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Dear <<First Name>>,

     During this special time of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you, our faithful friends and donors, for your willingness to support our efforts in Guatemala. Working together we are breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Hundreds of indigenous Mayans are making healthy and long-lasting changes in their families and in their communities. 

     Because of your generosity, the number of patients we can treat in our health clinics has increased 62% since 2012. This year over 2,000 elementary school students have access to computers and 1,015 students are benefiting from new textbooks; upwards of 1,000 people have running water at their homes; two schools have new roofs and 24 students received scholarships who otherwise would not be able to go to school; and we will install 400 Chapina stoves by the end of December 2013.

     We still have lots of work to do. More schools need new roofs or additional classrooms. Teachers want training and classroom support in 14 more schools. Expanding our health clinics in 2014 will provide health care to an additional 150 patients a month. We have a growing list of communities requesting water projects. Our goal is to double our reach to students in our scholarship program for the 2014 school year. We have a number of women's groups waiting for assistance with Chapina stoves.

     The rural villages  lack even the most basic resources necessary for healthy and productive lives. We need your help to continue our vital health and education programs to break the cycle of poverty and disease.

     We are incredibly grateful for your past support and hopeful you will remember us when making your holiday gifts or year-end donations. Now we can accept donations of stock, too.  

     Your investment will make a sustainable impact and help the most disadvantaged people in society. Plus, 100% of your donation goes directly to our programs and projects in Guatemala. 

Happy Thanksgiving,
   
Lois Werner, President

P.S. You can help us spread the word. Send this newsletter to at least seven of your friends and encourage them to donate.

Click on the image to watch our video.


Our First GlobalGiving Campaign was a Success!

So far our computer campaign has raised just over $7,500 but
2000 students in 11 schools are waiting for computers.
   Our first GlobalGiving campaign was a success! We are now a permanent charity on the GlobalGiving website.

   We need to raise $64,000 more to reach our goal of installing 155 computers at 11 schools in 2014. The majority of students, teachers, and parents in rural Guatemala have never used a computer. This project will build computer labs and bring technology to these remote schools. The computers will be installed with age-appropriate educational software and a copy of Microsoft Office. 

   You can learn more about our computer project at GlobalGiving by clicking here. You can support this project by making a donation at the GlobalGiving website or directly to People for Guatemala.

Sisters Graduate with Honors

Sisters Maria (left) and Reyna (right) are scholarship recipients.
Maria is in nursing school and Reyna will begin nursing school in January 2014.
      In November, 2012, Maria Lares, 30, received her high school diploma. Her parents didn't send her to school after 6th grade, so as an adult she took the initiative to continue her education. She has been employed by our in-country partner, Hombres y Mujeres en Accion (HyM) for five years. She is an auxiliary nurse and works in their mobile health clinics and facilitates women's groups, teaching them techniques for working together and seeking resources to help make healthy changes in their families and communities.  

     Maria's sister, Reyna Lares, 18, graduated last month from high school. Her excellent grades earned her the honor of carrying the flag during graduation ceremonies reserved only for the student graduating at the top of the class. Maria received the same honor the year before. Both women received special honor role medals for their achievements. 

    Reyna received her high school scholarship from People for Guatemala. While attending high school she volunteered with SIAS, a government-run health clinic for women and children. 
 
     
    This month, Maria will finish her first year of college. She is pursuing a professional nursing career. Since January, every Saturday she has attended classes in Antigua. Because there is no bus service at 5 a.m. from her remote village, she sleeps in the HyM field office in San Martin on Friday night, rides the "chicken" bus to Antigua early Saturday morning, and walks 10 blocks from the bus station to the university to begin her first class at 7:00 a.m. Her classes end at 4 p.m. and Maria takes the bus back to the HyM office, arriving at 6:00 p.m. Again, no bus service runs that late to her village so she sleeps at the office Saturday night and returns to her village Sunday morning.

     Maria says, "I am attending the university which is my dream that I never thought would be a reality. There are so many special people giving me their unconditional support and who are a large part of my achievements."


     Reyna echos her sister's gratitude for her scholarship. Maria and Reyna will attend the same university beginning in January 2014. Reyna said, "I want to put into practice what I learn to help people most in need. I know it will not be easy, but not impossible. I have strong faith." 

     Maria received her high school and college scholarships from Health Ministries Association in Independence, Missouri. Shared Beat will provide Reyna with a scholarship to attend nursing school starting in January 2014. 

     These two women are perfect examples of how the young adults in rural Guatemala need assistance and an opportunity to further their education. The cost to attend one year of college is about $1,500. Please help more students reach their dream of a brighter future by making a donation to our scholarship program.

Nurses from Johns Hopkins Hospital
Help Build Community Center

Johns Hopkins nurses working with locals in Pacoj Tres Cruces.

Thanks to Guatemala Esparanza volunteers Tracey Yahner, Rita Stella, Caitlin Clark, Annlise Benhow, Natalie Zoppo, Emily Holloway, and Ron Noecker.
     Six nurses from the Department of Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore spent their vacation volunteering to help build a community center in Pacoj Tres Cruces. Ron Noecker, R.N. and Founder of Guatemala Esperanza, organized the group.

     Several men in the community worked for a week before the group arrived to level the land and install the floor. Ron and the nurses worked side by side with members of the community, along with Ken Werner from People for Guatemala, and the Hombres y Mujeres en Accion staff, Amilcar Vielman and Marlon Moran. They constructed framework for the walls, installed a lamina roof, and put in windows. The building is designed to accommodate Hombres y Mujeres en Accion's mobile health clinics where 50 patients are treated monthly. The center doubles as a community meeting room.  

     "This group is a hearty crew," said Ron. "They worked through intense sun and pouring rain. They have great attitudes and are hard workers. I'm impressed!"    

     According to Amilcar Vielman, Director at Hombres y Mujeres en Accion, "We enjoy hosting groups from the U.S. because it gives us an opportunity to educate them about the Mayan culture and the extreme poverty they struggle with every day,"

     The building cost about $3,500. The funds were donated by Guatemala Esperanza.

     Ron organizes volunteer groups to build school kitchens, community centers, and conduct health clinics with us. For more information about Guatemala Esperanza and their 2014 programs, visit their website: www.guatemalaesperanza.org
When the nurses weren't building they visited homes to meet
the families who will benefit from the new community center. 

Curious About Where We Work and What We Do? 

    Many people ask where we work in Guatemala. Between 2009 and 2010, we worked in four different areas of Guatemala but realized we needed to focus on a more manageable area. We couldn't build relationships with suppliers and a great deal of time was spent traveling. Since 2010, we have confined our work area to the municipality of San Martin Jilotepeque, in the Department of Chimaltenango. San Martin is home to roughly 75,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayans. There are 180 villages spread over 270 square kilometers (104 square miles). It's about 45 minutes from La Antigua.

     This map provides a visual representation of our health and education initiatives implemented in the past four years. Since 2010 approximately 32,000 people have benefited from our work. Partners on every project include the members of the villages who provide volunteer labor and a small financial contribution,  the local mayor, and donors.
All of the projects are coordinated by our in-country partner, Hombres y Mujeres en Accion.

     Please click on the "Donate to People for Guatemala" button at the bottom of this newsletter to make a donation to any of these projects. We have a long list of villages and projects waiting for assistance.
This map is also available on our website, www.peopleforguatemala.org
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Copyright © 2013, People for Guatemala, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
People for Guatemala
P.O. Box 110221
Naples, FL 34108
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