School „Las Minas“
When we first heard in 2009 of the school "Las Minas" in the slums Enrique Gallo, near the coastal town of Salinas, the structural condition of the buildings was alarming. The 2 buildings looked like makeshift barns (but not as stable) and each divided into 2 class rooms. The construction material consisted of bamboo walls and a corrugated metal sheet roof. The floors were not paved. Behind the huts were makeshift toilets and in front of the buildings was ONE water fountain which did not work. The furniture was very primitive. Despite all of that we were under the impression that a halfway reasonably education was given. Evidence was displayed in the class schedules.
In December 2009, the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation paid for 3 small black boards, but hesitated with more assistance, because the director of the school promised that in the first quarter of 2010 a new building would be constructed. Since nothing like that happened, Jaime Garcia, representative of the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation contacted the city authorities again and as in the case of the child care center, located in the same neighborhood, a miracle happened. In 2011 a beautiful new school was build and we got to visit it in the beginning of 2012.
However, there is a problem in the new school. A new law was decreed and the school had to house a preschool class and a kindergarten class in addition to the 6 regular classes. The space problem could be solved by sacrificing a laboratory and a staff room. But there was no chance in the intermediate term to receive age-appropriate tables and chairs from the country, state, or community since the school project was considered complete.
We have therefore asked the end of 2011 by the new Headmistress, Jenny Delsy Lainez in writing to donate 80 chairs and 20 tables. They were manufactured by a local carpenter from solid wood (cost U.S. $ 2.200). The handover took place in April 2012 by Edith Garcia.