Our next trip is July 30 through August 6. This trip is a little different than most of our other trips. This is a small group going, and we have several community and church meetings already scheduled. Our plans include:
- Meeting with the women of the church to discuss women’s health issues. We have a Days For Girls health curriculum to discuss, and conversations about possible development/entrepreneurial projects. At their request, any project they will do will involve sewing, so the first step is for them to learn how to sew. We’re coming prepared with patterns, a supply of sewing notions, and will be purchasing 2 sewing machines in Xela to present to them.
- Hopefully, celebrate the opening of the computer center at the Mt. Sinai church. Our partner, Cary Presbyterian Church, has funded the addition of the second story of the church, and this will now house the computer lab which will be open to all church members and scholarship students from the community and church. The center will include 6 workstations, 2 printers, desks and a high speed internet connection. We have a local IT consultant helping us, and he will manage the day to day issues in the lab. This is happening as we speak.
- Bringing the beginnings of a library to be housed in the church. We have several books, will be purchasing a bookcase, and setting up some very basic check out procedures. We expect to add a Scholastic Books beginner level reading program with 12 levels of fiction and non-fiction books on our October trip.
- Meeting with the Nimasac elementary school principals to discuss literacy and curriculum issues and provide school supplies. We’ll be shopping for, and delivering the supplies purchased with the Alternative Gift Market proceeds and a Memorials & Endowments Grant. Additionally, we will be investigating the current water situation at the school (see next item).
- Meeting with the local water committee to discuss future possibilities and logistics for a well and clean water system. Duane Hix has done an enormous amount of legwork on this project in conjunction with the Apex Rotary Club and Living Waters of the World. Rotary has a WASH program which looks promising, but first there must be additional wells in the community.
- Meeting with the scholarship committee to review the current school year, students, and present sponsor letters and pictures.
- Of course, there will be lots of relationship-building fellowship opportunities with the Nimasac people and fun time with the children.
WOW! Thank you for your support.
We had a great turnout for our fundraiser June 12. Thank you so much! This will support our current initiatives and further our relationship with the people of Nimasac.
By designating your food purchase to Esperanza de Guatemala, 25% of your spending comes back to us! Please come on over to this great restaurant on Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, for lunch, dinner, or a snack in between. You need to use this code to get us the discount. Thanks!
We’re pleased to welcome new Board member John Hansen. John is a professional photographer currently specializing in capturing images by drone but has done action work, portraiture, and scenery. His stunning photos of Nimasac reflect not only our most recent visit but life in rural Guatemala in all its beauty and depth.
What a trip! We just returned from Guatemala Tuesday, October 23. It was a very successful visit. We made two visits to the primary school in Nimasac. During the first visit, we requested lists of suggested supplies from the two principals (there is one in the morning, and one in the afternoon) that would help the teachers in classrooms. The second trip came after a lengthy shopping expedition in Quetzaltenango to purchase supplies that fulfilled much of the list. We made the presentation to a large group of teachers (there are a total of 17) and explained who we were and our desire to be of assistance to the community and the school. Our Guatemalan partners spoke of the successful scholarship program and its impact in only its first year. Possible skepticism about following through with our offer was eliminated, and they were appreciative of the gifts and interested in our proposal to work with a group based in Guatemala that could offer more coaching and textbooks.
The supplies that we purchased included: a large whiteboard designated for a specific classroom. Copy paper, silicone glue, colored bulletin board paper, erasers, pens, pencils, permanent and washable markers, crayons, and more. School supplies are expensive in Guatemala, likely because many items are imported, but it is best to buy them there and support the local economy. Here’s a photo of the store:
The scholarship program is being administered in Nimasac by a very dedicated group of seven young adults. All the scholarship students and parents were present at the meeting on Wednesday, October 17, and were deeply grateful for being able to participate in the program this first year, and for the gifts that sponsors sent down. We met with each of them in small groups and discussed their experience, and offered them motivation to keep up the good work.