Archive for the 'CFG' Category

Reception for Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Some of the schools in Huehuetenango that had received our computers had expressed interest in coming to our park in Ixtahuacan to play soccer, to express their thanks for getting computers. So we invited these schools for a day of soccer games, with a cultural night of traditional dances and songs. We invited Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu Tum to speak to the students. The theme was unity among towns. Because most towns are isolated from each other with their own tradtional dress and with 22 distict languages, there is little sense of nationalism in Guatemala. At the bottom of this page are some photos of the cultural night and soccer games.

After the event I invited Rigoberta and her husband Angel to come to Darien for some R&R, and to speak to supporters of our projectS.
 
 

RECEPTION FOR RIGOBERTA MENCHU IN DARIEN, CT.

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Welcome by Burt Palmer, elder and member of mission team, Noroton Presbyterian Church, which supports Computers for Guatemala.
 
 

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MC, Mike McLeod, board member, retired from InterAmerican Development Bank, and Peace Corps Volunteer, Guatemala 1967-70.
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Co-Founder Eulalia Paiz.
Sept 2009 Rigoberta, donors, spaces 154
 
 
RMT with flowers
 
 
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Neighbor Jack Faulker taking with Rigoberta.

 
 

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Rigoberta signing one of her books of Mayan fables, for Dr.Steve Caddle, Columbia University Medical School, and recent visitor to Guatemala with Don and Eulalia.
 
 
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Rafael, our Field Director, dancing with Devika
 
 

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    RIGOBERTA AND HER HUSBAND ANGEL CAME TO DARIEN FOR SOME RELAXATION


 
 
Sept 2009 Rigoberta, donors, spaces 201
 
 

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Christoph Hanau gave all of us a splendid morning ride before Rigoberta’s reception. The best water park in the US.
 
 
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This photo was not posed! Eulalia was so tired after the reception that she didn’t even make it into her bed. Maybe this is a good way for a medical student to catch a quick nap, one foot on the floor and ready to go.
 
 

CULTURAL NIGHT IN IXTAHUACAN WITH RIGOBERTA MENCHU

On the way to Ixtahuacan Rigoberta stopped at a school (which received our computers) in Colotenango, Instituto Maya Mam, a co-ed boarding school, to give a very inspiring talk on why Maya are needed in government.

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Rigoberta being welcomed by Director of the school.
 
 
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Listening to Rigoberta explain why Maya, especially Mayan women, are needed in government.
 
 

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Presenting Rigoberta with a plaque of appreciation.
 
 

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Girls soccer in our park in Ixtahuacan.
 
 

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DISTRIBUTION LIST

FIRST CONTAINER
parrochial school; Barillas, Huehuetenango: 55
Parrochial school; Esquintla, Esquintla: 20
parrochial school; Ixtahucan,Huehuetenango : 5
Quaker scholarship program; various: 28
Peace Corps; San Pedro Nectar,Huehuetenango: 3
home abused/abandoned girls;Salcaja, Quetzaltenango : 4
seminary for Catholic nuns; capital: 5
TOTAL FIRST CONTAINER 120

SECOND CONTAINER OCT 2008
Casa Shalom orphanage; Chimaltenango, Chimaltenango: 12
Nuestros Peqeunos Hermanos orphanage;Chimaltenango,Chimaltenango: 2
Child Aid office; Antigua, Sacetepequez;www.childaid.org : 1
library;, Socorro Guatemala: 1
Probigua library; Antigua, Sacetepequez: 5
library -Child Aid; Tiquisate,Esquintla: 4
Pedro Molina school;Chimaltenango,Chimaltenango: 1
library -Child Aid; Itzapa, Chimaltenango: 4
library- Child Aid; Tecpan, Chimaltenango: 4
library -Child Aid; Snta Cruz Balanya, Chimaltenango: 4
library- Child Aid; Chicacao,Suchitepequez: 4
library- Child Aid; Xenacoj, Sacatepequez: 4
library -Child Aid; Patzicia, Chimaltenango: 1
library -Child Aid; Melotto, Chimaltenango: 4
Quaker scholarship prgrm;www.guatemalafriends.org/program :22
Uniendo Americas micro finance; capital, Guatemala: 2
high school; San Mateo; Ixtatan, Huehue: 15
high school; Santa Eulalia, Huehue: 13
Mam co-ed boarding school; Colotenango, Huehue: 20
Peace Corps computer lab; Granados,Baja Verapaz: 10
Peace Corps computer lab; Granados Baja, Verapaz: 10
Community computer lab; Santa Catarina, San Marcos: 10
Peace Corps school; Chicaman ,Quiche: 15
school; Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango: 4
Quaker scholarship office Parramos Chimaltenango 1
TOTAL SECOND CONTAINER 153

THIRD CONTAINER JULY 2009
Uniendos Americas micro finance projects; capital: 2
high school; Ixtahuacan; Huehuetenango: 20
jr & senior high school; Ixtahuacan, Huehuetenango: 10
high school; San Juan Ixcoy, Huehuetenango: 20
community computer labs;Panajachel & San Jorge,Solola www.mayanfamilies.org :14
Peace Corps primary school; San Marcos, San Marcos 10
teacher training, Patzun,Chimaltenango; www.mayanfamilies.org :15
school, Antigua;www.miraclesinaction.org :5
Eco tourism office use; Loma Linda’ Retalhuleu 1
teach computers;Life School;Panajachel,Solola: www.lifeschoolweb.com: 4
ANADESA medical missions office use; Panajachel,Solola: 2 guatemalawaterproject.wordpress.com/tag/anadesa/
Mano con Mano office use Santiago Atitlan, Solola: 1 manoconmano.org/programs/nutrition.html
Life Builders; connect with donors; capital;www.pattonministries.org : 1
Life Builders; laptop for student; San Pedro Laguna, Solola: 1
cultural center computer lab; Comitancillo, San Marcos: 15
Peace Corps computer lab; San Andres Sajca’ Quiche: 10
community computer lab; Columba Costa Cuc,Quetzaltenango 10
Mam seminary; San Sebastian H., Huehuetenango: 10
Semanario Biblico Guatemalteco; Chimaltenango, Chimaltenango: 4
primary school; Santiago Atitlan, Solola: 12
teaching photograpy; fotokids.org; Santiago Atitlan’ Solola: 6
jr high school; Santiago Atitlan, Solola: 4
TOTAL THIRD CONTAINER 177

FOURTH CONTAINER APRIL 2010
Uniendo America micro finance: 3
Life Builders International missionaries: 6
Seminario Biblico Guatemalteco, Chimaltenango: 9
Santa Eulalia high school, Huehuetenango: 3
Life School, Panajachel; www.lifeschool.org: 12
Vamos Adelante, Esquintla; www.vamosadelante.org: 18 laptops
Maya Works, Chimaltenango, www.vamosadelante.org: 16
Typing school, Chiquimulia 30
Peace Corps cable tv station, Tactic: 3
Opal House free medical clinic; Lake Atitlan: 2
Peace Corps school , Huehuetenango: 15
Peace Corps school , San Miguel Duenas: 15
Returned Peace Corps school, Cayo Quemado, Isabel: 6
Peace Corps library , Jocotan,Chicimula: 6
Friends of Santa Cruz school: Solola: 6
Peace Corps school, San Martin, Chimaltenango: 4
Peace Corps school, Cabrican, Totonicapan:15
Peace Corps school, Cerro, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 8
Peace Corps school, Corrales, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 20
Peace Corps library, Corrales, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 8
Peace Corps school, Ciennagas, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 15
Peace Corps school, La Libertad, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 8
Peace Corps school, Chorjale, Cabrican, Totonicapan: 10
Mayan familes, Panajachel, www.mayanfamilies.org: 4
Fotokids; teach photography and graphic arts; capital, www.fotokids.org: 6
Library, San Martin, Saqetepeque: 4
Internet cafe, Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango: 6
Embrace Guatemala communitycenter for kids, Nebaj, Huehuetenango: 2
Total

INDIVIDUALS Eulalia, Chico’s daughter,Heidi, group, nephew 11 11
Quaker staff (3), Amanda, Juan
TOTAL GUATEMALA: 461 COMPUTERS TO 54 towns AND 40 INDIVIDUALS

OTHER INTERNATIONAL DONATIONS
Kenya; students; laptops: 2
Ghana; student; lapto: 1
Ecuador; NGO health clinic: 5
Total other international donation: 8

LOCAL DISTRIBUTIONS
Pivot House: Bridgeport: improve job skills: 5
Macedonia Church, Norwalk; improve job skills: 5
Calvary Baptist Church, Darien; laptop for church use: 1
high school students in Stamford; needy or living in shelters: 11
donors of playground equipment; upgrade old computer: 2
individual in Stamford; improve job skills: 1
donor of use of pick up truck; upgrade old computer: 1
Guatemalans who packed containers: 7
local volunteer fireman; monitor only: 1
Norwalk school: 2
board member for mother in law: 1
Stamford grafic arts school: 3
Stamford middle school student : 1
TOTAL LOCAL DISTRIBUTIONS 40

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High School graduation in San Mateo Ixtatan, Huehuetenango

This high school asked us to be the benefactor of their graduation and give the graduation speech, because we had just donated computers to their school. I wrote a speech which Rafael read, about a “Nueva Vista,” the name of our recreation park. One goes to our park, the speech explained, not only to play, but also to think about a new future (“new view”), a future of honesty without corruption; dedication to improving one’s self, one’s community, and one’s country; of taking care of one’s parents in their old age; a future with a good character. The speech was well received and referred to in following speecehes. Eulalia handed out diplomas, and then the big dance.
 
 

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We were given presents.
 
 

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Dressed up for graduation.
 
 

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Proud mother and son.

 
 

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Distributing Computers, October 2008

In early October, with only an hour’s notice, our container arrived at a warehouse in Chimaltenango, but Child Aid staff John Van Keppel and Kristen Anderson managed to have students ready to unload the container. In the container were 165 computer systems, 6 laptops, Internet hardware, keyboard, TV, lumber for the recreation park, and bags of children’s clothing, toys, pogo stick and a telescope for Casa Shalom orphanage. The computers and monitors were packed with many thousands of stuffed animals and used clothing. Kristen did an amazing job of organizing everything so each organization’s allotment was ready when they came to pick up. John called the process of organizing the process like “trying to herd cats.” We are greatful to Child Aid, and their staff both in the US and in Guatemala, for allowing us to use their warehouse and for so graciously and efficiently distributing the contents of our cointainer. We would not have been able to ship the container without knowing we had their warehouse and help with the distribution.
 
 
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Huehue truck

 
 

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Trip To Guatemala September 2008

On the first day Eulalia and I had a breakfast meeting with Juan Forester, a Rotarian, to discuss his plans to import our next container. Over the next three weeks we visited almost every organization that had requested computers, except for the three Peace Corps sites, because there were too isolated and for lack of time. We spent time in Ixtahucan planning future improvements to Nueva Vista Recreation Park. Here are some photos from the trip.
 
 
Eulalia and I meeting with Juan Forester, a Rotarian, who will help with the importation of  next container
 
 
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Rainy season causes landslides on the Pan American highway.
 
 

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Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Our Little Brothers) orphanage which got two computers, one for its library and one for tutoring. L-R Kristine Grosland, home office auditor, Kristen Anderson, project manager for Child Aid libray projects, and Lauren Dana who runs the orphanage library.
 
 
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Jessica and Josh Hanson at Casa Shalom orphanage.
 
 
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On the way to visit schools. Views like this all the way from Ixtahuacan to San Marcos, made the eigth hour trip worth while.
 
 

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Padre Guadalupe is building this computer lab in his parish, available free to students who show financial need. It will also have Internet with video and voice conferencing so familes can stay in touch with relatives in the States.
 
 
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We visited this co-educational boarding school in Colotenango which had requested computers. The school is only for Mam speaking students and specifically respects and encourages the Mayan culture. The students and teachers were inspirational, and gave us motivation to work harder with our project. At another school we visited on the coast the teachers were nowhere to be seen and
the students were running wild. Their application for computers is “pending.” This school was building a room for a computer school, but we found out later that corruption in is this part of the country is worse, so they maybe they got the funding from the governemnt to build the classroom but never plan to use it. Due diligence is so important for this project.
 
 

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This Mam boarding high school in Colotenango put on elaborate cultural presentation, followed by lunch, to impress upon us thier desire for computers.
 
 

Colo cultural presentation
I was asked to get up and dance, and to my surprise enjoyed it. Their original allocation of 15 computers went to 20.

 
 

Laying out foundation for caretaker's house.
Laying where the caretaker’s house will go in the Nueva Vista Recreation park in Ixtahuacan.
 
 
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September 15th Independence Day in Ixtahuacan.
 
 

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Independence Day in Aldea Acal, Ixtahuacan, with Juana Jimenez, one of my early scholarship students, and now a teacher.
 
 

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Shiro Ninomiya brought his family from Japan to volunteer for a year, using his personal savings, to teach computer teachers, in connection with Partners in Solidarity, a project that sends computers to Guatemala. Our Field Coordinator Rafael Juarez (right) and Benjamin (center), who replaced Shiro when he returned to Japan. Benjamin Tzunun Tua’ is a well qualified computer technician and will make site visits to our projects for $23 per day plus expenses.
 
 

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At the end of the trip we went to a water park for some “R&R,” and it was great, clean and well run, almost to Disneyland standards.

 
 

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Donating Stuffed Animals

We used stuffed animals to pack computers, and then distribute the stuffed animals in Guatemala to kids in hospitals, schools, orphanages, and villagers.

STUFFED ANIMALS AS PACKING FOR THE COMPUTERS
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The computers are packed with stuffed animals and small toys and given to kids. This saves on packing material and gets useful items to Guatemala. Very good clothing from the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop is also used as packing for the computers. Every cubic inch of space in the computer and monitor boxes is used.

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The shipping containers are packed with toys, here a car donated by the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop, in use at the Casa Shalom orphanage.

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MEETING WHEN COMPUTER PROJECT WAS BEGUN

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Madre Chus (right), Madre Josby (left), Eulalia (left), Herlinda (right) (social work student) having dinner in a hotel in Guatemala City when madre Chus asked if we could help provide her school with computers. Madre Chusita and Madre Josby are members of the Mexican order Siervas del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus y de los Pobres (Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor) November 2005.

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