La Estación is a resilient community formed more than five decades ago when marginalized, impoverished peasants and migrants made their own housing by squatting on land alongside railroad tracks in Cuernavaca. Today, more than 2,000 families live in La Estación, where their ingenuity, hard work, support of one another, and inventiveness have allowed them to thrive.
Karitas supports the community initiatives imagined and executed by the residents of La Estación, most of whom subsist on informal, self-created jobs. Few have access to technology. Key initiatives include a community dining room especially for the nutrition of their children and students, a community space used for education and gathering, and a kindergarten program.
457 direct beneficiaries
1,290 indirect beneficiaries
Community Dining Room
The community dining room offers hot breakfasts for students at the nearby kindergarten and supports many families. During the pandemic, the program shifted to deliver food baskets to families and educate the community about the virus, but it is now it back in full swing. More than sixty-five families benefit, including many older adults, and the nutrition and health of the children is markedly different since the program’s inception.
Teams of volunteer mothers
211 direct beneficiaries 933 indirect beneficiaries
This small preschool has provided a comprehensive education to children 3-6 years old for the past 15 years. During the pandemic, classes were held remotely. The teachers prepared and videoed classes and sent them through WhatsApp application. (When families were surveyed, we found that they did not have internet service, computers, printers, and many did not have televisions.)
The pandemic affected enrollment dramatically, dropping from over 100 students to 86. Some parents had to work separated from their children. Others returned to hometowns because they could not afford expenses, and still others had no way to access distance-learning. Gradually, the students are beginning to return.
girls and boys enrolled
girls and boys gradued
El Rincón de María Inés Kindergarten
This meeting space creates synergies and shared responsibility. Although the pandemic closed the space, it is now reopening for classes, skill sharing, and community gathering spaces.
"When I attended kindergarten, I went to breakfast first: it has been a great help for my whole family. Now I bring my niece to breakfast. The breakfasts are nutritious, warm, and hygienically prepared. Due to the pandemic, now we only pick them up and eat them at home. I thank the people who make this great support possible. My grandmother is in one of the teams of volunteer moms who prepare breakfast. Thanks for the support!"