Thank you to everyone who donated to our microcredit program. Our microcredit program already is active in Santa Clara la Laguna, Solola and with the Mujeres de Chumanzana, a second group of women who live in Chumanzana, Chicastenango, Quiche. Each woman has received a loan of Q800 ($100) and have put it to use to improve the lives of their families. They will pay 5% interest and will make monthly payment for a year The interest will be used to pay a part of the salary of Candelaria Sut who is in charge of the program. This will be a continuing program and as the money is repaid it will be loaned out again. Your donations have been addded to the money available to loan.
Thank you again fro your support of these women who need as we say "A little help from a FRIEND." You are that FRIEND.
I have just returned from Guatemala after a month of working with the staff and women-young and old. It was an inspiration that made clear the importance of your on-going support. It gives me added passion for our annual October pledge campaign to fund our projects for 2014-15 fiscal year. All of the accomplishments that I witnessed were possible because of your support.
The highlight was my visit to Chumanzana where the organic gardening project is going strong. Candelaria Sut, who is in charge of women's development, has been working with the women there for three years. It was easy to see the results of her work. All of the women are now growing vegetables in small plots in their patios or near their homes. I videotaped interviews with the women and will attach the video so that they can tell you about their project themselves and what it has added to their lives. They credit the Kateri Fund for the help they receive, but I keep reminding them that it is really your donations that make our work possible.
Click on the video link Chumanzana Women Talk and see what they have to say and then consider another donation so that we can continue the project for another year and expand it to another village!
In August, the Kateri Scholars visited the Museo Ixchel in Guatemala City. The museum is focused on weaving and its importance in the Indigenous culture. Most of the young women and/or their mothers are weavers and wear traditional dress, but they do not always know the rich tradition they are foillowing. We have been focusing this year on Leadership and self esteem and knowing about the richness of the Indigenous culture develops good self esteem. This excursion directly worked to inform the young women of their roots.
The museum guide started the tour with a video which told of the history of the weaving and use of the traditional dress they wear. It also talked of the impact the Spanish invasion had on the culture. After the video, the guide led them through the museum exhibits explaining about the various types of thread before the conquest and the new types introduced by the Spanards. She also spoke of the tools used in weaving and the types of looms. The last part of the tour focused on the traditional dress of the different villages and regions and the paintings of Andres Curruchiche, a primitive painter of San Jaun Comalapa, depicting various customs.
The young women were impressed with all they saw and heard. Adela said that she learned a lot about the origin of weaving and was glad to see that the traditional dress was being conserved, so its history would always be available as presently there are many changes. Sandra Lourdes and Reina were happy to be able to share with the other young women and learn with them about their customs and traditions. Flory was impressed with the paintings of Andres Currichiche. Even though he couldn't read or write, he was able to become an excellent painter. Clara and Paula found the information about the the evolution of the tradtional dress interesting.. It made them realize that change is always happening. Glenda realized from the explication and her own observation how important the culture of each village is. Aura said that her family had heard of the museum, but had never visited it. They were waiting at home eager to hear what she saw. Marilena said that thanks to the trip she knows more about her culture and no longer is ignorant about its value. They all felt the trip added to their knowledge of their own world.