Profiling Tepehua – April 2022

Tepehua Shelter

Amidst a world of turmoil, political insanity, wars that no-one ever wins, pandemics and inclement weather, we feel the stirrings of spring.  With our friends around the world, peace has never been more treasured.  We share an optimism that doesn’t diminish. The Tepehua Team have their eye on the future, because what we have accomplished so far has taken root and progress is irreversible.

Helping children financially with education from Kindergarten to college is here to stay as long as we can get support from casual donations or through our sponsor program where sponsors finance children from lower grades to college. They see the students become teachers. There is nothing more thrilling than a child graduating. The Community Center gives free English classes three times every week.

The Medical clinic is open three days a week, free to Tepehua people and all the other barrios that are under the poverty line. It is supported solely by donations. This is so essential for the people. Lack of good health is debilitating and takes away the desire to grow and make a change. Whatever problem they have multiplies when in bad health as it does to us all. Even more important is the Maternal Health program. Family planning benefits the whole family, it is good for mental health, financial security and beneficial for the existing children. A grant for this program is necessary for pre/post pregnancy tests. The mortality rate of mothers and infants has declined in the Barrio of Tepehua, even birthing at home is safer with the education that is given during tests.

There is a program that is rarely talked about, Health Outreach for Women (H.O.W). It is a small bus manned by two nurses and their driver.  They drive to the villages Lakeside giving pre/post natal care, pap smears and urine testing where required, all services are free. This dedicated team are a part of the unsung heroes at Lakeside who nobody hears about. Local Mexicans who are committed to service. It is an independent unit from Tepehua that is financed by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. A special kind of hero.

Our dental program is not free, we have to charge a little for material.  What we need at this time is a new chair as one of the chairs is past repair and leaves us only one to work with. The cost of a dental chair is 36,000 pesos. Approximately 1,800 US dollars.

We are proud of our potable water plant with our own reverse osmosis system that can produce 300 garrafones a day.  We are charging those who can afford it 40 pesos a garrafon so we can give it to those under the poverty line or sell at 20 pesos. We are breaking even, but aim to make a small profit so we can remain sustainable. Meanwhile, to help the business grow we need a supply of garrafones, the plastic water jugs that cost about 75 pesos each. Their shelf life is short because of the sun and handling.

The Tepehua Team have to go back to the drawing board for the sanitation program and attempt it from another angle. The Community Toilet idea was sound, but for that terrain improbable. The terrain is volcanic rock. Septic tanks are also possible but the chemicals and the people to change them and keep them clean are unreliable. Still an overwhelming task in a village as large and sprawling as Tepehua, with over 7,000 people. We are putting in toilets one house at a time, but need to start at the beginning with most, which means putting tinacos on the roofs of the homes as most do not have running water.

April is the door way to Spring and we have much to do. The world is opening its doors after the pandemic, still a concern, but the time has come to hug again.  Let´s do it.

April 2022 Issue

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