A Quick Visit to Guatemala

May 23, 2015

Dear friends,

On Tuesday I had the privilege of visiting the middle school and high school in the community of El Triunfo. Unlike my visit during Easter week, school was in full swing and I was able to visit each of the classes and speak with the teachers, school directors and students.

There are 32 (!!) students in the grade seven class this year.

There are 32 (!!) students in the grade seven class this year.

I’ve never seen the students so enthusiastic. They had lots of questions for me about Canada which quickly exceeded my ability to answer them. (How do you say beaver and moose en espanol?)  I’m looking forward to my return visit in July for the anniversary celebrations for the establishment of the school.

On this visit, we also made some progress towards getting the computer lab wired for the Internet. Carlos, a local computer expert who runs an Internet service provider in  the rural area in this part of Guatemala, accompanied me on the visit. He determined that it was possible to get a connection to his system by putting a reception tower in the next village over and a reception dish on the roof of the school. Hopefully this will happen soon but we’re waiting on a budget for the costs involved.

Looking for a signal

You can see further photos from my day at the school, including class photos and this year’s curriculum here.

I’d like to thank everyone who has made contributions to the school in recent weeks. It’s greatly appreciated by everyone involved including the students, teachers, the entire community as well as myself. I was reminded on Wednesday of the importance of education in the lives of the students. I ran into Jose, a graduate from the middle school, on the street in the town of Sololá. Due to his family situation he had to continue his high school studies at night school while looking for work but with some private support from a donor, he was able to graduate. He’s now working for an NGO in the region. He told me he was very grateful that he had the opportunity to continue his education after primary school.

In terms of donations, I’d like to point out that there have been a couple of changes in the process. Pueblito Canada, at the start of the year, amalgamated with a sister organization, Casa Canadiense. Both are organizations that have been working throughout Latin America and Canada since the 1970’s and there has been much cross-pollination between the two organizations in recent years. The new entity is known as Casa-Pueblito.  I continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the new organization.

So it’s important that your donations are directed to Casa-Pueblito, either online or by mail as instructed below.  Casa-Pueblito is also in a position to accept donations of securities. You can donate online here.

(Click on “Donate Now.” Then under “You can select to apply your donation to a specific fund set up by this charity,” select “El Triunfo School Project.”)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa-Pueblito to (please note this is a new address) :

107A 2238 Dundas St. W
Toronto, ON M6R 3A9
ATTN: El Triunfo School Project



 PS – don’t forget about my Sale for Guatemala on June 6 – fairly trading weaving, jewelry and coffee – all supporting projects in Guatemala!


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