AMERICA/MEXICO - School lessons for 7 hours a day next to a landfill and among stray dogs

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Pachuca (Agenzia Fides) - The pupils of the Ignacio Zaragoza elementary school, which is situated in the El Huixmi community, in Pachuca, a city in south-central Mexico, capital of the state of Hidalgo, are forced to live with dangerous animals and stray dogs. Eight teachers, 245 students and support staff at the school are continually exposed to the pollution generated by the landfill which is situated 500 meters away. For this reason, in a statement received by Fides Agency, the headmaster of the school states that every two months there is a 10% absenteeism, every day students accuse severe headaches and nausea. Moreover, given that the institute is not fenced, the children are forced to live with dozens of stray dogs that roam around. A short distance away there is the landfill of Pachuca, where every day 500 tons of waste residues is discharged. Pupils attend this environment for seven hours a day. The school was built 70 years ago and is in need of security measures for classrooms, equipment, technological tools such as projectors and computers and a new library. About two years ago an old unusable bus was brought to the building which was adapted as a library, named Librolandia. Here the children read, do their homework and study. The reduced space contains about 400 books that are used daily by the children to encourage them to read, there are also two tables and 10 chairs, 6 shelves and a small desk. Despite these tremendous bounds, teachers and students are committed to a decent education even if the level of preparation remains low. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 17/09/2013)