AMERICA/ECUADOR - "With everyone's help, we will re-build the school": after the earthquake students in bamboo classrooms

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Playa Prieta (Agenzia Fides) - "We want our school, we do not want to go and study in another school, or stop studying, or skip a year": these are the students' demands of the school run by the Siervas del Hogar de la Madre, in Playa Prieta, which was destroyed by the earthquake that struck the coast of Ecuador on the night of April 16.
The earthquake caused hundreds of deaths, including a religious and five postulants of the community (see Fides 18/04/2016), and thousands of injured and homeless.
The students’ mothers encouraged the sisters: "count on us for anything from preparing meals, to preparing cement, to moving bricks. We will re-build the school, we can do it, wait and see ... ".
The school complex that housed students from kindergarten to high school, had to be demolished and rebuilt, only the nursery and the main hall was possible to use.
"It was impressive to see how many people started to pray, gave everything they had, even their savings, they forget about their problems and their pain to join ours" says a nun. Many gave their support without having many economic means.
Professionals offered their work or their machinery, volunteers sacrificed their weekend to help, mothers left their daily chores to help out in whatever was asked of them.
June 27 high school student began lessons, while the next day a volunteer team of the Telefonica company from Quito came with trucks full of bamboo canes to build fifteen classrooms designed to temporarily house the 360 pupils enrolled. On July 15 a small ceremony was held to inaugurate the classrooms and the students were happy to be "back home", "their school", while the work for the final restoration of the Holy Family Educational Unity, which will include classrooms, chapel, computer room, assembly hall, home to the volunteers and the sisters' house continue. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 31/08/2016)