If you google Armando and the Blue Tarp School you will find a childrens book written about David Lynch. It's a story about how David came to work with the families working in the garbage dump of Tijuana, noticing that the children were playing as their parents scavenged the mountains of refuse. Knowing that the children should instead be in school, David pulled out a blue tarp and began reading books to the children. Through his efforts, many years later a school was built in the community, the first building being a one room wooden structure. Today, it's built from concrete, two stories high and there are two buildings.
When we first came here, the second building sat vacant. They were unable to afford to use the second building and were operating the Kindergarten classes without electricity. Over the next year or so, we were able to find sponsors for the electricity and got the internet reconnected. The school gave us permission to use the second building and we remodeled the offices, opened a library for the Children, created the Lobby that people now come to visit us, host the school lunch program, and had an Attorney come to provide free Family Legal advise to families twice a week. There is also a large multi-purpose room to use for graduation, parties, hosting lunches and even Zumba classes. Within a year and a half, we found that we were overgrowing the space. |
The school is a kindergarten for 3, 4 and 5 year old children. There are separate levels of activities for each age group. When they graduate, they go on to "Primaria" which is right next door.
The school is not run by the government, but does have to meet all of the Mexican educational requirements. So there is no government funding. Everything is done through David Lynch's non- profit organization in San Diego. However, current funding levels only provide for the teachers salaries. There is no operating budget. So like most private schools here, they charge the parents a monthly fee to attend, which is only about $10 a month per child. For some families, with the cost of school supplies and uniforms, that may mean that their children can not go to school. That's why the school sponsorship program is so essential to the families here.
Not only can you sponsor a child, but you can also make donations to help the school itself to continue to operate.