Below, I have also added some information as regards our schools. We have yet to evaluate the damages and determine the costs to repair St. Ignatius Alonso Valle high school and Saint Ignatius high school in Concepción as well as the top floor of our education office. More study and assessments are still necessary before repairs begin.
Finally, I am sending you information about our two Infocap rooms where students are living as well as a note about the Ignatian Spirituality Center.
All of this is coinciding with the celebration of the bicentennial of Chile independence. This bicentennial should be a special occasion to recognize a call
“to build a new world with access to social well-being and justice, a new jubilee in which overcoming all divisions and where God restores his justice for everyone.” (CG 34, 3, 16).
Update on School Repairs
Ignatian Education Network:
The Saint Ignatius School in Calera
This is a rural school located in the Calera city. The families who are living in this area are poor farmers. This rural school, which has 350 students, was severely damaged, both classrooms and the roof.
The Saint Ignatius School in Valparaiso
This school, located in the city of Valparaiso, has 750 students. This school serves students who come from the poorest areas of the city. The structure of the school was also damaged.
The Jose Antonio Lecaros School
This school, located in western Santiago, has 520 students. It is serving low income students. Some parts of the school structure were damaged and the potable water system was broken.
The Saint Ignatius School in Concepcion
It is located right at the epicenter earthquake area in southern Santiago. This school has 1,400 students and is a subsidized private school. After a partial assessment it was decided that the elementary school area must be demolished. Furthermore, the school also lost a lot of educational materials. The homes of many families of the students as well as administrative staff were also destroyed or damaged.
The Santiago Institute
The building structure was not damaged. So classes resumed March 8. INFOCAP has 1,200 students, but some students are not attending their classes regularly because they do not want to leave their houses. Some lost their homes during the earthquake and we are helping them to get emergency housing.
During the earthquake many of our computers fell down off the storage racks and as a consequence, we lost them. This area of the building must be fixed up also.
The Biobio Institute
This area was severely affected by the earthquake and the tsunami and as a consequence many of our students (around 80%) lost their homes and possessions. We are visiting our students to assess the damage to their houses and lives and to see what kind of support they need.
INFOCAP could not start classes because of this difficult situation. However, we are planning to start classes April 15.
Ignatian Spirituality Center
The center house has been damaged in many areas. The roof and some walls were severely damaged and need to be repaired. Also the chapel needs to be fixed. According to the recommendations made by the construction company, we cannot use the building until it is completely repaired because we would be putting people’s lives and security at risk. We are seeking alternative creative ways to teach the courses and workshops we have already planned.
-- Eugenio Valenzuela SJ