Eleven months after the earthquake that struck Mexico in 2017, causing over 360 deaths, many of which were children in dilapidated school buildings, Specchio dei Tempi inaugurated the school it rebuilt in Santa Catalina di Tochimilco. This is a small town inhabited by about a thousand poor campesinos, at an altitude of 2500 meters, on the slopes of the active Popocatepetl volcano, about 100 kilometres from Puebla and 200 from Mexico City. This is the 26th school rebuilt by our foundation: about fifteen in Italy, the others in distant countries (always after natural disasters) such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Santa Catalina Cuilotepec is a remote village, reachable only by following a winding road and moreover devastated by the earthquake. No signal, neither telephone nor television, no Internet. The town (500 inhabitants in the centre, a few hundred scattered in the surrounding countryside, farmers and small breeders) is spread out on a plateau that rises gradually from 2500 to 3450 meters. The school is attended by about a hundred students, between 6 and 13 years old, and is made up of two different buildings, on one floor.
The first benefitted from a radical renovation, as well as an anti-seismic consolidation. The second building, the largest, completely beyond repair, was first demolished and then rebuilt. The intervention, fully funded by our foundation, had the BUAP University of Puebla as a technical partner. The construction programme was duly respected and the inauguration was held in August 2018: a long popular festival, in a sea of music, gratitude and joy.
Since then we have always been in contact with this school, which we have included in the project “We connect the children of the world” which allows the students of the institutes rebuilt by Specchio to get to know each other and discuss online. Breaking down distances and borders, thus becoming small citizens of the world.