Volunteer Coordinator with Local Students
I assume by now that everyone has heard about the myriad of disasters that affected Guatemala in early June. Between Pacaya, Tropical Storm Agatha and the sinkhole in Guatemala City, there has been plenty of excitement. The shutting down of the airport caused some logistical challenges for both volunteers and staff trying to come into or leave the country.
Despite the hurdles from Mother Nature, Long Way Home is enthusiastic about the progress being made at the Tecnico Maya Vocational School. Walls are up for the second set of vocational workshops. Local laborers and volunteers are working long hours hauling and mixing dirt in preparation for the next phase of construction.
We have also been making exciting progress at our prototype structure, the earthbag kitchen. It is here that we test out building methods that will be implemented at the vocational school. A final coat of finish is going on the exterior walls and we are experimenting with the tints available in Comalapa. The workers are enjoying working with the ratios of mix to find the perfect color combination. Our neighbor, Davit, who will eventually move into this home, is enthusiastic about having a lovely place to live with his family. When we build the primary classrooms, these color formulas will be used to brighten up classrooms and recreational spaces.
As we enter the second half of 2010, LWH is embarking upon a campaign to raise $40,000. These funds will be used to complete the four vocational workshops and begin construction of the eight primary classrooms. We are currently employing 10 Guatemalan construction workers and would like to increase that number to 18. We are committed to supporting the local economy through employment opportunities, patronage of Comalapan vendors and productive use of waste. Increasing our manpower will also allow the construction to move more swiftly and ensure that the children of our community have better educational facilities as soon as possible.
I encourage you to watch our latest video (link below) to see previous donations in action. Please also visit our recently updated photo gallery (link below) if you want to see more of our community and our work. Thanks for your support. Together we are building a better future for this Mayan community.