Profiling Tepehua – December 2021

Profiling Tepehua

By Moonyeen King

President of the Board for Tepehua

Tepehua 1


‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is an African proverb, meaning an entire community keeps watch on the children and interact positively. It is true of most of the villages here at Lakeside. They are of a size that most people know each other and have a support system within the community, especially the women whose need for a support system is greater than the men. Education has always been a struggle for everyone because of the lower socioeconomic status of most of the households. Sometimes only one child in each family can go to school and follow the dream. The others start working at a very young age or help at home. To further compound the lack of opportunity, rural children have no exposure to any form of higher educational institution to feed the curious.

In urban areas around the edges of cities there is more opportunity to obtain an education. Village like Tepehua with over 7,000 people has a foot in both worlds regarding education. It clings to the tourist town of Chapala where there is a bustle of activity. The service trades are available for those who can afford it, along with the opportunity to view the way the rich and famous live in comparison to those economically challenged.

It is a big sprawling terrain on difficult volcanic rock with a million-dollar view. Consequently, not only are the people of the barrio merging into the town, but the town is moving out of the congestion of Lakeside into the more rural areas with a view. This benefits both working class and middle class because it opens up job possibilities in the local areas. So, bringing education to rural areas also benefits both.

Over the last ten years organizations have sprung up with a dedication to education in both areas, rural and urban. They are supported by tourists and those retiring to Mexico, and local government agencies are taking more of an interest in their children’s future strength and support. The Tepehua Community center was started with the support of the local retired people and their contacts over the border. More and more Tepehua is taking care of its own, but still with support from across the border or locally-situated foreigners. This allows us to send the children to school, buying the books, uniforms and other hidden expenses for each semester. Thus far we have invested in over a thousand children, and most will return to school this year.  But because of the pandemic, some children found work and decided to stay with the job to help their families financially.

That still leaves us with a generation of educated barrio children stepping out into the world with a future where they have a choice. Not all are Einsteins and meant for college, but all are equipped to change their world should they so choose to do so.

This world cannot become a better place without the aid of volunteerism, we are all needed to do extra work for others apart from ourselves. Waiting for paid officials to do it for us doesn’t work. The support the private sector and others have given has changed the world little by little in education and it is up to us to keep the momentum going. Once the middle class is stronger through basic education our world will be a better place for us to dwell.

Tepehua would like to thank the readers for the donated toilets and other home improvements. Such a simple gift but one that keeps giving. Also, for the sponsors of our Tepehua children to keep them in the school system, you have indeed played your part to make the world a better place.


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