Helping Children Stay In School In Mexico

August 24, 2015 by Montse Laborin

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 Three million children work in Mexico. Out of those three million, 65.8% do it because they need to pay their school fees. The money their parents earn, goes to pay their home bills.

Education in Mexico is a right that the Mexican Constitution gives to all the individuals. The law states in Article 2 of the General Education Law (Ley General de Educación) that every individual has the right to receive education, so every person living in the country has the same access to the national education system, provided they  satisfy the established requirements

Every school in Mexico has different requirements for a student to enter school. For example, they must have their uniform and supplies to start on the first day of school. Usually, the uniform depends on the school, and the school supplies will vary from grade to grade.

The school system is divided into five different levels:

  • Preschool (3-5 years old) which is preschool and kindergarten combined
  • Elementary School (6-11 years old)
  • Middle School (12-14 years old)
  • High School (15-18 years old)
  • University.

From Preschool to High School, every student, without exception, must wear the uniform that their school requires.

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The Stress Of The First Day Of School In Parents 

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine came to visit us with her husband and two children. As we were talking, I noticed that she looked concerned and distracted, and I asked her if everything was okay. Then, her eyes watered and she told me that a few days before, she had to go to the emergency room. She was there because she suffered a severe migraine due to stress.

She told me that the kids were about to start school, and she didn’t know if they were going to have enough money to buy the uniforms and school supplies that the school required.  She has a 5-year-old girl who will attend 1st grade and a 10-year-old boy who will attend 6th grade.  The school gave her a list of school supplies that she must buy for the first semester and the information on where to buy the uniforms. The school has two uniforms; one for the students to have for P.E class (which is usually twice a week), and the regular uniform they will use for the other three days of the week. My friend will have to spend over 3500 pesos ($225) just in uniforms for both of her children and over 1500 pesos ($115) in school supplies.

That is 65% of their salary in a month! So if the law states that everyone has the right to go to school, what happens if they don’t have enough money to buy the uniforms and the school supplies?

A lot of parents are now worried because their children might not be able to go to school this year, or they might have to give up eating some meals for them to afford it. I grew up in Tijuana, and I saw how my parents struggled and saved money to buy everything that I needed.

The Impact Of Project Hope

I want to thank you for donating to the Project Hope Backpacks Program.  You are helping us create justice for 655 children in Mexico. 

We've delivered 465 backpacks filled with school supplies last Friday in Tijuana. Our pastors will be handing them out to children in their community in the coming days. 

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April handing out backpacks to pastors. 

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 Pastor Juan Briseño helping April offload the backpacks for the children in their community.

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This year we were able to donate more than 600 backpacks for children in Mexico. Our pastors in Tijuana  alone received 465 bags. 

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Pastor Cesar's youngest daughter, Genesis, was very happy to received one of the backpacks. Her favorite color: purple. 

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 Thank you!

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Learn Spanish:

Backpack: Mochila 

 

Topics: Biblical Justice