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Margarita Maza de Juárez School

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

The Margarita Maza de Juarez school is part of the Happpy Hearts Fund – SURA rebuilding program. Architecture for Humanity is providing architectural support for site selection, peer reviews during the design development stage and construction oversight.

The School
The Margarita Maza de Juarez School is located in the community of La Ceiba in Huimanguillo’s Municiplaity, a rural area in the State of Tabasco in Mexico. Before the reconstruction program the school was affected by floods every rainy season, the most critical flood affected the school in the year of 2008 raising the water level up to 1.80 meters high. The school’s community has managed the donation of a new land considerably higher than the existing school; it will make a safer location for the new school.
Before relocating the school’s 70 students had to miss from a couple of weeks to three months of classes each year as they had to wait for the water to be displaced. This yearly problem made school to have a feeling of been a temporary facility.

The Project
The school’s community has managed to involve local authorities, community members and parents to get the donation of new land in a nearby plot. The new project consists in the preparation of the site and the construction of a new school facility for primary students within the limits of the recently allocated plot. As the school is located in a very rural area the project includes the provision of basic services such as electricity and water.

The new school project includes:

  • 3 New classrooms
  • 1 New computer lab including computers
  • Toilets appropriate for students.
  • Administrative area.
  • Main courtyard.
  • Sports pitch.
  • Perimeter fence.
  • Landfill for protection against floods.
  • Electrical substation
  • 400 m of public electrical connection including 6 towers
  • Water well and water supply
  • Drainage system.


    Sustainable features

  • Cross ventilation by permitting the building to have adequate orientation in order to let fresh air flow across the room, cooling and renewing the air in the classroom.
  • Natural light by orientating the buildings in a position in which the classrooms won’t need to use electricity during daytime activities.
  • The materials used provide adequate insulation to the local climate in order for the classrooms not to need heating or air conditioning devices.
  • Use of locally available materials such as: cement, sand, rebar reinforcement.
  • Labor transport impact reduced by having the workforce relocated to the worksite during construction.
  • Promotion of green spaces by providing raised bed gardens and green leisure areas.
  • Water evacuation and protection not affecting the local environment.
  • The complete building is affordable to maintain and easily to repair in order for not be a burden for the school’s administration.
  • Community based organization for the land donation and preliminary landfill works.

  • Architecture for Humanity
    The role of Architecture for Humanity was essential throughout all the school construction stages. Firstly by evaluating the school and assessing the school’s proactivity. Secondly during the design stage Architecture for Humanity was involved by providing architectural support and peer reviews to the school design project. Once construction was taking place Architecture for Humanity was closely monitoring the construction progress and providing construction administration services in order to build a quality educational facility.

    “… The new school is much better than the previous one, I like everything about it. I am very excited to move to the new school and I think our education will be better…”
    Vivian de la Luz Garcia – 5th Grade student (10years old)

    “… It is a very nice school, I like that now we have a football pitch where can play sports and it is great to have a computer lab with brand new computers…”
    Jose Carlos Ramirez Hidalgo – Young student

    “… I want to thank Happy Hearts and ING, there are no words to describe what I’m feeling, is like a dream come true. I have three children in this school is very nice to know that they will benefit by learning in a better place…”
    Maria Garcia – School parent

    Activities during construction
    The following list includes the links to the reports and presentations of the most relevant activities that took place during the design and construction process.

    School evaluation
    Evaluation form with most important data, information, images and details describing the school and its surroundings before the school reconstruction took place
    Architectural design brief
    Report describing the architectural program including basic data, general concepts, guidelines and objectives of the school project.
    Architectural Project Architectural project developed by ITIFE.
    Construction schedule
    Table showing the estimated construction schedule to build the school.
    Margarita Maza de Juarez opening ceremony:
    Slide including photos of the new school and the opening ceremony.


    La Ceiba, Huimanguillo, , Tabasco


    Project Details

    NAME: Margarita Maza de Juárez School
    PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
    LOCATION: La Ceiba, Huimanguillo, , Tabasco, Mexico
    START DATE: March 06, 2011
    CURRENT PHASE: Construction complete
    COST: $290500 USD (Final)
    SIZE: 330 sq. m
    PROJECT TYPE: Emergency Shelter, Education Facility - Primary School
    , Patricia Hoyos
    CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Andres Mendez - Constructora MERA
    CONTRACTOR(S): Constructora MERA
    BENEFICIARIES: 68 primary school students 500 community members from el Ejido la Ceiba 1era Seccion
    ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: - Passive systems for cross ventilation and natural sunlight. - Structure located in a safe location against prospective floods - Green areas for the community - Project considering spatial updates for future increase of the student's population. - Most important materials are available within 10 miles