Hello. My name is Karly Mezera and I am a 21 year-old working mother with 6 adopted children and a wonderful husband named Chris. I work at an orphanage my mother started 7 years ago in the mountains of Central Mexico in a s mall town called Tepoztlan. We are about one hour south of Mexico City.
The orphanage we run is a private orphanage. We are awarded children from the State run orphanage that are considered “unadoptable.” These are children with many family members in the State orphanage system, teenage children or children with severe physical, emotional and mental handicaps. Currently we have 20 children here.
Most recently we started a project to build our own school on the grounds of the orphanage. The public educational system in Mexico is very poor and the private educational system is extremely expensive. At first we wanted to build a school that our children could attend that would give them a proper global education. Then we quickly thought to make the school available to the children of Santo Domingo, an extremely poor town that is 3 miles up the road from where we live.
In Santo Domingo the school and living conditions are very bad, probably on par with some of the worst conditions in all of Mexico. The town is very poor, so little to no taxes are collected on properties. With little financial support from the government the public school in Santo Domingo has to charge the poor parents of the children that attend for every little thing they do.
School books, gym class and class materials are all paid for by the parents of the children that attend. Some parents have as many as 6 children in school at any one time and the weekly payments to the school can be financially devastating. Most families live on a average of $50 a week for all of their expenses combined. With the ability to serve this community how could we not open our doors to them as well.
We had witnessed over the past few years the miraculous transformations some of our own children have experienced while being home schooled at the orphanage. All of the children came to us way behind in their academics. Twelve year olds were reading at a 6-7 year old level. Many of our children could not attend private school because of how academically behind they were. After seeing the transformations in our own children we knew the same could happen for the Santo Domingo children as well. In March of 2008 we decided to build a school for all of the children of Santo Domingo and are children as well.
What will follow will be a collection of stories about this process. The difficulties in dealing with the local, State and Federal government with regards to the school and the every day life of my family.
I would like to invite you to visit some of our websites regarding the school project and our orphanage. In order to open the school we need a monthly operating budget of $10,000USD. We decided to run a campaign called 500 Together, where we would get 500 people to donate $20 a month to make the school happen. So far we have 200 people and enough money for the elementary school. We still need more to be able to allow the Middle and High School children.
The website for our school campaign is: www.500together.com
The school’s website is: www.ixayaschool.com
Our orphanage website is: www.tashiratkids.org
I look forward to sharing all of these stories with you and I’m sure you’ll be able to feel the emotions that I experience each and every day. As a mother I not only want to help myself and my own children, but all mothers, families and children that need a helping hand in life.
A writer from Yoga Plus Magazine was nice enough to do a story on our orphanage. The magazine should still be available throughout the world at large bookstores if you want to see it.
I look forward to sharing with you again soon.