By Alicia Neaves
ALPINE - An Alpine resident is taking the well-being of a tiny school in Mexico into her own hands. She's raising money just to get them the bare necessities many of us take for granted.
Pilar Pedersen has volunteered to help the poor in Mexico before. Back in February, she received another calling to help students housed in a small school in Bacabureachi, Chihuahua.
Pilar was on a different kind of journey when she stumbled upon a school in a small village in Chihuahua.
"There has been no money for maintenance since 1960 and you can only imagine the condition it's in," Pedersen said.
100 students, grades 1-8 are housed at the boarding school which Pilar says is in dreadful disrepair.
"The ceiling's coming down, the electrical looks bad, the smoke from the wood stoves. It's in terrible condition. The children have no eating utensils. They eat with their hands," Pedersen said.
Most of these children travel by foot or by horse to get there. Some even travel from Cuauhtemoc, a two-hour drive. Pilar thought, with this dedication and passion to learn, they at least need the bare necessities.
"The kids that are there cannot learn if they have water dripping on their heads, if there's cold air blowing in in the middle of winter into their bedrooms and if they're scratching at head lice," Pedersen said.
She comprised a team which includes a carpenter, electrician and more volunteers just like her to help fix the school.
They plan to travel back to Mexico to start repairs in September.
"We are going to build bridges of understanding between our two cultures. Every person that comes back from that area will be an ambassador for peace and understanding with our neighbors," Pedersen said.
Pilar's efforts to repair the school have already raised over $3,000. But her team's not done yet.