Luis A Mazariegos
Oct 2017- “Centro Educativo Rural Gabriela Echeverry”
For many years, the village of La Mesenia had no school for the kids to attend. They had to walk for one hour and then take a jeep for 45 minutes to reach the nearest school. Confrontations between the military and guerrilla groups had affected the school’s structure and forced the school to be left without a teacher.
The community was finally able to get a teacher to be assigned to the school. Since the school lacks many of the basic needs such as, desks, books, writing board, bathrooms, dining area, playground, and most importantly electricity. The Hummingbird Conservancy has started supporting the school’s needs. The foundation has donated two HP desktop computers, a TV with DVD player, materials for coloring and library books. Also, it has built a bathroom for the children and one for the professor. A new set of desks and tables will be provided in November. Also, boards and materials so that the teacher can be able to provide a better education with decent tools.
On our last visit, on October 20th we were pleasantly surprised by the school kids. Each of them had written a letter and prepared a small gift to thank us for the support we are providing, and for giving them the opportunity to educate themselves and be able to fulfill their dreams.
Since only 7 kids are attending school, ages ranging from 5 to 10 the professor must make a huge effort to give each and every one of them, the correct level of education and provide materials according to each kids age. We certainly appreciate this great effort from his part.
In order to provide a comfortable place to live, we have used one of the school’s rooms to have a place where he can live and rest safely. The Uribe family is also providing the food for him.
In order to prevent the contamination of the river, a new 2,000-liter septic tank system has been installed. This will not only provide a service to the school but also for the neighboring church.
Another future project is to be able to rebuild the basketball court in order to give a decent playground for the children. The community is planning to also plant a garden with flowers to create a friendly atmosphere.
Since the school was built not following building codes, the critical concrete columns that support the building must be rebuilt. The fencing around the school also needs replacing, to avoid cows and horses to damage any of the future plantings.