Update for May 2013

Update for May 2013

Dear friends, Spring is finally here and summer is quickly approaching. In Guatemala, the school year will reach the mid-point at the end of the month. In the community of El Triunfo in the highlands of Guatemala, progress continues to be made on the middle and high schools we are supporting.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who supported the 2nd Annual Guatemalan Mid-Spring Bash. The evening raised at least $4,000 with some funds still to come (ahem, you know who you are.) Special thanks go out to Michele Milan, who did her usual excellent job as the organizer, my sister Margaret for encouraging many people to attend or to donate to the cause, and the numerous people who generously gave items or services to the silent auction. We’ve already decided to go ahead with next year’s event.

Secondly, last month I told you about the opening of another expansion of the school facilities which now allows for each class in the school to have their own designated classroom.  Even with the expansion, as I mentioned in March, the school is still short of resources in several areas including computers. But I’m delighted to tell you that a private Guatemalan company stepped up earlier this month with a donation of five computers with a promise of another five or ten computers before the end of the month. The community and I are continuing to pursue several other options for support to fill all of the needs such as the library, basics such as desks, etc. There are some exciting things in the works which I hope to fill you in on later in the year.

I also want to let you know that Maria Xoch Ajcalon, a weaver and production manager with Asociacion Maya de Desarrollo in the community of El Triunfo, has arrived in Toronto. Many of her nieces and nephews are benefiting from the school project.  She already has a day of helping me sell at St. Lawrence Market on Saturday as well as a visit to Iglesia San Lorenzo and two interviews on Radio Voces Latinas under her belt.

Over the next month, we have a number of public events lined up for Maria for her to speak about both projects and demonstrate the art of backstrap weaving. Please feel free to drop by.

May 25 – St. Lawrence Market – sale of weaving from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (weather permitting)

May 26 –100 Walmer Rd. (near Spadina and Bloor) – sale of weaving, including traditional pieces I rarely bring out, from 11 am to 3 pm.

June 1  – St. Lawrence Market – sale of weaving from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (weather permitting)

June 4 – Sale and discussion at The Root Cellar Organic Market, London. Details online.

June 7 + 8 – Workshop at Textile Museum of Canada (pre-registration needed)

June 8 – Ken’s Third Annual Driveway Sale with weaving, coffee and Jewelry. Details online.

June 9 – Event at Waterloo Regional Museum, Kitchener.

 Your support of the school and of the cooperative is very much appreciated. When I’m in Guatemala, I try to explain that I am not one person working alone on this project but there are hundreds of people who have lent a hand over the years.  As in the past, your tax deductible donations to the school in El Triunfo can be directed to Pueblito Canada. You can donate online at


(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 http://www.pueblito.org.

 Hope you see all of you soon over the next few weeks.  Don’t forget you can check out my photos from the school online.




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