Cuernavaca Reconstruction Post Earthquake

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“It looks like Fred Flintstone's house!  This was the comment heard when we (15 Canadians) arrived for the blessing of the first Super adobe house built after the earthquake.  Thanks to friends, and the generous contribution from the Archdiocese of Regina, a family of five were about to move from a pile of rubble that once was their home to this beautiful solid new structure.  The Madrinas (godmother's of the house) arrived in procession with flowers, wreaths, and carrying the cross.  The new owners met them and blessed the cross with flower petals and incense.  All of this was placed on an alter, from which the corners of the house were blessed and then, a rosary, litany and various other prayers were recited by the crowd. 

There were many moving moments in the afternoon.  When the mother of the architect and the grandmother of the house met and hugged there was an audible sigh went through the people.  The architect's mother turned to the crowd and said “She has asked me how old I am, and I have told her, I am 10 years younger than you think I am!” Laughter!  This is good!  The architect made a thank you speech where he addressed us Canadians, saying, that we have made an investment in the people of Mexico.  Donations disappear but what we have done is invest in the dignity and humanity of the person.

When it was my turn to speak, I shared with the audience what happened the day of the earthquake.  Many people had phoned to inquire if our friends there were safe.  I was very angry with God and told Him that these people have next to nothing and now have nothing.  God's response was swift.  'Calmate' was God's answer, calm down for the money will come and so will the support.  At the lunch after, I was approached and told how moved they were by God's response.

In 1989, Charles Halpin wanted a connection with the Diocese of Cuernavaca.  He wanted us to be in a position to help the poor gather and resolve their own issues.  Thus CED Mexico was born.  We, in Canada, that form CED Canada, continue to do what we can to help our sisters and brothers in Mexico to become self-sustaining.  Every time someone in the Archdiocese makes a contribution to the Cuernavaca Project, something wonderful happens for the people of Mexico.

When posting the pictures of the blessing of our Super adobe house on Facebook, Alejandro, a university professor who sits on the Board of CED Mexico posted, “Thank you Canadian friends for showing us what solidarity is.”  And I say thank you Archdiocese of Regina for making a real difference in the lives of our Mexican friends.  May we continue to journey with them as they work for a life of dignity and justice.

Tashia Toupin
Social Justice Coordinator
ttoupin [at]
306-352-1651 ext. 222