Provide education for 30 deaf Guatemalan students

by Friends of the Deaf
The smiles just keep getting bigger and bigger!
The smiles just keep getting bigger and bigger!

Big things are happening with Friends of the Deaf!


You may have noticed recently that our GlobalGiving project has been temporarily put on hold and our website is not accessible... but not to worry - these are all good things!

Friends of the Deaf is currently being restructured so that we will be able to continue supporting staff and students at LAVOSI for years to come. We appreciate your ongoing patience and encouragement.

As part of our re-organization we are pleased to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member: Tana Gwordske!

Tana works with The Chance to Dream, a not-for-profit working in northern Guatemala, and has agreed to come on board with Friends of the Deaf as well. She recently had a great visit with everyone at LAVOSI and we are all so excited to work with her.

Meanwhile, the students at LAVOSI are doing extremely well. Every day each student becomes more comfortable with their disability and learns skills to help them succeed in Guatemalan society. Thanks to our fantastic staff the students have somewhere to go every day where they are respected and loved and given the tools to grow to their full potential.

As Friends of the Deaf transitions into an even better organization, we encourage you to stay involved and keep updated by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. We will also be more than happy to answer any questions and listen to all suggestions you may have for us, just send Jackie an e-mail at

Our awesome new team member: Tana!
Our awesome new team member: Tana!


Child's Day in Guatemala

The holidays are upon us which means the students at Las Voces Del Silencio (LAVOSI) are well into their school break! The Guatemalan school system runs from January to October so Friends of the Deaf and LAVOSI are busy preparing for the upcoming 2012 school year!

The end of the 2011 school year was very exciting for LAVOSI students. They participated in the CasaSito Music Festival with other (hearing) schools and interpreted songs in Guatemalan Sign Language. The crowd gave a huge round of silent applause when they were done and much awareness was raised for the school.

El Dia del Niño (Child's Day) in Guatemala took place in October and the students were treated with a field trip to MacDonald's in Antigua Guatemala. Check out the link to our Facebook page for more photos!

Fundraising progress was also made as the LAVOSI Silent Auction in Rhode Island was a huge success! November 12th, our volunteer Cait Smith hosted the silent auction to raise money for LAVOSI and Friends of the Deaf at the East Greenwich Fireman's Hall. Local items as well as Guatemalan artisanry were auctioned off and thanks to the 65 wonderful people who came out to support us a total of $2,940 was raised!

We're still a little off our mark for our 2012 budget, so please take some time and visit us on Facebook or our webpage to learn more about what we're doing at Friends of the Deaf and LAVOSI, and think of us during this season of giving!

CasaSito Music Festival
CasaSito Music Festival
LAVOSI Field Trip
LAVOSI Field Trip


Independence Day Parade
Independence Day Parade

Although the school year is wrapping up at LAVOSI, our school for deaf children, the excitement is not slowing down.

Independence Day Parade

September 14th, 2011, LAVOSI participated in the Independence Day Parade along with other schools and organizations in Antigua, Guatemala. They marched the streets proudly carrying both the Guatemala and the LAVOSI flags as well as cut-outs of the Guatemalan Sign Language alphabet and a sign stating 'The future is in our hands'. The parade raised a lot of awareness for LAVOSI as an educational institution in Guatemala.

Upcoming Events

  • LAVOSI Silent Auction: November 12th, 2011 one of our amazing volunteers, Cait Smith, is hosting a silent auction in East Greenwich, Rhode Island to raise funds for LAVOSI and Friends of the Deaf. Light fare will be provided and a cash bar will be available at the event. At the LAVOSI Silent Auction, a variety of items will be auctioned off, and a few raffles will be held as well. Guatemalan jewelry, scarves, and purses will also be sold at this event. Attending the LAVOSI Silent Auction is a great way to get involved with a very worthy cause, and begin your holiday shopping!
  • GlobalGiving Holiday Fundraiser: The 2012 school year is coming up quickly and we are still raising funds to meet our 2012 budget goal. Stay tuned for our GlobalGiving Holiday Fundraiser; the project will focus on teacher salaries and funds for a new schoolhouse for our growing classes.

Thank you for your continued support!


LAVOSI welcomes volunteers from around the world.
LAVOSI welcomes volunteers from around the world.

July and August have been exciting months at our school for the deaf in Guatemala, LAVOSI (Las Voces Del Silencio).

Students received music lessons and participated in the CasaSito Music Festival August 6th. They played instruments and interpreted songs in sign language. To learn music, drums are used to produce basic rhythms and the students use the vibrations to interpret the song. The students even made their own instruments using recycled materials.

In July, volunteers from the University of Oregon State visited and shared their expertise in Business and Personal Finance with the class. They used basic principles and interactive teaching methods to explain how to properly manage money. Lessons like these help prepare our students for life outside of our school.

Great progress is being seen in every student so far this school year. With your help, Friends of the Deaf can provide these students with another year of education and personal growth.

Students learn about Business and Personal Finance
Students learn about Business and Personal Finance
Students made instruments from recycled materials
Students made instruments from recycled materials



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Organization Information

Friends of the Deaf

Location: Happy Valley, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Jackie Belding
Happy Valley, Oregon United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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