School Update for November plus Save the Date!

November 11, 2018

Dear friends, at the end of October I visited the school we are supporting in the community of El Triunfo in Guatemala for the last week of school. As you may remember the school year in Guatemala runs from January to October.  I had hoped to attend the graduation ceremony for the grade nine class but the date kept moving around until it landed on November 7, which didn’t work for my schedule.

But I was able to work out a date to see the students one last time this year and also meet the new community leaders who I will be working with on the school for the next 2 years. This was important as it allowed me to have a good conversation to establish how I will send the funds to the school and the importance of providing proper receipts for those funds. The students and teachers also prepared a short program with music and dance, which is always enjoyable. You can see a few more photos from the day here.

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While in the community I also had the chance to pay a visit to San Simon on his festival day.

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San Simon, El Triunfo, Sololá, Guatemala

Thanks to everyone who donated during the fundraising challenge earlier this fall. We successfully raised the matching funds of $5,000 and actually surpassed it. These donations help to pay the salaries of the school staff and teachers. On this last trip, I also asked Gregorio, the school director, to think about what other items and supplies, such as the projectors purchased earlier this year, which would benefit the students and teachers.

You can donate online through Casa Pueblito or mail in a cheque. (A cheque actually ensures that more of your money goes directly to the school!)

But here’s the link for online donations –

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/casa-pueblito/

(If you are donating online please follow: under “Donate To This Charity Now”, please select option #2 “El Triunfo School Project.” You may also wish to indicate that your donation is for Ken’s School in the note.)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito or drop one off with me.

Casa Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Thanks for your continued support of the project.

Ken

PS – On December 10th, I’ll be holding my annual holiday sale at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Details to come soon!

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School Update with a Fundraising Challenge

Dear friends,

It has been a few weeks since my last update on the middle school we are supporting in the community of El Triunfo, Guatemala. When I last wrote to you, I was about to purchase some audio-visual equipment for the classrooms from the proceeds of our “Mid-Season Bash for Guatemala.”

I’m thrilled to report that three new Epson projectors have been installed in the three classrooms. One morning in July, I met the school director and members of the community and we did a bit of shopping. While we were disappointed that our haggling didn’t result in a discount, it turned out well. The purchase price included installation and the store ended up donating three screens! After we purchased the projectors I visited the school about a week later to see them.  My photos from the day are here.

Project 3

Thanks for your ongoing support of the school. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching with only another few weeks left.

If you haven’t made a donation yet this year, this may be a good time. A long-time donor has offered to match all donations up to $5,000 between now and Thanksgiving (October 8). Your donations help to pay the salaries of the school staff and teachers. You can donate online through Casa Pueblito or mail in a cheque. Or better yet, you could drop off your donation with me at my annual sale for Guatemala.

On September 29th I’m holding my annual sale with items from three different projects in Guatemala, including Asociacion Maya, a weaving cooperative based in El Triunfo. Full details on the sale are here.

If you can’t make the sale, here’s the link for online donations –

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/casa-pueblito/

(If you are donating online, please follow: under “Donate To This Charity Now”, please select option #2 “El Triunfo School Project.” You may also wish to indicate that your donation is for Ken’s School in the note.)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa-Pueblito.

Casa-Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Thanks for your continued support of the project and I hope to see you on the 29th.

Ken

 

Sale for Guatemala and a Book Sale for Nicaragua

Join me for this semi-annual sale featuring Guatemalan weaving from Asociación Maya de Desarrollo, Solola, Guatemala; Fair trade coffee from the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), Guatemala; and jewelry from Casa Milagro, Guatemala.

Featuring weaving demonstrations by Maria Xoch Ajacalon from Asociación Maya.

New for this year – Book Sale for Nicaragua – with hardcover books on business + current events plus mysteries and more for $3 to $10! All proceeds will support projects in Nicaragua by Casa-Pueblito including long term sustainable projects such as drinking water and food security as well as the Response Fund to address the immediate needs of communities impacted by civil unrest. Visit http://www.casapueblito.org/ for more information.

Maria Xoch Ajcalon

Saturday, September 29

9:00 am to 3:00 pm

772 Coxwell Avenue (north of Danforth Avenue and Coxwell subway station)

Toronto

For more information: Ken McGuffin, mcguffin@rotman.utoronto.ca / 416-466-7594

Donations will also be accepted for the El Triunfo Education Project which provides an affordable education for the sons and daughters of weavers from Asociacion Maya through the establishment of a middle school in the village of El Triunfo, Guatemala.

A Visit for the School’s 10th Anniversary

July 19, 2018

Good morning from Guatemala.

I’m in Sololá to attend the 10th anniversary activities of the school we are supporting in the community of El Triunfo. Since 2006, we’ve been supporting students in the community beginning with scholarships and later with the establishment of a middle school.

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Yesterday I spent the afternoon attending the activity to elect the senoritas of the school, which included traditional dance, some not so tradition dance, a bull fight(!), skits, and a replay of the France-Croatia World Cup final. Whew! You can take a look at a selection of my photos from yesterday here. This afternoon I am returning for a “cultural” event followed by a sports day tomorrow.

For those of you who attended or made a donation to our “Mid-Season Bash for Guatemala” I have some good news for you. Next week we will be buying the needed audio visual equipment for the classrooms.  Without your generosity we would not be able to purchase the equipment.  Your donations also help to pay the salaries of the school staff and teachers. You can donate online through Casa Pueblito or mail in a cheque. (A cheque actually ensures that more of your money goes directly to the school!) But here’s the link for online donations –

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/casa-pueblito/

(If you are donating online please follow: under “Donate To This Charity Now”, please select option #2 “El Triunfo School Project.” You may also wish to indicate that your donation is for Ken’s School in the note.)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito or drop one off with me.

Casa Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Thanks for your continued support of the project.

Ken

It’s back! The Annual Mid-Season Bash for Guatemala!

 

April 29, 2018

Dear friends, I’m delighted to invite you to the return of the annual Guatemalan Mid-Season Bash – a fundraiser for the El Triunfo Project in Guatemala, which provides a middle school education to children in El Triunfo, Guatemala. This year’s goal is to raise enough money to buy new student desks as well as audio-visual equipment for the classrooms.

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El Triunfo – January, 2018

 

When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Doors and Silent Auction Open at 7:00pm with Live Music with Celtic and Croon at 8:30 pm Silent Auction Closes at 9:30 pm, Socializing until the wee hours.

Where:  Dora Keogh Irish Pub 141 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON (South side of Danforth, close to Broadview subway station) www.dorakeogh.to

Tickets: suggested minimum donation of $25 per person or donation of your choice

Please consider attending this fundraiser. Bring a friend and don’t forget to tell me you’re coming.

Donations are gratefully accepted for the slient auction.

If you can’t attend but would like to made a contribution, you can donate online here.   (Important:  under “APPLY YOUR DONATION TO A SPECIFIC FUND SET UP BY THIS CHARITY,” please select  #2 “El Triunfo School Project.”)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito:

 Casa Pueblito

 107A 2238 Dundas St. W

 Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

 ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

This year we’re thrilled to be joined by Celtic and Croon who are Michael O’Grady and Richie Roxborough. O’Grady is an Irish born Canadian multi-instrumentalist playing the piano, accordion, guitar, and the Irish Whistle. One of the great practitioners of the Irish Whistle worldwide, O’Grady has toured the world with The Mahones and is a fixture on the Toronto music scene performing with numerous bands  Roxborough, is one of Canada’s finest keyboard players who has played everywhere from The Air Canada Centre to world concerts in Egypt to the bandshell at the CNE and everything in between covering multiple musical genres.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there! And don’t forget to check out my photos from the school from my visits in January and February.

Ken

 

School Update for December with a surprise!

December 24, 2017

Happy holidays everyone!

It’s been quite the year for the middle school we are supporting in the community of El Triunfo, Guatemala. We started the school year in January with around 60 students enrolled in grades 7, 8 and 9 and had around 60 students finish the school year in October with 21 students graduating from grade 9 in November.

Graduation 2017

Our grade nine class on graduation day!

 

On a recent trip to Guatemala, I visited the school mostly for the reason to get caught up on the paper work. Every dollar we send to the school to pay the teachers must be accounted for and it was time to get the receipts for each month’s pay since I had last visited the school. During the course of my visit to the school with the community members I work with, there was a surprise for me that Gregorio, the school director, and the teachers were planning to reveal to me in 2018. Earlier this year they had applied to a foundation for a donation of computers and their request was successful! I was shown ten new computers, which had recently arrived, and are waiting to be set up for the start of the school year in January. Next month when I will be at the school for the first day of the school year, I’ll get more information from Gregorio on how the computers were obtained. But I ‘m thrilled that they now have the computers and will, more or less, have a fully functional lab, with computers for all of the students in each class.

Computers

My 2018 surprise revealed a little early!

 

I want to thank all of you for your support of the school in 2017. Many of you have been extremely generous in both your moral and financial support of the project. I’d like to remind you that it’s not too late to make a donation to the school this year so we’ll have the funds to pay the teachers as they return to the classroom next month.

You can donate online through Casa Pueblito or mail in a cheque. (A cheque actually ensures that more of your money goes directly to the school!) But here’s the link for online donations –

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/casa-pueblito/

(If you are donating online please follow: under “Donate To This Charity Now”, please select option #2 “El Triunfo School Project.” You may also wish to indicate that your donation is for Ken’s School in the note.)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito or drop one off with me.

 Casa Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season for you and your family! See you in 2018.

Ken

A Holiday Sale for Guatemala

November 22, 2017

Hello everyone, some of you have been asking if I will be holding my annual holiday sale for Guatemala.

The answer is that I will be taking part in a larger sale at UofT’s Rotman School of Management on Friday, December 1 from 11 am to 5 pm. I’ll be joining 30 vendors from the Rotman community showcasing unique gift ideas for everyone on your nice list. There will also be food, kid-friendly activities and a special guest (the fat man in red) will also make an appearance. Full details are online.  I’ll be there will the clothing and accessories from Asociacion Maya de Desarrollo in Sololá, fairly traded coffee from Guatemala as well as jewelry from Casa Milagro. Feel free to share with your friends and family.

And as requested here’s a photo from the graduation of the grade nine class on November 6. Gregorio, the school director, told me this week that enrollment has started for the new school year which begins in January.

Graduation 2017

Grade Nine Graduation – November 6, 2017

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of the school. Your donations are used to pay the salaries of the teachers each month. You can donate online through Casa Pueblito or mail in a cheque. (A cheque actually ensures that more of your money goes directly to the school!)But here’s the link for online donations –

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/casa-pueblito/

(If you are donating online please follow: under “Donate To This Charity Now”, please select option #2 “El Triunfo School Project.” You may also wish to indicate that your donation is for Ken’s School in the note.)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito or drop one off with me.

Casa Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Thank you and I hope to see you next week at the sale!

Ken