Hello Generous Donors....
Guatemala Housing Alliance's floor project has been on hold for the last couple of months as we've taken up other chores, the main one being the building of 2 classrooms in the small K'iche' community of Pasajquim. 89 pre-schoolers had been crowded into 2 small, 14x17' classrooms but next year will be able to spread out into these 2 additional and more spacious rooms.
We've also been busy orchestrating a Vacation School in that same community. School is from late October til mid-January, and we've shown 150 kids a daily good time, including crafts, reading, chess, art, music, science experiments and, very importantly, a meal.
So...I have no floor photos to show you, but have sent along a couple others of our recent work. We will continue the very important floor project after the new year.
With over 20" of rain falling last month, those families enjoying the healthy comfort of new solid floors send their gratitude. To date 57 families in San Pablo La Laguna have benefited. When the skies cleared some, we took a break from the floor project to help 6 families in immediate need of roofs. In most cases these were entire rebuilds of all the timbers as well as the corrigated panels. More floors are planned for August.
In other GHA news, we have created a music program that is serving over 400 children weekly in the community of Pasajquim. The following works are all taking place in Pasajquim, a much neglected community of about 1800.
We also just this week finished our 15th house build, this one being in Pasajquim and with the help of teenagers who are touring Guatemala with Walking Tree Travel. We love to see young people, exposed probably for the first time, react with grace and generocity.
Also this year, under the GHA mission of education, we developed a beading program that benefited 10 single moms who now have a livelihood and with the tutorage of our director, Miriam Navichoc, have created a cooperative.
Through a GHA alliance with Centro Maya, now the handicapped children are getting the help they have long needed, with therapists coming weekly to the community.
57 children benefit from GHA provided scholarships this year.
Be on the look out for an upcoming fundraiser to provide 'summer school' in Pasajquim. Currently even the tiny, malnourished library in that town closes down for the 2 vacation months, November and December. This year will be different, with reading hours, music lessons, science experiments, crafts, art and stories told by the community's elders
We are a young organization, encouraging communities to define their needs to us, and we are very proud to stretch our donor's money so significantly.
Hello lovely donors, from the highlands of Guatemala.
Last night we had our first thunderous downpour of the season. The rain went on for hours, a pounding so loud that voices could not be heard above it. I sat in comfort and worried about the families who have leaky roofs and floors turning to mud. And I thought of the 50 families that have to date received cement floors through your generous donations.
A wonderful local organization that works with handicapped children, Centro Maya, recently told us a story of a child they work with. She was in extreme pain. Her family's dirt floor had incubated the parasites inhabiting her. After they had left her malnourished and had nothing left to consume, the parasites began to devour her intestines. Only by removing a large segment was her life saved.
This is what it is about, friends. This is how your donations help. And besides the health and comfort issues, the pride of the families with a new floor is apparent.
I've attached some photos of recently finished floors. On behalf of the families, we send you sincere gratitude for your generosity.
Paz y abrazos,
Hey there all you generous friends. We have completed 22 floor pours and have another 12 scheduled within the next 3 weeks. We had taken time out to build 3 houses and also continued our outreach into Pasajquim by initiating a workshop to teach beading to 10 single mums and widows there. We partnered with the fine organization, Miracles In Action, to fund this, and they will be responsible for marketing the products made. This will have a really significant benefit for the families involved.
We built 2 houses in Pasajquim in November, and one is in the works at this moment in San Pablo La Laguna. We also re-roofed 3 homes which were in horrendous shape.
In Guatemala the school year begins in January, so most of that month was taken with the happy duty of distributing scholarship funds to 65 students who otherwise would have been struggling or dropping out for financial hardship.
GHA has laid 20 floors with the help of you, our lovely donors. Thank you so much, on behalf of ourselves and the families who have benefited from your kindness. Not only will the health improve, but their pride is so apparent. It strikes me how very far you dollars go in Guatemala, how significant a change comes from so relatively little. All of these home are in the Tz'utujil Maya town of San Pablo, on the south side of Lago de Atitlan.
I write you now from Guatemala. Last week we replaced two entirely corroded, leaky roofs, also in San Pablo. And this week we began two whole-house builds in Pasajquim, a lovely, remote and neglected Quiche' community. We love it there. (I've returned to the relative ease of the lake tonight to have internet access) We spend evenings in Pasajquim surrounded by children wanting to be read to, and by mothers asking to borrow the books that GHA has brought to donate. They are hungry for them. Can you even imagine not having books to read to your kids? There has never been a lending library here, and barely a book even in the school. Books and library I imagine will be a fundraising effort in the not too distant future
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