|Students during their first week of classes at the Champagnat High School of the Mountain|
Vivir para Servir: To Live to Serve. Without a doubt, this is one of the mottos that most quickly comes to the minds of the young indigenous men and women who have the opportunity to receive a high school education at the Champagnat High School of the Mountain, located in the village of Potoichan, in the mountains of the State of Guerrero, Mexico.
|The property of the Champagnat High School of the Mountain, located in Potoichan|
This high school is run by the Marist Brothers, a religious order founded in France two hundred years ago by St. Marcellin Champagnat. The main focus of this religious institute is the education of young people, especially the most neglected.
|Students and teacher (Marlen)—August, 2017|
The Champagnat High School of the Mountain began in the year 2004, when Leslie Davies, now a school principal in Calgary, was Mission Mexico’s on-site coordinator in the mountains of Mexico. Mission Mexico initially helped to construct the high school, and since then it has assisted annually in helping to pay teachers’ salaries and room and board for the live-in students. For the school year of 2017–2018 that began last week, 250 students are registered in the school; one half of these students live in dormitories in the school, and one half of the students live in Potoichan or nearby villages.
|Administration area and some of the classrooms of the high school|
Three of the main requirements to be accepted as a live-in student at the school are the following: the student should be indigenous and speak one of the three native languages of the mountain region; the student should come from an area that has no high school; and the student should come from a family of very few economic resources.
The Marist Brothers are known worldwide for the ethos of a sense of family in their educational institutions. The five characteristics of Marist teaching are usually given as the following: presence; simplicity; family spirit; love of work; in the way of Mary. If the reader is interested in understanding better these characteristics, please click on the following link: http://www.maristcollegeemerald.com.au/five-characteristics-of-a-marist-college.html.
|Brother Salvador (Cepillo) and Brother Jose Luis (Wicho),|
two Marist Brothers who oversee operations at the high school
The school has offered a new vision of hope to the impoverished indigenous youth of the Mountain. Already graduates of the school are involved in professions that would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago: lawyers; teachers; nurses; engineers; psychologists; lab technicians; accountants; nutritionists. The presence of these committed young people in the mountain region is helping to transform the reality of impoverishment and marginalization.
|Students and teacher (Wicho)—August, 2017|
This year, because of the higher demand for the services of the school, there are four first-year groups rather than three. This presents extra challenges for the leadership and the teachers of the school, but the hope is that everything will work out fine. The Marist Brothers are most grateful for the partnership that they have with the Diocese of Calgary through the Mission Mexico project.
|Students and teacher (Ana)—August, 2017|
Mission Mexico also has a scholarship program to help some of the graduating students to continue their educational journey. These are usually very poor students who have demonstrated during their high school years their desire to work for justice and well-being for others. This is just one more way that Mission Mexico is involved in transforming life among the “poorest of the poor” in this impoverished region of Mexico. Thank you to all who support these efforts of Mission Mexico.