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Oct 26, 2018

You donated. We delivered.

Discussing Solar Lamps with Phone Chargers
Discussing Solar Lamps with Phone Chargers

We want to thank our supporters for your speedy and generous response to the explosion of Volcan Fuego on June 3rd, 2018.

Thanks to you, we were able to address a key issue in crisis management. Over 3,000 people affected by the Volcan Fuego eruption were surviving on bottled drinking water. With no trash service in these rural communities, one can imagine the contamination of sudden influx of plastics. Within a month of the crisis, donations were slowing down and families still had no place to go, no clean water and their no crops to harvest.  Thanks to your donation, we brought in 200 Sawyer water filter kits that provide over 100,000 gallons of clean drinking water with no need for replacement parts. These filters will provide years of safe drinking water as families recuperate from the disaster. . 

We practice Radical Transparency to assure donated goods benefit the families who need them most.  The deliveries were made in person to one head of household, who showed identification, reported their household situation, and signed (or fingerprinted) their commitment to use and maintain these filters according to the training session we held. (We have a stack of signed documents that we displayed at our fundraiser in Michigan this month.) 

We delivered a Water Filtration workshop to discuss the health benefits of a well-used water filter. The workshop led each family to put together their own Sawyer water filter kit, learned about good hygiene practices and how to maintain their filter to avoid waterborne diseases for years to come.

August 9 in Panimache and Palo Verde, 752 people:  ATC/AEIDS Field Workers Marilena and Brenda delivered 82 water filter kits to each family in the villages of Palo Verde and Panimache.  19 solar lanterns – 5 with cell phone recharge capabilities – were distributed to community leaders based on their geographical location to create access to each “neighborhood” for emergency phone recharge and lighting for frequent blackouts or an emergency evacuation at night.  

August 15 in la Rochela, 840 people: Marilena, Rosy (SEA) and Monika delivered 94 water filters to each family and 16 solar lamps to community-identified leaders distributed geographically to provide emergency access to solar lighting and cell phone recharge. This opened a discussion about emergency evacuation plans where people will converge at the neighborhood leader's home where they have light and access to call for help.

We served approximately 3,330 victims of the volcano with clean drinking water and emergency lighting since the day after the explosion. 

Putting together Sawyer Water Filters
Putting together Sawyer Water Filters
Heavy load of 90 water filters headed to Rochela
Heavy load of 90 water filters headed to Rochela
An elderly couple at the workshop in Rochela
An elderly couple at the workshop in Rochela
Young mothers set up filters with their children
Young mothers set up filters with their children

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Oct 9, 2018

Empowerment in Quiche

Marilena leads empowerment training in Chiche
Marilena leads empowerment training in Chiche

Mayan Power and Light is expanding into new rural areas of Guatemala where we can save the environment and provide a better quality of life.

Last month, 30 women from the isolated Community of Chupoj III, Chiche, Quiche participated in an emotional empowerment workshop to introduce them to Mayan Power and Light's special program. 

ATC relies on local leadership to plan and direct our projects - working with Municipal governments, the department for women's rights and pre-established women's groups. By presenting one-day empowerment workshops, we are building relationships and spreading word about our work in business incubation and access to appropriate technologies to attract rural women into our unique opportunities in Mayan Power and Light. 

The Chupoj III group are mothers who are recognised as community leaders by SOSEP and the Municipality of Chiché. They thanked ATC for the workshop held, as they had not had any empowerment training before. Instead their trainings are usually focused on food preparation for nutrition and childcare.  The emotional empowerment workshop helps women in difficult circumstances to channel their emotions, stress and fear in more constructive avenues to overcome domestic abuse, unemployment and low self esteem. 

The Director of the Women's Office of the Municipality was attentive and translated the workshop in Quiche. She invited us back to share more empowerment trainings saying that they were unique and much needed discussions for women's liberation. 

Sep 19, 2018

Our third Dehydrator Cooperative is born!

8 Batz K'uxya Natural Foods Cooperative
8 Batz K'uxya Natural Foods Cooperative

8 women and 24 members of the newly formed agricultural cooperative are excited to start business!

This week we set up the two dehydrators on a new piece of land where we will be building a small farm kitchen for accessible production. The dehydrators look splendid among the community’s organic, diversified farming.

There are 24 organic farmers associated with the 8 women of 8 Batz K’uxya – the women’s dehydrator cooperative. Their fellow farmers get a big client for their organic fruit and herbs, so the dehydrators are actually creating more income for the broader farming community!

This week, we are testing the rainy season output of the dehydrator – finding recipes that can be completed within the 6 sunny hours of the morning and be packaged by the time the rains falls in the afternoon. We’re working on beautiful herbal tea mixes, raw seed crackers, and granola bars! Our clients will be around Lake Atitlan where there is a demand at natural food stores, the monthly farmers’ markets, and of course the eco-tourists that visit the Quixaya farms.

Here, women are leading the way to set up their business as they see fit. They are studying their market, identifying their ideal client and researching their packaging options. By next week they’ll have their elevator pitch fine-tuned to help them present and capture the interest of potential clients.

8 Batz experiments to create herbal teas
8 Batz experiments to create herbal teas
 
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