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Mark your calendars:
Our First GlobalGiving Campaign starts September 1

In 2013, 2,900 students in 10 rural schools are learning
new skills but we have 3,000 more students waiting
Our first GlobalGiving campaign starts September 1, 2013! To become a permanent member on the GlobalGiving website we need to raise $5,000 during the month of September. Once we reach this goal we can post other projects on their site and raise more donations.

Our install 155 computers at 11 schools in rural villages in 2014. The majority of students, teachers, and parents in rural Guatemala have never used a computer, which puts them at a huge disadvantage. Our project includes providing computer classes to 70 teachers so they can teach computer skills to over 3,000 kids. Each computer is loaded with age-appropriate educational software and Microsoft Office. 

In 2013, we installed 135 computers in 10 schools. Parents and teachers from surrounding schools visited the computer labs and saw the progress the students were making. Now we have a waiting list of schools wanting help.

"Having computers at our school is an excellent opportunity for the students because now the students are developing new skills that were not possible before," said Vilma Satuj, Director at El Sargento School. The games are fun and at the same time they are learning to read and do math. The teachers are using the computers too. "We can use Excel to compile the students' grades" said Magly, a Kindergarten teacher. "Before we received the training, we didn't know Excel or Word."   

Over 70% of adults in rural Guatemala can't read or write. We plan to implement classes for the parents, too. We hope the enthusiasm of the kids will encourage their parents to attend classes.

Please plan to make a donation to help us raise $5,000 in the month of September. Tell your family and friends about our campaign! 

Remember -- the campaign begins September 1!

We will send you a reminder and a link to our GlobalGiving Project Page when the campaign begins.  

Cause and Affect Foundation Supports Our Latrine Project

A typical Guatemalan latrine is replaced with one of our hygienic composting latrines.
Adam Carter, Founder of Cause and Affect Foundation, a US-based charity, recently visited Guatemala and spent a day with us. He was so impressed he returned for a second day to visit Los Mageuyes and work directly with the women who were building composting latrines. He wrote about the project on his blog and also made a video showing the people who benefited from the new latrines. We invite you to view Adam's work here:

Thank you Adam for your support.   

39 Families Have New Concrete Floors

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Mix Concrete. Sheny showing off her new floor.
It's rainy season in Guatemala. When it rains, dirt floors turn to mud. Most houses have dirt floors and Mayan families have no choice but to live in these deplorable conditions. A family can't possibly save enough money to buy the materials for a cement floor when most families survive on less than $3 a day.

According to a World Bank study, covering dirt floors with concrete leads to a 78% reduction in parasitic infestations, a 49% reduction in diarrhea, an 81% reduction in anemia, and a 36% to 96% improvement in cognitive development in children.

Thanks to a generous grant from the International Foundation, 39 families have new cement  floors. Our Healthy Homes project requires each family to make a small financial commitment and provide all of the labor. Five families work together so everyone helps each other. With only hoes and shovels, men level the dirt floor or mix concrete. There are no cement trucks to deliver ready mixed concrete. Instead, the 90 pound bags of cement, sand and gravel are carried on their backs up steep, slippery paths to the hut receiving the new floor. Women cook lunch for the crew of neighbors on work days. Each floor takes about a week to finish.

When visiting several of the families with new floors, we learned they are making other simple improvements on their own such as replacing the cornstalk walls with wood or replacing a sheet of lamina to eliminate leaks.
After receiving their new concrete floor, Sheny and her husband  from San Antonio Choatulun told us, "Because of the dirt and mud Sheny had to carry our three-year-old son all day. Now this is the first time we have been able to put him on the floor to play."  

We have more work to do!  We finished 39 houses but have another 45 to do in two other communities. Please imagine how difficult life is for families living with mud floors and make a donation today to provide a family with a new cement floor.

Shared Beat Volunteers Train the Guatemala Health Team

Volunteers Bitsy Pratt, Rebekah Garza, and Kathryn Adcock
working with the nurses and patients.
In July, three volunteers with Shared Beat, a US-based medical non-profit organization, spent two days with the Guatemala health team of Hombres y Mujeres en Accion (our in-country Guatemala partner) and provided excellent physical therapy training and treated 12 patients for conditions ranging from osteoarthritis and lower back pain, to diabetic neuropathy.

Two of the patients were children – one with Spina Bifida, the other has Down's Syndrome. Each patient was taught physical therapy exercises appropriate for their condition and given a treatment plan so they could continue their physical therapy at home. The Hombres y Mujers en Accion nurses are following up with each patient and using what they learned at each rural health clinic to help other patients with similar problems.

In addition to their physical therapy work, Shared Beat volunteers provided fluoride treatments to 510 kindergarten through sixth grade students at Choatulun Central Elementary School. These treatments will help prevent cavities and promote better dental care for the children. 

Thanks to all the volunteers with Shared Beat who so willingly gave their time and talents to provide care to those who are so drastically undeserved in rural Guatemala.
Shared Beat volunteers with Hombres y Mujeres en Accion
medical team after a hard day's work. 
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People for Guatemala
P.O. Box 110221
Naples, FL 34108
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