Profiling Tepehua – May 2023

The earthquake in Colima on September 22, 2022, had a depth of 15 km and a magnitude of 7.7; multiple buildings were destroyed and, sadly, two deaths were reported, plus the death of an infant from a gas explosion. Collateral damage. Many towns suffered from damage to their infrastructure including Mexico City and Guadalajara and many little places in between. 

The Community Center of Tepehua was built on volcanic rock and has its own cosmetic cracks in the building with the seasons. In the dry season the soil shrinks and causes plaster cracks, and in the rainy season it swells and either closes those cracks or causes more. Luckily, they are usually not structural. This time, however, it was structural and the bricks and mortar separated. This also could be the case with the foundations, and we are checking that out now. More disturbing is the fact that Lakeside had its collateral damage in the schools, poorly built in the first place. Two in particular that desperately need repair, including the secondary school in San Juan Tecomatlan, which is actually Poncitlan but comes under the jurisdiction of Chapala due to the mountain ridge that separates the two. Consequently, the schools fall through the cracks for both. It has three buildings for the students, two are desperately in need of repair, and the third is deemed unsafe, so the children take their classes outside. 

The rainy season will soon be on us. What then? The roofs leak as there is not enough pitch on them to divert the rains. Three new columns are needed to the main building to support the structure; a safety rail needs to be installed for the children; and electric lines replaced because of water damage. One building lacks inside plumbing. The tale of woe goes on and meanwhile the children’s future is in jeopardy.

A donation of about 300,000 pesos would get the situation into a workable one, if we all chipped in for the future of one child each. The local government does not have the money for this because children do not have a voice. Now they do. If you wish to help, e-mail Brenda Clarke., help the kids help themselves.

Another is Saul Rodules School Ajijic (El Ojo del Lago printed an article on them last month). The same 2022 earthquake cut off the drinking water for the children, damaged the structure, and for all this time the kids had to fill and carry buckets of water into their toilet tanks so they could flush . . . until recently. They too have a guardian angel. Her name is Judith Labadie ( and recent donations have come in to “fix” it. Thankfully, the children no longer have that chore before class starts.

They have a long way to go to complete the necessary renovations that nature’s fury wrought, and, again, it is only the compassion of WE THE PEOPLE that will make it happen. If you need help to get involved e-mail

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

Moonyeen King
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