Newsletter August 2014
By: Louise Elliott
Things are Sew, Sew, Sewing
In the fall, as a group of ten women completed their final sewing project with our group. Under the leadership of Lisa Cavers, the women were taught how to make a pair of men’s pants. Two hours a day was allotted but Lisa and her assistant, Pauline, continued into the afternoons in order to achieve these amazing results.
We are now using the skills of local women to do the teaching and they run scheduled classes in our absence. There is one group ready to graduate in El Triunfo and another just getting underway in Guajilote. We support the women during their training by providing fabric and sewing notions for their project and everyone is given a small sewing basket to start. We always need donations to fill these needs!
Computer Lab Up and Running
Another great addition to the village of El Triunfo is the new computer building. The building is made of cement blocks and houses two desks, with a computer on each of the desks and one shared printer. In addition, a donation of seven laptops was made by generous donors here in the Windsor-Essex area to enhance the computer lab, as well as two tables and power bars which will accommodate running of the computers.
This lab is meant to be used by the students who are currently in school at the Basico level. In addition, students who need extra help to complete their lessons, or community members, who are interested in developing their computer skills, are welcome to utilize the computer lab. Our hope is that this becomes a sustainable business with the users being charged a user fee and the teachers being paid for their time. What a great accomplishment for the village as they further develop businesses with your help.
Fall Medical Mission Takes On New Initiative
The team of missionaries who executed the medical mission last fall did an amazing job of meeting the multitude of needs. There were many new team members and we are blessed to be able to follow their suggestions to make improvements when addressing health in these villages. In the future, we will do more screening for the common diseases, as well as work to get more testing procedures available.
We will also be pricing the medication in Guatemala City. If cost effective, it will allow us to have greater quantities of the medications that we need, thereby avoiding the issue of taking the medication with us and running short, well before we are finished assessing patients.
Ongoing Delays with Medical Clinic in El Triunfo
The mayor of Santa Domingo, who promised to build the medical/dental clinic in El Triunfo, has changed his list of priorities and has built a classroom instead. As he cannot do more than one major project in the village at once, we have arranged for our medical student from the University of San Carlos to be stationed temporarily in Esperanza until the clinic is built in El Triunfo. Please pray that a new plan can be put into motion to expedite the building of a clinic in El Triunfo where it is desperately needed.
In the meantime, the Health Committees in Los Tiestos and El Triunfo are taking patients to local clinics or The Hospital St. Hermano Pedro in Antiqua for assistance with their health issues. Since they are so dedicated to their communities and have experience with the sick, we are hoping that they will be able to oversee the clinic in El Triunfo and create good alliances in Los Tiestos to address the needs in the area once the university students are in place and are working in the clinic.
Developing the Spring 2015 Trip
March 2 -12, 2015
We are already starting to build our team of 24 for the spring trip
As always, we will need two cooks to feed the participants. Our women's program is growing and we are looking for people to teach health, nutrition, early childhood development and needle craft skills. The villagers would like training in hairdressing and barbering.
Our agricultural program needs two more farmers as well as a trainer in basic book keeping. The community development team requires an additional person to follow up on housing grants and other community related issues. We would also like to do another video about our work in Guatemala and would welcome a videographer to join the group.
Farmers Go To School
In a partnership with the University of San Carlos’ Animal Husbandry Program, we were able to deliver a training project for our pork producers from El Triunfo and Esperanza. Professor Raul Villeda visited El Triunfo in February, meeting with our agricultural team and visiting our pig projects. In consultation with the farmers a program was developed. A course was held in May with 11 participants at San Julian Re-search Center. The farm had 6 pigs weighing about 50 kg and each participant had practical experience in measuring, weighing and holding pigs and intravenous drug administration was performed. Deworming medication was made with local plants. They visited “Louisiana Finca” to discuss management techniques.
In studying the further processing of pork, they made chorizos, sausages and marinated meat. As a follow-up, the trainers will visit the production sites of the farmers and assist the villagers in implementing their new knowledge and skills. In the fall our ag team of Dr. Harold Ledermueller and Henry Boot will also meet with the group. There was interest expressed last spring for a cattle course and we hope to run the pig seminar again. Tuition for our farmers is $125 each – a good investment in the future!
Locavore Dinner A Success
Our inaugural Locavore Dinner, held June 5th at St. Clair Center for the Arts was a success for everyone involved. St. Clair College Culinary Management students, under the direction of Chef Michael Jimmerfield, prepared a five-star dinner that exceeded all expectations in presentation, flavours and quantity.
The locavores, or people interested in making an impact on their community by supporting the local farmers by devouring local foods, had plenty of opportunity to enjoy local foods. The entire meal was sourced locally including speidini from Ewe Dell Family Farms, Wrightland Farm asparagus, Highline mushrooms, Shawn Morris beef, Bradley potatoes, greenhouse vegetables from Anna’s Flowers, Sun Parlour honey and Raymont’s berries. Guests also had an opportunity to win prizes from the “Food and Drink” raffle table, like a season of fruit and flowers from The Fruit Wagon, or a gift basket from Viewpointe Winery.
In the International Year of Family Farming, it was a great way for people to become more aware of Essex County food producers and to support the local family farms. At the same time, the event raised funds for Guatemala Hope to continue their work with small family farms in Central America. Some of the projects include providing funds for extension education, setting up irrigation projects, developing small piggeries and providing microcredit.
A special thanks to the staff at the St. Clair Center for the Arts and the St. Clair Alumni Association for their assistance and support. We look forward to strengthening our partnership as this becomes an annual event.
Priests In The Village
We continue to ensure that a Spanish speaking priest accompanies our missionaries to the villages of El Triunfo, Esperanza, Los Tiestos and Guajilote. Fr. Vince Gleeson will be on the first fall trip of 2014. Could this be his last? Fr. Frank Murphy will be on the second fall trip as well as the one in the spring of 2015. We have been so blessed to have these two dedicated priests who join our missionaries to bring the “Good News” to our brothers and sisters in Guatemala.
Guatemala Hope once again thanks all of its generous donors – its volunteers and its contributors. The combination of human and financial resources has allowed us to offer hope, the most precious gift of all. Our operating costs, beyond the insurance and professional fees, are less than 2% of the budget. All of your support goes directly to the villagers in El Triunfo, Los Tiestos and the surrounding area.
We appreciate your continued support.
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