A trip home inspires local woman to share with students
During a recent visit back to her hometown of San Miguel, El Salvador, Flor Lorenzo was inspired.
Lorenzo, who lives in Berkeley Springs, had volunteered to bring some of her fossils and rocks to a primary school where a lifelong friend teaches young children.
When Lorenzo showed up to make her presentation, she asked one of the students to lead the way to their classroom.
The young girl pointed to tables set out in a courtyard under some trees, and said that was her classroom.
In a corner of the school, Lorenzo noticed two partially-built walls, with a doorway in between.
Her teacher friend said it was a future classroom – one that had been under construction for several years.
While the government of El Salvador supplies the children their school uniforms, food and shoes, it seems that local parents were bearing the burden of improving their neighborhood school.
Most of the rooms at the elementary school were crowded, Lorenzo said. And the classes had moved out into whatever space was available.
Raising funds for room
When she returned home to Berkeley Springs, Lorenzo decided she wanted to send some money to the San Miguel school she had visited so they could finish the new classroom for their young students.
Lorenzo said that school was very similar to the
one she attended as a child in El Salvador.
Last month, Lorenzo held a yard sale at her home and raised $490 for the school. Donations from friends and family rounded the figure out to $600, which she has already sent to the school.
One of her contacts in El Salvador is helping manage the construction project, which involves adding posts to the thin block walls. Eventually, the posts will hold up a roof over the classroom. Open fencing will be installed at the top of the wall to keep air moving to the students. The school doesn’t have air conditioning.
Lorenzo’s goal is to raise $2,500 to complete the whole classroom. The walls must be finished, a roof built, and tiles set on the floor.
“I have received. I felt it was my turn to help,” said Lorenzo, who moved to the United States in 1996.
“It’s my way to help and for them to get their own room,” she said.