Written by: Natasha Palance
Edited by: Anik Ghose
It’s been two years since the start of our long-term recovery plan in Mexico following the 2017 earthquake, and Tzu Chi disaster relief continues. A groundbreaking ceremony on June 29th commemorated the beginning of our Building Trust With Love reconstruction mission of The Morelos Institute, a local school in Jojutla destroyed in the quake. After a generous land donation from a local benefactor and all necessary preparations completed, construction is now officially underway with an anticipated completion date in the Fall of 2020!
Long-term Recovery Continues
The 2017 earthquake took the lives of over 300 people and caused massive damage throughout the country, including destruction of The Morelos Institute. Buildings collapsed and people were trapped inside the rubble amid this frightening tragedy. Striking on the 32nd anniversary of the violent 1985 earthquake that left 10,000 dead and 30,000 injured, this quake hit a painful nerve.
Before initiating a disaster relief program for Morelos, Tzu Chi develop relationships with local communities based on trust, compassion and care. Tzu Chi dedicated time to ensuring on-site volunteers are fully equipped with cultural awareness and knowledge about residents. Over time as communities learned more about Tzu Chi and met our volunteers, residents gained comfortability.
In accordance with our multifaceted approach to providing aid that ensures our impact will be as beneficial as possible. We directly asked the community how can we help during disaster assessments in the region. Residents responded by expressing a need for disaster aid supplies and revitalizing education within the community, so Jojutla residents collaborated with Tzu Chi to make great strides of improvement within the community.
The New Morelos: Building Trust With Love
Thanks to the dedicated work of Volunteer Architect Pablo Quintero Valladares, the future site of the institute will make for a more resilient and disaster-prepared academic building. Specially designed reconstruction plans will ensure stability in the face of future disasters, and will be executed with great diligence.
In collaboration with Tzu Chi volunteers and insight from the Jojutla community, Architect Pablo and Marta Franco Mother Superior of The Morelos Institute, reconstruction plans were finalized and budgets were allocated as the team ensured the new site will be best suited for the local community.
Coming from different parts of the world, Tzu Chi and Mexican residents were united together in the common goal to repair the community. Over 1,000 students will regain a vital sense of normalcy following this devastation.