Planting seeds for the children of the future
Solidarity Week is an opportunity to learn more about Mision Mexico and its initiatives to promote the sustainable development of the communities in the area.
The Community Relations area (CORE) in Mision México started work just three years ago, and as Fernando Marín, head of the area tells us, “it’s been a way into people’s hearts”. Since 2018, when Tecpetrol took over operations at the block, CORE has defined its own social management plan based on sustainable development in the neighboring communities, envisaging a three-pronged approach to make an impact in economic, social and environmental terms.
"We call ourselves alchemists because we transform things to create opportunities," says Fernando about the role of the area. In a complex territorial context, from Reynosa in the State of Tamaulipas, the operation has been working to raise awareness among personnel and establish close ties with local associations and institutions working in the voluntary sector.
To begin with, community outreach actions were solely managed by CORE, but today the entire operation is involved, with everyone committing to volunteer work. "When they see a smile on the face of a child, a grandfather expressing gratitude, they see what our work means to our neighbors," adds Fernando.
During COVID-19, the challenge was considerably greater. However, thanks to the discipline applied to complying with the health protocols, Misión México was one of the first operations to relaunch face-to-face community activities, such as delivering furniture to rural schools and private homes.
Although Hurricane Hanna, which hit Texas in July 2020, only made life harder, Misión México was there to fill the gaps: working with the public sector, they organized a food drive for donations to assemble and deliver eighty food parcels to the localities of Ejido Piedras, Los Gutiérrez, Los Altos, Arguelles and Reynosa Díaz.
Collections continued more recently with the Juguetón 2021 to celebrate Childhood Day with children at the José María Morelos school in Rancho Piedras.
Iluminando corazones, lighting up hearts: a continuous improvement project
For Fernando, the actions carried out by Community Relations function like an energy cycle, continually regenerating and transforming. This was the case with the project to donate recycling materials to benefit the Iluminando Corazones Civil Association, which supports children suffering from cancer.
It all started when the team was carrying out the Lean continuous improvement process, and someone raised the issue of the piles of discarded buckets used to transport the soap sticks for well-stimulation: although no longer functional for this purpose, they were in excellent condition.
So, week after week, Tecpetrol volunteers would take the buckets in person to the Association, which then sold them on to factories in the area. “There’s always a different person doing this, whether from Operations, Engineering or Facilities. The idea is to involve all departments and raise awareness, and everyone ends up super happy when they do this,” adds Fernando.
The project only started two months ago, and 500 buckets have already been donated. Behind every quest for improvement, there are opportunities to continue making an impact. "We’re planting seeds for the children of the future, and this is just the beginning," concludes Fernando.