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
kids at Vacation School