Quick update on the Tecnico Maya school building project...
Comalapa is doing a water project to bring running water to the village of Paxan (pah-SHAHN), where the land is that we purchased to build the new school. Each family with land in Paxan was asked to dig a 25-meter section for the new water line. Everyone turned out yesterday morning to start on their 25 meters. Since we had 10 volunteers, we got ours done in a single day. It kind of felt like cheating, but we did do an extra couple of meters.
These first two photos show the first 18 meters we dug. After finishing that section, we were led to the next section we had to dig, which happened to be right in front of the school land! Suddenly the water dig seemed really exciting.
A big thank you to all our generous and wonderful donors. We ended the Glogal Giving Challenge today in 4th place, securing a total donation of $7,930 from 121 donors. We are thrilled to receive such a tremendous show of support for our project and we promise to continue to work hard in order to demonstrate ourselves worthy of your continued faith and trust.
We will be receiving individual emails of all who made donations in the coming weeks. At that time we will be able to thank each and every one of you with a personal letter of gratitude.
project leader for Long Way Home.
From the ground up.....The day before we departed from Comalapa we went to visit and walk the land. In order to get to the land we took a 15 minute walk through corn field paths outside the city of Comalapa. We met a farmer driving his set of cows home. We saw the sun's rays protruding from behind some clouds far to the west towards volcan Aqua which is near to Antigua. We also noticed that the land is rich and healthy and has a steep incline. This is good for our building purposes because as we level the land we will use what we excavate to pack the tires. The careage has five mature avocado trees on it and they were full of fruit. We took this as a fruitful sign because we love guacamole! here are some pictures toi give you a fair view of the land that awaits the vocational school.
On Wednesday, the Parque Chimya staff and volunteers, consisting of intern Kari Ramsey from Oregon State University, volunteer Cali Olds from Wisconsin, Adam Howland, Matt Paneitz, Cat Brandon and myself, worked straight through on the documentation for the upcoming North American tour that Matt will be taking in November. Pictures were uploaded, excel files managed, PowerPoints were created and summaries constructed. This is an exciting time for LWH as we take the show on the road!
Our objective for the tour is to visit four US cities in 30 days speaking at churches, synagogues, radio shows and in college student unions. We hope to garner interest and support for our school which we will begin to build in January.
The neat thing about our school, that I keep repeating, is that it is being built economically in an ecologically conscientious fashion because it will use recycled materials like tires and trash-filled bottles.
We want others to know that even though a country is poor it can still be innovative and it can still raise itself up from its trash!!
I also visited a recycling center in Comalapa. Started by a Norwegian volunteer from Comalapa's sister city in Norway, it is the only recycling plant of its size in all of the Department of Chimaltenango. Residents can bring their trash, including common materials such as old boots and old buckets, and receive cash. A beautiful idea.
Check out the pictures in this update to see what I am talking about. Thank you for all your contributions. We will work to continue to earn the respect that your donations have given us.
I arrived in Comalapa yesterday to view the completion of the tire house and begin work for our GlobalGiving Challenge. I was greeted at Parque Chimya by a mother and a group of 6 children happily enjoying the well cultivated gardens and the beautiful fields.
They were eager to pose for a picture and I have included it here.
The tire house is now occupied and has a functioning kitchen and running water.
This is a successful prototype for future building.
I climbed the steep hill and found a group of boys and young men having a competitive game of soccer on the grass soccer field on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
All is well and thriving at Parque Chimya.
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