A Mobile School—how very creative! In this article you will read the story of how the Congregation of Divine Providence from San Antonio, Texas and their Sisters in the region of Mexico serve the educational needs of poor children in Queretaro, Morelia and Mexico City.
“Since 1962, the Congregation of Divine Providence has had professed Sisters in México. In 1996, the Sisters of Divine Providence (CDPs) formed the Region of México, and three years later, they formally held their first Regional Chapter with elections of a Regional Council with a six-year term. In México, the CDP Sisters currently serve in ministries in Querétaro, Morelia and Mexico City where they educate, serve the needy and work actively in their parishes.
Today, there is a reality of extreme poverty that affects the lives of many people throughout the world. Of those impacted, children and teenagers, many of which provide for their families, become homeless after escaping abusive households. As a result, their rights and needs are not met, and many are subjected to danger, submission to drugs and human trafficking. Developed to decrease the percentage of children and street workers exposed to this danger, an organization known as Mobile School was created. The organization was developed to train local street workers and educate children.
This world-wide ministry was introduced to the CDPs in México by their Affiliate from Colombia, Jessika Martínez. CDP Sisters in Querétaro, México observed the needs of the local street workers and children then developed their own ministry to address them. They called it “Escuela Móvil.”
Sisters Elizabeth Carrasco and María Guadalupe “Lupita” Silva joined Jessika’s efforts to find a sponsor for this ministry. Alvida QRO, a non-profit food bank in Querétaro, loved their work and added this ministry to their program under the condition that the CDP group take full responsibility of its operation. On April 12, 2013 they began the mobile ministry in the city of Querétaro where the regional Motherhouse is located.
The ministry involves taking a large fully equipped cart on wheels that includes chalkboards, panels, games and writing supplies to the streets of the city. The Sisters and their volunteers transport the cart to two different locations in downtown Querétaro four times a week. Upon arrival, they roll the cart off the truck and take it to a prime location for set up. Children and teens who live on the streets come to visit, talk, seek help with school work and interact with them. Even young mothers come by regularly to gain knowledge and receive advice. First-time visitors have become regulars who gravitate to the program for warmth, attention, companionship and lessons, all which provide respite from their challenging lives. The growth and success stories witnessed by the Escuela Móvil volunteers inspire them to continue educating and making an impact all over the world.
Due to Coronavirus, the CDPs in México have decided to keep Escuela Móvil off the streets for their own safety and for the safety of those they serve. Sisters Elizabeth and Maria Guadalupe hope to continue growing and working with this ministry in the future.”
As you can see the mobile school is more than just a school. It is a place of safety, advice, counseling, and a respite from the challenging lives of the people who come to visit. It is truly an inspirational ministry, sharing God’s providential love. Hopefully it will be able to open again soon when challenges from the Covid 19 virus have subsided and it is safe to gather once again.
Barbara McMullen, CDP