Update for December 2011

December 16, 2011

Dear friends, with the year coming to a close, I’d like to thank you for all of the tremendous support you’ve given me and the communities I work with in Guatemala over the past twelve months. From buying fair trade Café Justicia and hand-woven bamboo scarves from Asociacion Maya to making financial donations to the school in the village of El Triunfo, it’s been a wonderful year.

It’s also been a good year for the school in El Triunfo as the high school opened with its first grade ten class in January and eighty students, who otherwise may have not been in class, received an education. Classes were held in the second-floor expansion we funded in 2010. It’s quite remarkable to see these students studying math, English and learning how to read and write their own indigenous Mayan language, as many of their parents never had the opportunity to attend school. The civil war which gripped Guatemala for decades until 1996 often interfered with daily life in the community and the poverty facing many families led children to adult work at a young age instead of going to school. But today there are an increasing number of children finishing primary school and enrolling in the middle school.

I’m going to Guatemala on Sunday and will be visiting the school to hear an update on the activities for the next year. In January, when the school year begins, the school will have its first grade eleven class.

If you haven’t yet made a financial contribution to the school, please consider doing so before December 31. While the high school and middle school receive some funding from the Guatemalan Ministry of Education and the local municipality of Solola,  we are responsible for paying the majority of the salaries paid out to the teaching and administrative staff in both the middle school (grades seven to nine) and high school (grades ten and eleven). In 2012, this will run over $3,600 per month.

Tax deductible donations to the project 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
@ The Centre for Social Innovation
215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

I’d also like to thank the staff and volunteers of Pueblito Canada for their help and support over the past year. For more information on Pueblito and the other projects they support in Central America, please visit their snazzy new website at  www.pueblito.org.

Happy holidays and may you and your family and friends have a prosperous New Year.



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