Submitted by Past District Governor Abe Feder
Rotary Club of Tempe South
The Rotary Foundation does not build buildings that can be part of a Global Grant, so here is a chance for you or your club (or both) to join with Rotary Districts 4100, 5495 and 5500 as well as 44 other Rotarians, Rotaractors and 5 clubs to be part of our Grass Roots Effort to raise funds to build a School and Community Center for the Triqui Tribe and their children. STAY WITH US THROUGH THIS JOURNEY…
The Triqui are indigenous people numbering around 23,000 mostly coming from the state of Oaxaca. Three thousand moved from that area in 1982 to work in the fields around Poblado Miguel Aleman (near Hermosillo) and were given land to settle on by the Mexican Government. The Triqui have their own culture and language and many of them, including their children, do not speak Spanish. When coming from another state in Mexico the Triqui did not understand they needed to register in their new home. They are not considered citizens; their children do not have birth certificates and receive no healthcare or education.
The Trique are field workers and make about $10 per day. Most of their homes have dirt floors and if you go visit their community, make sure you do not go after it rain -- their streets and roads become almost unpassable.
The Millennium Rotary Club in Hermosillo headed by Past President Terri Ruiz has been working with the Triqui for the last six years. Working together through the government maze they have been able to obtain birth certificates for the children and have registered most adults.
But to gain benefits from the Mexican government, they and their children need to speak, read and write Spanish.
In a nutshell, it’s literacy (could a Global Grant be in the future?).
Three years ago, Terri and her club members came up with the concept of a school and a couple of additional buildings to form a community center. The Hermosillo Pitic Rotary Club and District 4100 threw a bit of money into the hat and the Millenium Club had a fundraiser and they started to build. Enter COVID and the project never went any further.
But Terri, being Terri, had a plan. Now that the children had birth certificates, they should have a school. Not so fast: remember she and the club are working with the government. Land needed to get deeded to the tribe’s Leaders (done) and a plan needed to be submitted to them with a construction budget (also done).
In 2022, I took a group down to Hermosillo to visit borrowers that are part of our Microcredit program. Terri, being the Rotarian that she is, helped get us around with our Microfinance staff, decided that we should go meet the Triqui and see the project, and things developed from there … like a kind of magic.
After a year of finagling, the Mexican government agreed to supply $31,000 in building materials, but that labor costs would not be included as the project was already started?? Materials would show up once money to pay labor costs was in place to restart construction…
In 2023 on another Microcredit trip, President Colleen Coons of Mesa West Rotary, PDG Larry Horton, Past President Craig Henry Mesa Rotary, and DGE Sue Archibald talked about how we could take what we had, to finished product. Terri offered to come to Arizona and cook an authentic Mexican dinner to raise interest and funds for the project and Colleen offered her home and Sue offered hers in Pattagonia to help raise funds from District 5500.
The budget for finishing the construction of the buildings (labor) is just a bit over $20,700.00. We have raised $13,680.00 and need a bit over $7,000,00 to put this project to bed.
Construction has already started and classrooms without roofs are seeing 80-120 kids a day. All the teachers are certified and are volunteers working with both adults and children. A District Grant via Tempe South Rotary Club will provide needed school supplies.
All we need is your $$$$
With the holidays upon us, and with everything that is going on in the world right now, this is a way to show support for those that are less fortunate than us but are working to better their lives. So, let’s help them…
To Donate you can send a check to: Tempe South Rotary Foundation P.O. Box 26649 Tempe Az 85282.
To Donate with credit cards go to: Rotary Club of Tempe South and click on the donate button. If you choose that method please email Abe Feder, so that we can add your name to the list of donors that will be on a plaque at the school. If your club would like to have a presentation on this project you can contact me and we can either do it in person or by Zoom.
If you have gotten this far-Bless You.
Under Construction ....