to San Miguel last winter, we learned that a new school entrance had been built and paid for by the federal government. But as often happens in Mexico, the job was not finished, and no gate, door or window were provided. No funds were provided by the government for completion of the work.
We were fortunate to find a nearby blacksmith to build the gate, window and door, which will look roughly like the photo below. As has been our practice, we split the cost of the construction with the villagers.
The Coronavirus and pandemic changed everything!
As in the US, the school closed in March due to the Coronavirus, and the students were left without classes as well as their free lunch – usually the only nutritious meal of the day – provided by a nonprofit called Feed the Hungry. Some village residents lost their jobs in the nearby auto parts factories. Feed the Hungry is now delivering food to the village every two weeks, but we decided it would be a good time to waive the modest user charges at the computing center so that children and adults would have free use of the computers. In the past, the user charges paid Rosy’s modest salary of $500 pesos ($25 US/week) and subsidized improvements to the school (such as the outdoor pavilion, play equipment, repairs, etc.).
This fall, the schools in Mexico did not reopen. Classes are being given via television – a one way medium. One of the few televisions in the village is one that we installed in the computing center!
To date, Covid has not struck anyone in the small village. However, people have lost their jobs, their livelihood, their hope for a better future. We can help in a small, yet meaningful way.
This letter is our “virtual fundraiser” for the school. If you are in a position to help – for a week or a month – we would appreciate your donation. $25 would pay Rosy’s salary for a week…$100 for a month. $30 pays for internet access for a month. $20 pays for supplies – paper and ink for the printers, etc. Every little bit helps.
You may send your contribution to me or to Judy Jagdfeld by check, Paypal, Venmo, Velle or Pony Express.
Gracias in advance.
Charles “Carlos” & Linda Soberman
Paypal – firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy & Jim Jagdfeld