October Update

October 9, 2012

Dear friends,

For those of us in Canada or for the Canadians living around the world, this past weekend was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Unlike some of our holiday weekends which simply give us a day off, Thanksgiving provides a time to gather with family and reflect and give thanks for good things that have happened to us over the past year.

Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Guatemala but I’ve been fortunate enough to celebrate it in the country, even sitting down one year to the traditional turkey dinner. (Thanks Emilie!)  Now that the turkey has come and gone, I’m turning my attention once again to the school in Guatemala. October is the last month of the school year in the country and classes will wrap up at the end of the month. I’m going to make a quick visit to the middle and high school we’ve been supporting in the community of El Triunfo around the last day of classes. I’ll get an update on what’s been going on this year and what is currently planned for the next year. The administrators and teachers have been busy running information sessions for students at schools in near-by communities to encourage them to enroll next year. These sessions will continue for the next few weeks. I’m also anxious to see how the construction project to add another three new classrooms is progressing. In case you missed them, here are the photos from my last trip to Guatemala in July.

Until I started with the school in Guatemala, my primary work with Guatemala was with Asociacion Maya De Desarrollo. This is a women’s weaving cooperative of almost 200 weavers based in El Triunfo. (Many of the sons and daughters of the weavers are attending the school.) Since 1994, I’ve been selling their hand-woven scarves, jackets, purses and other items at various events, festivals and markets in Ontario. Here are some photos taken over the past few years of some of the cooperative’s members.  I’m currently mostly selling at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto on Saturdays. But I’m looking for your help in finding venues for me to sell at during the upcoming holiday period. If you know of an organization, office, group, church, or family who would like to host a sale, please let me know. In addition to the woven goods, I can also come with some fair trade coffee and jewelry from another women’s organization.

And I also still welcome your financial support to the school. Thanks to everyone who made a contribution in lieu of attending the annual edition of Ken’s Guatemala Dance Party.

If you still can contribute, tax deductible donations to the school in El Triunfo can be directed to Pueblito Canada. You can donate online here.  (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.

Hopefully after my visit, I’ll have some more great photos and stories to share with you next month.

Ken

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