That is the question ? Well, it has been very busy over the last months, actually the last year. I lost my assistant and I have been the jack of all trades and have been run off my feet. Let’s catch up anyway.
So much is happening for us and has been for quite awhile. We are just finishing construction of our 18th school or 39 classrooms. We began construction on our 19th school and will have completed 42 classrooms by June 2015. Hopefully, more will follow depending on the rising of funds.
We launched our Escuela Ideal Program in January after a successful pilot project in 2014. Our book Nabe’ Binem is being accepted well and being requested in other schools that are not in our program. The use of our book printed in the Kiche’ Mayan language resulted in a 10% decrease in the failure and drop out rate of first grade indigenous students in Uspantan. This year we are hoping for a larger decrease. That is our goal.
We had a great volunteer group go with me in October 2014 to build stoves in Chinique. We have moved from Uspantan to build stoves in Chinique. After 7 years, we filled all the requests for stoves in Uspantan. We are also building stoves in Chicaman. In January 2015 I had a small group of volunteers building stoves in Chinique. I will be leaving on March 22nnd with a group of school students from Rundle College to build 120 stoves again in Chinique. The plan is to remain in Chinique till all requests are exhausted for stoves.
Our program to raise the quality of teaching in Uspantan is well on track as our training workshops are frequent and the presenters are the best to be found in Guatemala. The Puerto Rico team of professors in education still are very involved as well.
We completed 2 more Community Gardens Programs that focused on nutrition, gardening techniques, cooking, recycling and reforestation. These have been a real success and we hope to do more. As always it depends on funds.
All my staff in Guatemala are doing well. Rebeca Galindo works harder than ever. Some of the staff are in university classes which is a great satisfaction to me. H&H supports them financially as much as we can.
Both Boards of Directors(Canadian and Guatemala) are working well and a great support to me. They take on work that frees me to do the thing I really need to do. Corazones y Manos will have its annual fundraiser in Guatemala on June 7th. I will be there for the event. Hearts & Hands will have its 3rd annual Golf Tournament on August 7th at Brewsters Ranch near Exshaw and Canmore. In addition, we will be selling seats to view the Stampede Parade on the 3rd of July. In November we will be selling live wreaths for Christmas. Always, always fundraising. That’s my life. Thank goodness for the great Board members I am not alone.
There will be an October volunteer trip from the 23 to November 6th. There is still room for volunteers on the team. Just email me.
Well, very briefly that is all for now. I am sure I forgot a lot, but time is precious. Best wishes to everyone who reads my blog. Sorry for the long delay. I will try but cannot promise I will do better/