Jul 8, 2020

Help in times of pandemic

Since the last GlobalGiving update the global pandemic has thwarted all of our building projects.   Guatemala has shut down much more stringently than the US, with transportation halted even between adjacent towns.   

GHA's efforts have since focused entirely on distributing humanitarian aid...food and hygiene supplies.   There is urgent and ongoing need and our Director, Madai Yojcom, and our Social Worker, Cecy Batz Bizarro, are perfectly situated to get the aid where most needed.

All donations during these Covid months will be directed towards food security.   We expect to jump back into the building mode as soon as the country opens enough to make that a possibility.

Your donations are appreciated now more than ever.  We thank you.

line-up for food in Pasajquim
line-up for food in Pasajquim

Links:

Mar 12, 2020

BasketBallin'

laying a base
laying a base

Hello Donors,

I want to share another 'floor' project finished recently by Guatemala Housing Alliance.    The community basketball court in San Pablo La Laguna was in need of freshening, and our Intern from Spain, Manel Bafaluy, took it upon himself to harness the energy and creativity of GHA's scholarship students to redesign the court.  It was a great effort that created much cultural and community pride.

 To read about the effort in Guatemala's most prestigious newspaper, you can open this English translation:   https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=https://www.prensalibre.com/ciudades/solola/el-origen-y-significado-sobre-el-diseno-maya-en-una-cancha-de-basquetbol-en-san-pablo-la-laguna/&prev=search

Or look at the original in Spanish. https://www.prensalibre.com/ciudades/solola/el-origen-y-significado-sobre-el-diseno-maya-en-una-cancha-de-basquetbol-en-san-pablo-la-laguna/

 

From the newpaper:  

"Participating in the ball game represented involvement in the maintenance of the cosmic order of the universe and the ritual regeneration of life," said Guatemala Housing Alliance.

On the drawing of a Ceiba, the national tree, in the center of the field, the organizers explained: “It is the link between day and night because this is how the Mayans understood it. For them it was a sacred tree that connected the three different levels of the universe: the underworld - through its roots - with the middle world - where humans live - and the upper world - through its branches."

Thank you for your continuing support of our work.  

 

 

Dec 2, 2019

Floors and beyond

It's been 8 years since we five siblings founded Guatemala Housing Alliance in the aftermath of our mom's passing.    So much water under the bridge now...138 cement floors laid in homes that had only dirt.  Additionally, 46 whole houses have been built, and 45 roofs have been replaced..

Safe housing in which good hygiene can be maintained is essential to the welfare of a family. According to UC Berkeley’s Center of Evaluation for Global Action, replacing dirt floors with cement results in 13% less diarrhea and a 20% reduction of anemia. Consequently, toddlers score 30% higher on language and communication skills.

Our education mission has expanded to offer weekly workshops to the mothers of the 56 students whose education GHA supported this year. The moms themselves have chosen what they’ve wanted to learn, and Madai has then found the people to teach. Their first request was to know their legal rights, for which Madai brought in a judge to answer their many questions. Other workshops have included nutrition, STDs, several crafts, and entrepreneurship. Most of these moms are single and illiterate and these workshops are very enthusiastically attended. We were pleased to receive a grant from American Women for International Understanding to help support this empowering initiative.

 In October we invited the 15 university students GHA sponsors to a celebratory dinner. These students and their families have overcome huge challenges to advance to such heights while the average educational level of an indigenous person in Guatemala is 2.5 years. We are exceedingly proud of these young people, and terribly thankful for our donors who support them. You should know that by doing so, generations of a family will likely rise beyond poverty.

Besides providing scholarships, GHA offers enrichment workshops about topics not typically considered in schools, such as ecology, recycling, family planning and diversity. We offer and require tutoring for any of our students who are struggling, as well as Spanish language classes for children entering school who hear only Tz’utujil spoken at home. And as I write, our Vacation School is in full swing in remote Pasajquim, offering 100 kids fun classes in art, music, science, crafts and more during their summer break…..and, importantly, a healthy meal each day.

Thank you, thank you for considering GHA as a recipient for your donor dollars.  The founding family continues to pay for all overhead, so your dollars directly impact a project.

learning to crochet
learning to crochet
kids at Vacation School
kids at Vacation School
 
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