Monday, June 25, 2012

Today at Mayan Families

This morning we have Mayan Families staff member, Juan Carlos , accompanying one of our young students, an 11yr old girl and her mother to the city.

The girl was attacked by her neighbor and sexually assaulted...fortunately, her father came to her rescue and was able to stop the assault.  Charges have been pressed against the neighbor ( who is a local pastor)  but the situation is very tense. The family has received threats from the family of the pastor.  Today the mother and daughter are continuing the fight to continue these charges against the neighbor and also to receive therapy for the girl.  If the case is not pursued , it will be dropped and nothing will be done against this man.  We don't want to have this happen and we want the community to be aware of what this man is capable of .   We also realize that this young girl needs therapy to help her overcome the trauma.  Unfortunately, there are no separate places for the girl to wait in the court and the last time she went to court , the family of the accused and the man were sitting right in front of the girl and her family. It was a very difficult time. Fortunately, Rosa who is an advocate for Women's Rights, and was volunteering with us,  saw the situation and removed the girl to another area.

We are also lucky to have many visitors here right now.
Members of Mayan Families Connection who are here now are Bethany...who through her Facebook contacts has managed to get 48 children sponsored! 
Carmen and her family arrived yesterday.
Cindy who is a nurse is here with her family and will be helping with any medical situations we have arising.
We also have several interns who are here and will be here for at least a month to two months.
Every Monday we do the preschool and Elderly care run delivering food to the different villages.  It is a great way to see several different places, so Carmen, Bethany and maybe another person will be going along on the "tour".

Today we begin the process of moving to our new location!!!!
We have a fantastic new location near the market. It is very big and will allow us to move the preschool and the trade school that we are in the process of opening to this location.
We have been working on it for the past few weeks and hope that it will soon be internet ready and rain proof and we can move in!

Today is also " Teacher's Day" ....our preschool is closed in Panajachel, Guatemala as the teachers were offered a fantastic opportunity by the new mayor. He somehow was able to get buses and accommodation for the teachers in local schools to be able to go to TIKAL!!!!! The teachers had to cover some of their costs but it was fairly minimal, their own spending money and one nights accommodation. The buses ...about 5 of them...left at midnight on Thursday night , in a torrential downpour and drove all the way to the Peten.    I am so impressed that the mayor was able to organize this and I think it is a fabulous opportunity for teachers to be able to experience this trip and see the incredible beauty  of Tikal.    

Over the week end Dwight and I attended meetings for the new Rotary e-Club Lake Atitlan!  We have been working on getting a Rotary club started here for the past 5 years!!!  Yes, 5 years of weekly meetings and being "in process" ...finally paid off yesterday when we were granted the full club status.   Our hope is that this will bring a lot of help to this area. At the meeting yesterday, the statistics showed that San Antonio Palopo was the area with the most severe malnutrition and poverty in the Solola, Guatemala area.

Wishing you all a very happy week,

Sharon Smart-Poage
a registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

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