El Teatro Escolar en Antigua

written by Paloma Pérez-Templado, director El Teatro Escolar en Antigua works to promote art and culture by encouraging and exposing young people to creativity and artistic sensitivity. In March 2007 artist Pacho Toralla and his company Robalunas performed Calle Luna for the inauguration of the Teatro Escolar in La Antigua Guatemala. One hundred and thirty students from the Colonial Bilingüe […]

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International Women’s Day

Threads dry in the sun after application of natural dyes

Thirteen Threads (www.thirteenthreads.org), a Maya women’s educational program based in Panajachel, is putting on its first International Women’s Day event. Representatives from each of its 22 participating Maya women’s groups will display their weavings and natural products. There will be live music, talks by indigenous women leaders, a mini-workshop on natural dyeing of fibers, free yoga class, a raffle with […]

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The American Society of Guatemala

written by Ralph Anske The American Society of Guatemala (ASG) was founded on June 14, 1960 by a group of American citizens residing in Guatemala. The society was created to provide a focal point to strengthen community ties and provide an institution to represent the interests of its members. It helps them contribute in situations where citizens of the United […]

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The Guardians of Las Gravileas

A project where women serve their sisters The center’s name is symbolic. In a country where coffee represents approximately 10 percent of the gross domestic income, the gravilea tree provides a critical, protective canopy for the shade-loving plant. Just as the gravilea tree provides this fundamental necessity for the cultivation of coffee, so, too, is Las Gravileas meant to offer […]

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A Spoonful of Honey

Honey comb

2nd in a series by Judy Cohen The natural healing properties of honey cover a wide range of ailments, and more uses are still being discovered. Doña Gavi’s tienda, located on 3a avenida behind the cathedral in La Antigua Guatemala, carries all-natural products, including several types of honey. Her favorite is gravilea, which she buys from nearby farms. I learned […]

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The Fundación Tradiciones Mayas

The Fundación Tradiciones Mayas (photo: Jane Mintz)

written by Marcelle Renkin photo: Jane Mintz Fundación Tradiciones Mayas (FTM), based in Panajachel, Lake Atitlán was founded by American social worker Jane Mintz after more than 10 years of fair trade with women’s weaving groups in rural highland communities. FTM’s United States counterpart, Maya Traditions, is a long-standing member of the U.S. Fair Trade Federation and represents the women’s […]

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Horses Have Rights

There is a forgotten population in Guatemala: the equine population. The Foundation for Equine Welfare in Guatemala, known as ESAP, reports that the Guatemalan government has not included more than 250,000 equines in the country’s census since 2003. For six years, horses, mules and donkeys have been forgotten by the government, and ESAP says that neglect is reflected within rural […]

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People and Projects: PROGRESA

2009 conference participants on developing community-service projects

PROGRESA is a Quaker-run scholarship/loan program that has been in existence for over 35 years. Jointly sponsored by the Guatemala Friends meeting and a Friends meeting in California, the program helps Guatemalans attend universities and secondary schools. Our focus is on the rural poor who often don’t have access to higher education in their communities. Our office is in Parramos, […]

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Project Partner for Surgery

One out of 10 rural Guatemalans suffers from a physical condition or disability that can be surgically cured. However, only 11 percent of Guatemalans have access to surgical care. Maya Indian populations face daunting barriers to treatment, including fear of hospitals and lack of information, Spanish language skills and financial resources.

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Project Ix-canaan

written by Maraya Loza-Koxahn Project Ix-canaan was established in 1995 by Canadian Anne Lossing and Guatemalan doctor Enrique Chapetón in El Remate near Lake Petén Itzá. Her dream to live in a hot climate and a vision of world peace led Anne to the jungle, where she met a man with a complementary vision. Together they continue to create better […]

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CasaSito

Rainwater catchment tank construction program

CasaSito Association is an NGO based in Antigua that works to improve access to education and create development partnerships. We are small but our focused efforts strive to make a significant impact in the communities we serve, which are usually remote. Our public face in Antigua is the CasaSito Volunteers’ House at 7a av. norte #51. Our long-term project is […]

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Producing Potable Water

A step in the process: clay and pine sawdust are poured into molds

The EcoFiltro has won awards for sustainable technology, now there is a need to make many more of them written by Michael Sherer On the outskirts of La Antigua Guatemala, set back in a corner of the 22-acre, lushly planted Finca El Pintado, is the factory that churns out daily miracles: clay pots, crafted from the best deposits from Rabinal, […]

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Anecho

Anecho Offices

written by Betsy Cerezo Antigua’s educational cultural home office, Anecho, is Dorotea’s brainstorming gathering place. “I wanted to create a center for a variety of cultural organizations,” Dorotea says. “It’s an experimental project for the English-speaking community. I’m committed to a one-year sponsorship.” Located in picturesque Casa Convento Concepción at the end of 4a calle oriente #41 in La Antigua […]

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FOTOKIDS, Guatemala

Meeting the Dalai Lama

Fotokids breaks the cycle of poverty afflicting Guatemalan youth using photography, graphic design and media technology as a voice for disenfranchised youth to examine their lives, families, communities and environment. Participants from some of the poorest barrios learn employable skills opening new opportunities, promoting self-esteem; leadership; critical thinking; and desire for continued education. Students receive traditional educational scholarships and our […]

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Open Windows

Open Windows Kids Meet Up

Try to imagine schools without books. Then imagine an organization that works with schools and families not only to provide books, but learning opportunities for children and parents. Open Windows (Ventanas Abiertas) operates a much-needed library and educational enrichment center with a computer lab in San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala. In less than seven years Open Windows has grown from 20 registered children to over […]

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The Riecken Foundation

A new book club in Chiché, El Quiché

The Riecken Foundation establishes and supports community libraries in Guatemala and Honduras. The network of 11 community libraries in Guatemala provides dynamic programming for people of all ages and free access to information resources, including Internet, reading programs, youth clubs, technical workshops and cultural events. Mission: To promote democracy and prosperity in Central America through community libraries that spark a […]

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La Cambalacha Youth Art Initiative

Gabriela (Gabi to her students) leading a dance exercise

Text and photos by Jennifer Block Restoring creative expression through direct action, Gabriela Cordón aims to transform Guatemala’s educational system via her youth arts initiative. You’d be forgiven for thinking La Cambalacha is just another summer camp for kids. The place spills forth with color and laughter. On stage, a group of children practice a clown routine; another group makes […]

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Supportive Circus Troupe

Lara Paxton’s Aerial Army of Love puts on a special show for some children of Safe Passage

Text and photos by Brooks Vanderbrush Throughout the ages, the circus has provided a happy escape for millions of people of all ages and walks of life. Whether a traditional three-ring show under the big top or a small, specialized act featuring a few extremely talented performers, the circus always manages to bring hushed awes, smiles and occasional gasps to its […]

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Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope has drilled several water wells in the mountains near Jalapa

Wells of Hope is a non-denominational group founded on Christian principles by Ted Vander Zalm and his wife Miriam in 2004. It is a team of numerous individuals with roots in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. Wells of Hope is a program or offshoot of The Warehouse of Hope. After working from tents for a couple of years, Wells of […]

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Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala

The Mayan Center, a residential high school being built on a mountaintop in the rainforest of northwest Guatemala, will serve two dozen villages.

Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala partners with Mayan villages in the remote northwest corner of the country, where there are virtually no public services, secondary schools or other aid organizations providing consistent support. At the urging of village leaders, AAV focuses primarily on orphans and the children of widows who have few resources to support their families. Mission: To empower the Mayan […]

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NGO Networking

The Network is the brainchild of Judy Sadlier and Gene Budinger

Written by by John Barrie How the Antigua Network helps connect organizations productively through presentations and one-on-one contacts Another successful meeting of the Antigua Network was held recently in the spacious surroundings of La Peña del Sol Latino in downtown La Antigua Guatemala. The Network is the brainchild of Judy Sadlier and Gene Budinger, two active U.S. retirees who came […]

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Preserving Traditions

Accessories from the Stained Glass Collection, created by association members

Written by Amanda Flayer Cojolya Association celebrates 25 years supporting women weavers in Santiago Atitlán Santiago Atitlán, a bustling indigenous village in the Guatemalan Highlands, has been celebrated by locals and tourists alike for its preservation of backstrap-loom weaving and the traditions surrounding it. An ancient art, backstrap loom weaving is recorded in the artifacts of the Maya. The Goddess […]

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A Smile Goes A Long Way

Dental extraction aided by light from flashlight

Written by Malia Dewse photos: Nate Gerodias and Malia Dewse The Emergency Dental Project is in its fourth year and going strong The impact of small voluntary projects, driven by one or two people with a passion for what they are doing, cannot be underestimated. One such project has provided free written dental examinations, fluoride treatment and emergency extractions to […]

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A Tribute to Andy Palacio

sweeden_andypalacio_dangriga

The “Garífuna Settlement Day” celebration will travel from Belize to La Antigua Guatemala for a performance at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 at Santa Isabel (Carretera a San Bartolomé Becerra) This celebration marks the arrival of the first Garífuna to Belize in 1832 and is celebrated throughout Belize and Central America. Produced by Planeta en Ritmo, the event will pay […]

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Party with a Purpose

Scene from gala fundraiser dinner with keynote speaker President Colom (Derek Steele)

by Jack and Joy Houston Panchoy 50 celebrated the conclusion of its first phase in September with a glitz-and-glitter gala at Hotel Casa Santo Domingo. The project, launched in February, completed formation and analyses of 10 volunteer committees working toward an integral, 50-year development plan for the Panchoy Valley. In the next phase the committees will set goals and objectives. […]

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Bridging the Divide

Photos from Cooperative for Education (photos: Mary Graham and Holly End)

In their literacy campaign, Cooperative for Education has established 172 textbook programs, 30 computer centers, 39 mini-libraries and 284 scholarships A country of extremes, Guatemala is a land where breathtaking beauty is inseparable from its harsh reality—53 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day. Especially at risk are the indigenous citizens, who make up 60 percent of […]

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Constru Casa

Building to improve lives in Guatemala Over half the Guatemalan population has inadequate housing. In some areas, houses are improvised and lack running water and electricity. Living in shelters made of cardboard, steel sheets, stones and pieces of wood, families are cramped and exposed to unhealthy conditions, the elements and natural disasters. The Guatemalan government has focused its attention on […]

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