Much to our relief, the recent earthquakes that rattled Mexico did not cause any personal injury to any of our students, sisters and staff. But because our Girlstown in Chalco is located just outside Mexico City, our facilities there sustained some important material damages following the September 19 earthquake. Our other village in Guadalajara is located over 300 miles away from the capital city and was not affected.
To date, the death toll already exceeds 300 victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who perished in this immense tragedy.
In our Girlstown, all classes and activities returned to normal the day after the earthquake though our students were understandably shaken by the strength of the earthquake.
Sister Hortencia, local superior of the Girlstown, explained that our villages were built just a few years after the most deadly earthquake in Mexico's recent history, which killed thousands in Mexico City exactly 32 years earlier, on September 19, 1985. Our facilities were thus constructed to stricter building codes adopted in the wake of that historical disaster. Mexico's seismic codes now rank among the world's best.
Sister Martha shows us a crack on a wall of a classroom – our facilities there did sustain some physical damage, and repair costs are still being assessed.
Thankfully, the annual pilgrimage of friends and supporters in Chalco went on as planned on September 24th, and visitors enjoyed a full tour of the school as well as a festival from our children.