Corpus Christi Community Center (Mexico)

February 20, 2010

Just outside the city limits of Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez is the impoverished area of Anapra, Mexico. The priests of the Missionary Society of St. Columban have ministered to the families in this area for the past eleven years.

Fr. Kevin Mullins with youth from the Corpus Christi Parish

Purpose of Project

Education is the key to a better future. Living in a one room house does not provide the space or the atmosphere for study. The grounds will include rooms where young people can study, use computers, hold meetings and activities.

Finally, the plan includes small residences for the priests and lay missionaries who will work in the community.

The Corpus Christi Parish Community Center will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the youth of the parish. The land has been secured. The total cost of building the Center is U.S. $600,000.

Funding and Sustainability

Anapra is a heavily impoverished area, where the average wage earner takes home between $30 and $60 a week.  We are looking to our benefactors to lend a hand to our local parishioners by providing most of the materials for the project, while local volunteers contribute their own work, time and skills.

The Columban Parish of Corpus Christi in Anapra is full of families who are working hard to be strong and courageous despite their circumstances. This area is home to several thousand families that lack even the most basic necessities. The families live in one or two room poorly constructed houses with dirt floors. About half now have electricity and running water. It is a dusty community as there are few paved roads. There is no help from the government; homes are not connected to the pubic sewage system.

Most of the families are destitute migrant workers from different parts of Mexico. They came looking for work in foreign-owned factories known as “maquiladora” or “assembly plants.” They work in the factories in Juarez, as street sellers or as drivers of trucks and buses and earn about $60.00 a week.

Corpus Christi Parish is a beacon of hope for the families in the area. The parents of Corpus Christi are similar to parents everywhere. Once they take care of the family’s basic needs of food and shelter, their major concern is for their children. They pray for a better life for their children. They want to protect them from the drugs and violence that permeates Juarez and all the communities surrounding it.

The new Corpus Christi Parish Community Center (see the plans in the photo gallery below) is designed to provide a safe place for the youth of the parish. Protected from the culture of drugs and violence, this Center will provide space for healthy recreation activities as the Center includes two soccer fields and a basketball court. The Center will be supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week by an on-site caretaker to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere.

Typical Project Expenses

The building program for the entire Community Center Complex is a multi-phased and multi-faceted project. Fr. Kevin Mullins, pastor at Corpus Christi, plans to utilize local construction companies within the area to minimize costs and ensure the project is completed on time and on budget. Local parishioners and community members are already pledging vast amounts of “sweat equity” to ensure its successful completion.

In addition to the Chapel which is already under construction, the scope of the project includes these additional components:

Football (Soccer) fields $25,000
Caretaker Residence $80,000 (provides both maintenance and security)
Basketball Court $35,000
Classrooms/Fixtures $140,000 (4 at $35,000 each)
TOTAL:  $280,000 USD