A New Year

December 28, 2011

 Dear friends,

 The end of the year is a time to reflect on what you have accomplished over the past twelve months. It’s also a time to look ahead to a new year which brings fresh opportunities. It’s been a successful year at the school project we are supporting in the village of El Triunfo in the highlands of Guatemala as the first high school class was launched and kids continued to enroll in the middle school. In addition to being the first month in the New Year, January is also the first month of the new school year in Guatemala. In a few weeks, the schools will re-open after a two month break with the middle and high schools holding classes from grade seven to eleven!

 Last week I visited the school and received an update on the new school year from the members of COCODE (Consejo de Desarrollo Comunitario or Economic Development Committee), the group we are working with on the school project. Registration for the new school year started last month and will continue through the first two weeks of January. Twenty five students have signed up for the high school classes so far and enrollment is also strong in the middle school. The COCODE also continues to work with the governing councils of the two schools and the Ministry of Education to improve the governance of the school. For example, this year, all of the teachers will have proper employment contracts.

 With the parents, teachers, students, the COCODE, and the entire community working together on the school project, a key part of its success has been your support.  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 Sololá,  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

 The school project is proudly supported by Pueblito Canada. For more information on Pueblito and the other projects they support in Central America, please visit   www.pueblito.org.

I’d like to leave you with a final photo for the year, which was taken on Christmas Day in El Triunfo. These kids are looking forward to when they can attend the schools like their older sister.

 Ken

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