Our radio silence was due to heavy work these weeks, plus a week off for Semana Santa (21-26th march) when the school was closed. The week before the school had just received missing school materials, the materials are delivered freely by the Government as families can’t afford to buy it. However it often happens that there is a delay, and school started around the 18th of January whilst this so needed materials were received two months after. A lot of catching up for the students!
On the school front we had to reduce a little our activities as we are low on staff, so until our team grows stronger we hold activities three times per week plus our weekly visits to the Kitchen Garden project and other interactions with the community.Sudoko, recycling and manual works, as painting and doing origami, have keept us busy on the activities front whilst we are working on getting new laptops on one hand (immediate solution), to continue our precious IT classes, and to have an IT center on its way (long term project).The kids keep on asking for the IT classes and they know we are working on it. Searching for partners, donors, projects and entities that can reach out for us have taken up a chunk of my time. We are advancing with contacts and confident to have both immediate and long-term solutions figured out very soon.
|Learning the colours in english, our models?Coloured baloons hanged on the board :)|
|Sudoku and simple maths for smaller ones|
There is also news of several members joining the team for the next months and this will allow the activities to go back to its regular flow, you will get the news and pics of the newly arrived first hand.
The Kitchen Garden project has registered encouraging results and the participants are enthusiastic. We have welcomed 7 new families this month, which take us up to 15 participating families, with one candidate family we will visit next week. Our weekly visits are extended to after sundown so that from around 4 PM to 6.30 PM we can cover the maximum number of families, keeping a rotation system so at least once in two weeks every family receives a visit. This has been proven a challenge but the support is essential, and not even the inevitable mosquito attacks in the kitchen gardens after sundown can keep us from getting where we need to be. Edwin, our local technical volunteer, also shows signs of no fatigue when it comes to instruct, help and assist, it is great to count on his support!
|Olga Ical's Kitchen Garden, welcome to the project!|
|Candelaria working on extending the Kitchen Garden space before planting|
We have also identified two new grantees this month, so we are already supporting another student pursuing her studies in Diversificado (one of the only girls in the community reaching this level of education) and finalizing the procedure to assist another student who asked support to keep studying at Basico level.
This week will also be shorter as one of our co-funders and I am meeting some partners in Guatemala City, so we can advance on our partnerships and solutions, which will benefit the community in the longer term. I hope to shorty have good news on this to post.
On a last note, we had access to some interesting numbers on the last census (10.06.2015)…if you were re-directed here from our facebook post this is the end of your crusade! The communities of Nueva Mercedes and La ceiba (were we implement our projects) amount to 568 people, 106 families. Learning that our community has grown so much (our last numbers indicated 300/400 people) fills us up with energy so that our projects might reach more and more people who are interested in participating.