Not many Mexicans live—or used to live—in Ukraine. In fact, several Mexican Air Force planes have been evacuating the Mexican community fleeing the war, and both the Foreign Ministry and President López Obrador have confirmed that no Mexican will stay in the territory besieged by the Russian army.
One of those who has fled, Javier Donlucas—a music teacher for underprivileged children and children with disabilities who lived in the city of Lviv—left Ukraine with his wife and son. According to the newspaper Excelsior, before leaving he did something exemplary: he decided to donate his money and to open the school he had founded “to serve as a shelter for the Ukrainians who are still under Russian attack.”
Donlucas is one of the 44 Mexicans who arrived in Mexico at the beginning of March. He’s a music teacher, and has published two textbooks designed to make learning piano easier for children with disabilities. He witnessed the Russian army’s attacks, and confirms without a doubt that they were aimed at the civilian population. “Since we were leaving, I told the deputy director that the Ukrainian money was no longer useful to me and that the Ukrainian credit cards (…) would be devalued, and before going I left her all the money,” Donlucas told Excelsior. He added that he told the school’s assistant principal, “Go to the supermarket and buy as much as you can. Put it in the school and open the school for the refugees.”
The Mexican, who had become very close to the Ukrainian people, paid the rent for the premises occupied by his school in advance (he did not say for how long). He also made sure, before leaving for his country of origin, that the school was opened as a shelter. He even managed to verify that a family from Lviv had already taken refuge in the premises.
In the subway until they could escape
Before they could flee, Donlucas with his wife and son took shelter in a subway station while they could hear the bombs exploding above them. “The feeling among the population was one of panic,” he said. He was lucky to escape to Romania. From that country, where he was picked up by the Mexican Air Force plane, he asked the assistant principal to open the school’s doors especially to a group of parents of children with autism.
“The school is for children with disabilities and also for Ukrainian kids who have no opportunity for music classes,” Donlucas explained to Excélsior. Perhaps now he will start a new school to bring his methods to Mexican children. For the time being, he left in Ukraine with a great example of the solidarity that characterizes the Mexican people.
Lviv is a city located in western Ukraine, about 43 miles from the border with Poland. It has become a key point of the Ukrainian resistance and has seen unprecedented events, such as the transfer of its famous image of Christ to a bunker, among other things. This is something that has not happened since World War II.