Huatecalco Preschool and Kindergarten – MEXICO
This new Preschool and Kindergarten in Huatecalco, Mexico, was started by EPIC’s Mexican partner La Buena Tierra. La Buena Tierra’s director Elizabeth Marroquin and others of the school’s staff got acquainted with the town of Huatecalco in the state of Morelos as a result of the Mexican earthquake on Sept. 10, 2018. Schools in central Mexico were closed, and La Buena Tierra volunteered to use its classrooms for the collection and distribution of donated relief supplies. Elizabeth and some of the teachers took emergency relief supplies to Huatecalco as it was poor, very rural, and off the radar of most relief agencies. Huatecalco is in a primarily sugarcane growing area, but it also has production of jicama and peanuts. Field workers experience extreme poverty, and small children are taken to the fields to help harvest peanuts and jicama. Teachers say that these children and their older siblings have calluses on their fingers from working in the fields harvesting.
The schools of Huatecalco were so badly damaged by the 2018 earthquake that they could no longer be used. Primary and secondary classes are being held in temporary classrooms for 2019 and 2020. There has been no attempt to reopen kindergarten or preschool classes in the town. A local couple and Elizabeth Marroquin were moved by the great need of the small children for a safe place to be and some preparation for entering first grade. The Huatecalco Preschool/Kindergarten is now up and running in a small rented house, serving children from 3 years through 5 years old. The teacher is very vivacious and the children are really happy to be there!