Progress of the construction work in Playa Prieta (Ecuador) as of September 13th, 2016
On September 13th, 2016, we received a brief update from our sisters, the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, from Holy Family Educational Center in Playa Prieta (Ecuador), informing us of the current state of the reconstruction work of the school that, as you all know, was destroyed by the earthquake on April 16th, 2016. Rather than a report, it is a schematic summary of the work that has been realized. The brevity of the message shows that the sisters are very busy, and that they are not able to dedicate more time to inform and thank all of you for your generous help. We would like to thank the sisters of Playa Prieta for the effort they have made in writing us, and we hope that soon they will be able to tell us everything in more detail. May the Lord bless you all. We leave you with the sisters of Playa Prieta.
During the first weeks of August, we were able to finish the two small bathroom units: one for boys and the other for girls, each with their corresponding installations. We also finished the perimeter wall around the entire area of the school, and which also includes the land on which both the house of the volunteers and the sisters’ house will be built.
In the meantime, we prepared a small playground, restoring the old swings, slides and monkey bars that we had before the earthquake. We paved the perimeter of this area with the old cobblestones that we were able to recover, and planted grass around the only tree that was saved: a huge mango tree.
At the request of the students, we have inaugurated a temporary chapel, adapting one of the classrooms for this purpose. The high school students begin each day with ten minutes of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, with the help of some brief points of meditation given by one of the sisters.
A three meter long cement slab was built as an extension of the classrooms, so that the students can walk more easily from one classroom to another without having to walk on the stony terrain. Joined to this cement slab, in one of the blocks of classrooms, we paved a small area with the recovered cobblestones.
Thanks to the “La Unión” Club of Guayaquil, next week we will start building a court where our students will be able to play sports. Once this is finished, we will start building the school's definitive chapel. We are going to build it in the very place where our sisters died: Sr. Clare, Valeria, Jazmina, Mayra, Mª Augusta, and Catalina. The building of this chapel will also be financed by the “La Unión” Club of Guayaquil.
What are the projects that must be undertaken subsequently? They are several. We, sisters, still do not have a house, but there are more urgent things that need to be done. We need to build two more classrooms, with their own bathrooms adapted to the needs of the preschool children. It is necessary to pave the courtyard and build cobblestone paths. We are currently walking on the stones and the drit, but we would like to finish this project before the rains come and the whole school becomes a muddy marsh. Later, we will undertake the reconstruction of the small theater.
Little by little, with the help of our Lord and with your help, we will finish all of the work that needs to be done in the Holy Family Educational Center. Keep praying for us, for our students, for the many families who still suffer the consequences of the floods and the earthquake, and for all our apostolate in the Ecuadorian land. May God bless you.