Monarch High School builds hope for the poor of Mexico City

Thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, and community members at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado an impoverished community in Mexico City will soon have access to health and dental services. Building on the success of the edu-service projects with Bridgewater-Raritan High School in New Jersey, HoLH has established a partnership with Monarch High to transform a container into a medical/dental clinic which will be operated by ConeXión Mosaico and serve Mexico City’s poor.

A holistic community development organization, ConeXión Mosaico works through a variety of programs to break the cycle of poverty in marginalized populations residing in Mexico City’s poorest slums. The medical/dental clinic will benefit the residents of Chimalhuacán and Los Reyes La Paz, two low-income communities on the outskirts of Mexico City that claim more than one million residents. About 80 percent of the slums’ residents are employed in the informal sector and are subjected to substandard living conditions. ConeXión Mosaico sees health care access as a key component in the empowerment of these communities. The organization will establish the clinic in its intended location and recruit medical doctors and dentists through a local university to provide the clinic’s services.

Students at Monarch are applying a variety of disciplines in this edu-service project which incorporates industrial design, art class, and marketing curriculums. With the support of their teachers, Monarch’s students have created a sophisticated clinic design featuring a medical exam room, a dental office and exam room, a pharmaceutical dispensary, solar panels to provide sustainable energy, and skylights and windows for light and ventilation. Students directly communicate with ConeXión Mosaico in correlating the clinic’s amenities according to the population’s needs. With the container’s delivery to MHS on March 28, students began painting the exterior in a design made by Monarch Art Club students. On April 26, students hosted a build-out event to implement the clinic’s interior features.

A link to MHS’s project website found here.

Research indicates that active participation is necessary for successful learning and that service learning is one of the most effective strategies for improving student engagement and academic learning (National Research Council). The HoLH project framework provides a direct opportunity for high school youths to make an impact in the global community through an edu-service project they design and execute themselves. The students of Monarch High address the problem of the health inequity faced by a poverty-stricken community and are challenged to create a tangible solution.

Project completion is estimated for June 2014 and HoLH is seeking to raise $10,000 for the container’s transportation to Mexico City. Donations may be made through HoLH’s donation page. Monarch High School will also be collecting clothing, school, and sanitary supplies to send with the clinic.