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New school in El Triunfo, Solola


Another friend of Asociacion Maya, Ken McGuffin in Toronto, and I are raising money to start an intermediate school (Basico) in El Triunfo, Solola, Guatemala, the rural community with the largest number of Asociacion Maya co-op members. Beginning in January 2008, the current elementary school will be used in the afternoon for a new intermediate school. Education opportunities for the children in the villages are limited. The publicly funded school in the village only covers grades one to six. Few children go beyond grade six since they must pay for further education, including transportation, books, supplies, uniform and some or all of the tuition. It’s a cost that few of the families can afford. Many children leave school because they see no hope for being able to continue past grade six. In 2007 Ken raised money to provide scholarships to six children to attend 7th and 8th grades at a school outside the village -- a small fraction of the students who are eager to learn more. This year Ken and I have been working with a development committee (part of the council in the village of El Triunfo) to look at plans for providing additional educational opportunities in the village. The new grade seven class will use space in the existing elementary school. Currently the primary school children attend classes only in the morning, leaving the space available in the afternoon. At some point, especially as we add grades 8 and 9 into the mix in future years, the school will need to be expanded to handle the extra grades and student enrollment. Many children currently only attend long enough to learn Spanish and their numbers, but it is expected with the opportunity to study at low or no charge in the village, more kids will go to school, and for longer. Below is part of Ken’s update from his recent trip to El Triunfo. Dear friends, I’ve returned from my visit to Guatemala. I’m pleased to tell you that the school will be ready to go in January when the Guatemalan school year begins. I met with the community development council who informed me that all of the official permissions from various government authorities have been granted, teachers have been hired, and students are being registered. So far, 21 students have registered for grade seven. Registration still continues as the council reaches out to nearby villages. They have done an amazing amount of work and shown an equally amazing amount of patience in dealing with the various authorities. I have a very impressive collection of documents from the council with copies of the permissions, information about the teachers (including their CVs) and an outline of the curriculum for grade seven this year followed by grades eight and nine in subsequent years. We’ve done very little work on this project compared to the efforts of Ricardo, Edwin, Gloria, Gregorio, Santiago and Lorenzo and the other council members. Fundraising for the project continues. I want to thank those who have already donated this year. Your support is greatly appreciated! We’ve raised over $10,000 so far but we still have a bit to go. It will cost approximately $27,000 to set up the school with equipment including student desks, office equipment, and blackboards, and to pay for teacher salaries plus the salary for a director and a secretary. Plans to obtain fifteen computers for the school from corporate donors have stalled so I will be buying them in Guatemala on my next trip. We also need an additional $3,000 to pay for the scholarships for six students studying outside of the community who we supported last year. The project has no religious or political agenda. We are simply providing the resources to enable a community to provide better educational opportunities for their children. On January 3, 2008, I’ll be at the school. I’m told that there will be a little party and I’ll have the chance to meet with the students, teachers and community members. I’ll look forward to sharing with you the stories of what takes place that day. Thank you for your continued support and interest in the project. Ken Please consider the school project in your year-end charitable giving. Also consider making a contribution in lieu of or in addition to giving holiday presents this year. For US residents: Make a tax-deductible donation by sending a check with A Thread of Hope School in the memo line, made out to UCDF (UPAVIM Community Development Foundation) to Barb Lorraine, 808 E. 23rd St., Bryan, TX 77803. We will soon have a way to donate online and receive a tax receipt. Tax receipts will be mailed out in January 2008. Thank you to UPAVIM Community Development Foundation for agreeing to pass on 100% of donations to the school project! If you do not need a tax deduction, you can click on Support Our Projects and donate via credit card, or send a check made out to A Thread of Hope, with School in the memo line and mail it to A Thread of Hope, P.O. Box 1764, Brookline, MA 02446-0014. For Canadian residents who want to donate: The school is an official project of the Social Justice Committee of Bloor Street United Church. Visit the church’s page at CanadaHelps.org at http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s1844. Click on “Donate Now” and select “Guatemalan Projects – McGuffin” under Funds. You can also send a cheque payable to “Bloor Street United Church.” To Ken McGuffin, Manager, Media Relations, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 105 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 Please e-mail or call with any questions. Thank you so much for your support. Eliza




New school in El Triunfo, Solola


New school in El Triunfo, Solola

$10.00



New school in El Triunfo, Solola


New school in El Triunfo, Solola

$25.00



New school in El Triunfo, Solola


New school in El Triunfo, Solola

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New school in El Triunfo, Solola


New school in El Triunfo, Solola

$100.00



New school in El Triunfo, Solola


New school in El Triunfo, Solola

$500.00






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