Cabo Corrientes, Mexico
Posted By Ken Walker
International projects in Cabo Corrientes
This post is about school projects in Cabo Corrientes that our club has helped the Rotary Club of El Tuito complete. The photographs and information were gathered during a visit in November 2016.
If you ask Ignacio Palomera, he will tell you that Rotary’s involvement with support of schools in Cabo Corrientes began with Bob Johnson and his Strathcona Sunrise Mexican Schools Project 2015 (see also War on Poverty) but his work actually began much earlier. Ignacio has been dealing with these issues for years. Since Rotary got involved, additional progress has been possible.
Ignacio is the key leader in these projects. He organized the Rotary Club of El Tuito after running many such projects on his own over recent years. He identifies, creates, finds support for, supervises and follows up on each project. He and his club have had generous support from the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat Sunrise, the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club and the Cumberland Centennial Rotary Club. The Medicine Hat Sunrise club has been a long time supporter of these projects as have the Strathcona and Cumberland clubs who are in the middle of driving a bus/ambulance/truck or some combination of the above down to Mexico right now (November 2016) for the third time.
While our club has supported a series of these projects, we must keep in mind that these are not “our” projects, they are projects of the Rotary Club of El Tuito. We assist them with their projects. Hats off to this small club for the work they do in their surrounding communities in the municipality of Cabo Corrientes in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
In 2014 the Medicine Hat Sunrise club helped with the addition of windows, electricity, tile flooring and a new roof. Along with support from MIG and a District Community Grant, we funded the construction of new latrines with a wash stand and sidewalks for ten students and a shower for the live in teacher. As the project came in under budget, remaining funds were used to purchase some school supplies and sports equipment. At the time of our visit, the school was in some disarray. Investigation is underway.
Latrines, a wash station and walkways were added at this school in 2015 along with sidewalks, electrical power and paint. MIG matched our contribution and a DCG matched the total. When the project came in under budget, with District approval surplus funds were used to provide swings for the children and paint.
In 2015 the Strathcona club provided the up front money the El Tuito club needed to build a teacherage. We sought and received a District Community Grant from Rotary District 5020 to complete the kitchen and bathroom portion of the the teacherage.
In 2016 our club and the Cumberland club helped the El Tuito club renovate the two classrooms of this school and the Strathcona club took care of bathroooms. Electricity was brought in, windows and doors were added, flooring was replaced, sidewalks were built and the place was painted inside and out although there are some issues with how that turned out on the outside that need to be resolved. The place looks great, the kids look smart and the teachers are positive. A great success.
5. El Refugio
The economic base of this community is cattle and coffee. The school has two classrooms where 85 junior high attend in the morning. High school runs in the same rooms in the afternoon.
The El Tuito club is about to (November 2016) put the roof on a new enlarged lunch area to replace the existing area under the blue tent.
This picture, which came in from Ignacio November 26 shows the roof in place, only the tile floor and the electrical installation left to do. Those Rotarians get things done! Compare that to the blue tent that served these students before.
No projects here, but on our tour a Councillor for Cabo Corrientes, who met us at the school in Mayto, took us here for lunch. This spot seems to have no tourism despite being in the middle of 45 km of amazing ocean beach. It is an active fishing village.
During my visit, there was mention of a few of the many things that may be needed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rotary Club of El Tuito take these on. We may be asked to help.
1. El Refugio
It is difficult to attract teachers who earn about $800 per month when there is no accommodation. They are left to pay for board and room in local homes or live in the school. In El Refugio this teacherage was started some time ago but not completed. Completing it, perhaps half of it at first, would be a big advantage for the school.
The basketball tarmac here is on its last legs if it is not resurfaced soon, it will be lost.
This school needs floor repairs.
There is some talk about a group of kids from Cabo Corrientes coming to Canada in late April 2017. Mariachi? Ballet? More to follow.
I have had an interesting adventure off the usual tourist track in Mexico, met many Mexicans and had the pleasure of getting to know Ignacio Palomera. I am convinced that the participation of several Canadian Rotary clubs in the improvement of schools in Cabo Corrientes by the Rotary Club of El Tuito has been instrumental and the results are of great value to these communities.
[July 17, 2017: Error corrected, it was the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat Sunrise that supported the El Tuito club. We incorrectly referred to the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat.]