A group of us ‘gringos’ visited 6 preschools with the Assistant to the Mayor. To say the least, a rough trip to reach these 6 schools all in need of repairs and school supplies. There are 27 preschools in Cotacachi.
The 6 schools have approximately 150 Indigenous children and there are always new children coming to school so that the parents can work.
Three of the schools do not have a refrigerator. The perishables are taken home by a parent and returned the next day. All the schools have concrete floors – very cold in this climate. Most schools have some form of electricity – very primitive wiring. Bathrooms are in bad shape in most schools – and poor drainage. Very little in tables and chairs and many of the children work and eat off of floor mats. Not much in school supplies, crayons, books, paper and no development toys for preschool children. Many of the schools have inadequate cribs for children in the 6 month age.
Most school roofs need repair. Children need outdoor playground equipment.
What is so amazing – we visit as a group and the children are happy and smile and usually sing us a song. These children are the future and we hope to provide for their needs to have a safe and healthy environment and a good start for an education.
I had a nutritionist translate their weekly menu into English and much to my surprise their food is quite healthy. Beans, rice, little meat or chicken, salad , quinoa, corn and fruit and fresh juice. Everything is raised in the area and the government allows $1.25 per child per day for meals. They receive 2 meals and 2 snacks.
The nutritionist was shocked – these kids are not on junk food and have healthy meals. They do lack Omega 3 and some of the B vitamins.
The original school that was started several years ago is near completion. Exterior building needs to be painted and tile for the new dining room floor. Several ‘gringo’ friends have started an organic garden at the back of the school.
I want to say thank you for all the help through your donations and supplies to make all of this happen. The families are very appreciative for all of this help.
We have made Morales school our next project. You can read about it here. We need your help to continue our work. Hopefully, the Mayor and municipality will supply some of the building materials but nothing confirmed. We will have another meeting with the Mayor in November.
Trusting you will continue to support us – no contribution is too small. If you are coming for a visit please bring school supplies – shipping is too expensive from the US and we are charged at this end.
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