Monday, May 31, 2010

Refugees from Agatha

Families in Panajachel waited in line to speak with Mayan Families Staff about their homes and fears.

Rodolfo and other staff collected the stories of various families who were seeking refuge from the storm in the Panajachel Gymnasium.

Little Walter and his family spent the last 2 nights in the gymnasium.

Cesar Bernabe and his family will stay indefinitely until they find a safer place to stay.

Oscar, Walter, Alberto, and Astrid, stay together in the gymnasium, while their 3 siblings and mom go look for water. Their house was under an area of frequent landslides and too unsafe to spend the night.

Astrid changes little Walter's diaper.

Rudy Armando, Dulce Maria, and Tomas Alexander

Friday, May 28, 2010

Volcano spews sand , ash in Guatemala.

Pacaya has erupted spewing ash and rocks. The airport is closed and sadly, a young woman reporter has been killed. She apparently was on the volacano reporting when it erupted. There are also three young children missing.
Below is the link to the story.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

House for Ana Culan in Guatemala!

We have raised $1,050 so far towards Ana Culan's house. We just need $3,550 to be able to start building this house for the family. Every little bit will help!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ana Culan and family in desperate need in Guatemala.

Ana and her family live in one of the worst "houses" I have ever seen. It is not a house , it is a real hovel. I have seen chicken sheds that are in better conditon than this house.
The day we were there the two little children were sleeping on the wire frame of a mattress. There was no mattress, nothing to soften the wire between their skin. When it rains, the rain is pouring into this house. The mother told me that the father got up at night and covered the children with blankets but they were dripping wet in a very short time.
My heart breaks thinking of these children knowing that they are sleeping on wire mattresses and covered in wet blankets at night. There are only two "beds" for this family....the rest are sleeping on the muddy dirt floor.
The mother owns the land. We need just $4,500 US and we can build them a new, safe, warm house. If you know of anyone who would like to help this family, please do not hesitate. The rainy season is here and these children will really be suffering.
Posted by Picasa

Soccer uniforms needed in Guatemala!

The Mayan Families Kids and Teens Sports program is going great. There are now more than 700 children signed up who are hoping to play sports.
Today the Mayor has asked the teams to participate in a parade here in Panajachel which will be starting off "Sports Week" and there will be lots of games being played every day.
We are happy to say, thanks to the donations that we have received that we are able to put 200 children in sports uniforms today!!!
Yesterday, Robin, the co-ordinator of the program received the box that came in the Zuleta shipment this week. There were lots of great sports shirts, some shin guards and the much needed soccer shoes!!
If you have any soccer, basketball or baseball equipment we are in desperate need of it and would love to have it. Maybe your sports teams is retiring their sports uniforms this year....please think about collecting them and sending them to the children here who do not have access to uniforms or sports equipment. We desperately need soccer shoes in all sizes.
Thank you so much for your help.
Posted by Picasa

Guatemalan Immigrant in U.S. gives life to save family.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

13th shipment arrives!

Here are some of the happy faces yesterday who received gifts from their sponsors!
Thank you so much for the beautiful gifts you sent. These gifts make a huge difference in the life of these children and their families. The excitement when the kids come in and know there is a gift waiting for them is lovely to see. Most of these children have never received gifts in their lives and to get clothes, blankets etc and to know that someone cares about them is just beautiful.

Here is the link to the rest of the gifts that have been given out so far:

Posted by Picasa

Knitting classes!!!

Thanks to volunteer, Margaret, ten women started knitting classes yesterday!
They look like they were having a lot of fun.
Margaret even made her own knitting needles to bring down and yesterday two big bags of wool arrived in the Zuleta shipment! It seemed like a very good omen for the knitting classes.

Posted by Picasa

Cardigans !!!

These three were so lucky to receive a cardigan each yesterday. Beautiful cardigans arrived in the Zuleta shipment from Sarah.
Claudia, her grandmother and Cristina all live well below the poverty line and having a luxury as a brand new cardigan are just dreams. It was cold yesterday afternoon when they received these wonderful gifts and they really appreciated them! Thank you for all the beautiful gifts and donations that we received yesterday!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flooding and Frogs for Elvia (#653) and Daniela (#654)

The family desperately needs 10 more tin sheets before the rainy season starts. The sheets are needed for the walls. There is so much rain coming in from underneath that even frogs are coming in to the house. To fill in the house and secure it they would need about $200.

One of the children's fathers has returned to the family in 2010, but is talking about leaving because he can't find work in Patulul. His parents have loaned the family the shelter in which they're living now, sharing a wall with Josue's uncle's family.

Elvia (b.18-Sept-2000) is in second grade in 2010

She lives in the coastal town of Patulul. She lives with her mother, Dora 27 yrs old. Dora is a single mother. Elvia has one sister, Daniela Marisol (student #654)(b.15-Jun-2003) old and two brothers, Ruben(26-Aug-2006). Josue (4-Feb-2010). All children have different fathers who abandoned the motherwhen she was pregnant.

Dora works washing clothes by hand and ironing, or making tortillas to sell. She earns $2.US per day, but less with the price of corn rising. She does not get work every day.

The house is made of tin sheeting.

She has one room. They sleep and cook in this room.

The floor is dirt.

She has water ($3) and electricity connected ($9) and pays separately.

They now have an onil stove donated in 2009.

They have two beds.

They have 1 closet. They keep the rest that doesn't fit in a canvas bag.

They do not have enough blankets or sheets.

They have a water filter donated by Mayan Families, in 2008.

They have a pila, but it is broken, and leaks.

Their main diet is soup, beans rice and pasta. They often do not have enough to eat. The baby has a problem with allergies, he often has rashes. The baby is also very malnourished, and often had diarrhea.

The children do not have enough clothes or shoes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

High School Students Doing Public Service #2

"Eliezer's Group" - ICI Service Project
As you know, Guatemalan high schools require a seminar project for their students to graduate. A group of students graduating with degrees in Administration, Accounting, and general studies came to us with their ambitions of building 4 new classrooms for the local preschool in Panajachel, called the "Capulin."

They plan on doing this using predominantly recycled materials, and making "ecoblocks" out of recycled plastic bottles and trash. Everyone is chipping in, including these high school students.

They need the following materials to make it happen:
22 tin sheets 12 '
19 tin sheets 8'
25 lbs of galvanized wire(#14)
35 qq of calcium carbonate (for stucco covering)
35 qq cement
13 m sand from the river
11 tubes 4"
100 blocks 10x20x40.

Any thing you can donate to help will go directly to help them gather the materials. They're putting in hard labor to make it happen, but they can't do it alone. As you can see, they have already started working in the river to get sand that will be used in the mix for the stucco and filling that will go on the outside of the walls. They have given us a detailed budget that asks for $713 per classroom. --Quite a bargain for the number of people each dollar will serve for years to come.

High School Students Doing Public Service #1

ICI Seminar Project #1 "Winsy's Group"
Seven graduating high school students from the Information Computer Institute (ICI) came to us asking for help with their seminar project. These students (Juan Carlos, Estela, Eder, Lucrecia, Claudia, Winsy, and Cesar) are going to graduate this year with a degree in business administration, and they have chosen to build a little school store for a neighboring public school, out of recycled materials, namely “ecoblocks.”

The elementary and junior high students of the school will work to collect thousands of plastic bottles and cram them full of washed and recycled plastic trash, such as chips bags and water bags. These blocks have been proven to be structurally sound, and are a great visual reminder of the students of the value of recycling.

But to do so they still need help of some building materials, and they came to us for help. If any of you would like to donate even a part, we will buy the building materials these students need. They will have to have the building completed by August when they graduate, and we’ll send you a photo. They need tin sheeting, wood beams, wire mesh, nails, wire, wood for the doors, cement, and sand, totaling $404.81, all described in their carefully planned budget. The high school students are providing the labor, and the elementary students are in charge of collecting, stuffing, and assembling the “ecoblocks.”
In the end the neighborhood school will benefit from a neat school store for generations. The students will benefit from this lesson in their own creative capacity to use recycled materials. And we all benefit from over a thousand bottles and tons less trash in Lake Atitlan.

Please donate anything you can to Seminar Project "Winsy's Group." Every single bit of wire mesh, or extra nail, helps them bring their plan to fruition.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Words from volunteers Linda and Barbara.

We received this just two days after Barbara and Linda left.
We would like to share them.
This is their reflections on their time with Mayan Families.

We loved being here.

It has been painful.
It has been intense.
It has been educational.
It has been productive.
It has been humbling.

To see how hard you work.

To see how respectful you all are.

To see so much need.
To see so much gratitude.
It is true that love is a verb and that we all need to do the best we can where we are with what we have.

You all do that beautifully.

with love,
Linda Parkinson and Barbara Bemis.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Housewarming with the Reyes!

The Reyes Family has a bigger home! Thanks to a loving anonymous donation, this large and ever-growing family now has a little more room. Before the donation, the 11 children (3 mos to 18 years) and parents were all sleeping in one bed together. This one room was the entirety of their house.

The Reyes generously invited, Mayan Families to celebrate their new home, which is now 3 rooms, all secure, wired with electricity, and ready to shelter them for the oncoming rainy season.

Barbara, a generous volunteer from Kansas City whose church is also contributing to a new home for a neighboring family, shared in this event. Mr. Reyes was very happy to host Gloria and Julio, our managers, Susie, Barbara, myself-Ely, and Juan the Construction Manager responsible for this great work. We feasted to our hearts content, and enjoyed the view from his porch in San Jorge. The Reyes family was sad that Sharon was ill and could not come, but sent home samples of the great food for Sharon, her family, and the rest of the staff.

Mr. Reyes works as a day laborer. He earns $26 US per week. He was so happy and proud to open up his home to us.

Afterwards, all the children crowded in for the pictures! Lorena (#1248) is 13yrs old. She is in 3rd grade in 2010. Gloria is 18yrs old. Jose is 15yrs old. He is 5th grade in 2010. Susie Yolanda (#1249) is 12yrs old. In 2010 she is in 3rd grade. (Lorena and Susie are both sponsored by Bonnie). Julio is 9yrs old. In 2010 he is in 2nd grade. Olga Floridalma (#1227) is 7yrs old. Manuel (student #1183) is 5yrs old and in 2010 he will be going to kindergarten. Ester Nohemi (#1184) is 3yrs old. She is in the pre-school in San Jorge. Rosa is 2yrs old. And the baby is 3 months old.