Before you go on vacation. Update for June.

June 14, 2012

 Dear friends,

Thank you to everyone who came out to my annual driveway sale last Saturday. It was great to see some old friends and to meet a few folks in person for the first time. If you missed the sale, I’ll be at my regular spot in front of St. Lawrence Market over the next few Saturdays. I also have some fair trade coffee available, if you are interested.

I’m starting to prepare for my next visit to Guatemala in July. But before I head to the airport and all of you go on vacation, I need your help. In July and August when many of us head to the cottage or hit the beach, the students at the school we are supporting in Guatemala will still be in class. While we had a strong start to the year fundraising, the monthly expense of paying the teachers at the middle school and high school has outstripped the amount of money we are currently raising. So I’m launching a June fundraising appeal to raise at least $12,000 by the end of the month. While it sounds like a lot of money, this will enable us to pay the teachers throughout the summer ($3,600 per month).

I was reminded of how important your support means to the community when I received a note from Santos Tzorin a few weeks ago. Santos was born in the community of El Triunfo and returned this year to teach at the school. There’s a photo of him here (right side, back of the photo, partially hidden.) As a young student, the primary school he attended was simply built with sticks, branches and mud. With the support of a scholarship from the Government of Norway, he was able to study to become a teacher. While he notes that much progress has been made in the community, (including the construction of a school building and the expansion to it which we funded in 2010), there is still much work to be done. But he goes on to say that the teachers, students, and the entire community are working together to advance the school and our thankful for our help.

In recent days, I have privately asked some of you for your support to this appeal. So far we have pledges and cheques in-hand totaling $5,500. If you can make a contribution this month, it would be appreciated.

Tax deductible donations to the school in El Triunfo can be directed to Pueblito Canada. You can donate online at 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
 

For more information on Pueblito and the other projects they support in Central America, please visit www.pueblito.org.

Thanks for those who have suggested some opportunities for me to speak about the school and my work with selling weaving for Asociacion Maya De Desarrollo and selling Café Justicia. I’m still looking! If you know of any community organizations, churches or even a group of friends who would like to find out more about Guatemala,  please let me know!

Ken

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