RIU Hotels & Resorts has donated $400,000 to UNICEF to address the most urgent needs in the area of education and protection following the earthquakes that occurred on 7 and 19 September in Mexico. This aid will used to build temporary classrooms, as well as for purchasing the furniture and equipment needed by students and teachers. According to UNICEF calculations, RIU’s donation could contribute to building and setting up nearly 100 classrooms, which would enable hundreds of children to immediately resume their education while waiting for schools to be repaired or rebuilt.
RIU has 18 hotels in Mexico, a country with which it has had a long and close relationship for the past 20 years, since the opening of the Riu Yucatan, its first hotel there. The chain went to work immediately following the earthquake to help alleviate the suffering of the victims and especially children, who are always the most vulnerable to natural disasters and emergencies. After studying diverse options, RIU decided to work with UNICEF for its dedication to children, which is RIU’s priority line of social action, for having worked with it in other emergencies and campaigns, and for its unquestionable international prestige.
The earthquakes have damaged, to a greater or lesser extent, more than 5,000 schools in the states of Mexico, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla and Oaxaca, in addition to Mexico City. RIU’s aid will be dedicated to guaranteeing that the children can continue studying while the damaged schools are being rebuilt. The most urgent priority is to enable the children to resume their education immediately under good conditions and with guarantees of safety and hygiene.
In addition to the classrooms, the funds will also be used to offer training to teachers on providing psychosocial support to children traumatised by the tragedy. The classrooms built with RIU’s donation will be located in various municipalities of the five states most affected by the earthquakes: Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos, Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Likewise, for its part, the hotel chain is already working on organising medium- and long-term stays for children who are significantly affected by the earthquake and show signs of psychological trauma, as it has been demonstrated that play, leisure activities, the sea, the beach and relaxation time with family are highly beneficial in the recovery process.