December 2010 Update

December 14, 2010

Dear friends, this is one of my final updates for 2010 and what a remarkable and simply wonderful year it had been for this project. For the last 3 years we’ve been supporting a middle school (instituto basico) in the community of El Triunfo in Guatemala. At the community’s request, your donations helped expand the school this year by providing the funds needed to build a second floor on the school building. If you haven’t looked at the photos from the week-long inauguration of the expansion held in October, please visit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/29121052@N07/sets/72157625268460492

  This means that there is now the classroom space to start high school classes (diversificado) in January. Students, who otherwise could not afford to go to school, will be studying computers, economics, business law, English and other subjects in the school’s first grade 10 class.

We have spent and raised over $40000 for the project this year. I would like to thank the many supporters of the project. With your help we have paid the salaries of the teachers in the middle school and covered most of the cost of building the second floor. (The municipality of Solola chipped in the rest.)

But our work is not done. We have three empty classrooms which need to be filled with desks, blackboards and bookshelves. Plus the school’s computer lab which currently has 15 PCs requires another five computers. With the start of the school fast approaching in January, funds also need to be available to pay the monthly salaries of the teachers of the four grades which will be offered (7 to 10.)

For the past year the project has been supported by Pueblito Canada, a Toronto based NGO with a strong track record of supporting children and youth in Latin America. I’m delighted to let you know that I was invited to join Pueblito’s board of directors this fall. I accepted the invitation and recently attended my first board meeting. The Pueblito board and staff are very excited by the work done on the school in the past year and are looking forward to the next year.

 With the year coming to a close, please consider donating to the project so we can ensure a successful continuation of the school in 2011. Here’s how your donation will be spent:

  • $28 buys a desk for a student
  • $100 buys one of the three blackboards needed for the new classroom
  • $500 buys one of the five new computers required
  • $560 pays the monthly salaries of the teachers in the high school (grade ten only in 2011)
  • $1800 pays the monthly salaries of the teachers in the middle school

 Your tax deductable donations for the school can be directed to Pueblito Canada. You can donate online at

http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=25964 (Click on “Donate Now.” Then under “Fund/Designation,” select “El Triunfo School Project.”)  Or you can also send a cheque payable to Pueblito Canada to:

 Pueblito Canada
El Triunfo School Project
The Centre for Social Innovation
Suite 165 – 215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
 

I will be leaving for Guatemala on Christmas Day and will be visiting the school in the week before New Year’s Day.

Once again I would like to thank you for your support and I also wish the best to you and your family for the upcoming holiday season.

Ken

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