Category Archives: Guatemala

USU Volunteer in Guatemala

I’m not fluent yet but the classes are great!! Hopefully I’ll be ready by the time i finish my classes!

Things are going great. Yvonne has some really good ideas to get more volunteers to come and I’m happy to help her make that happen. She really cares so much about what she is doing down here and that makes me care too. I hope before my time is done I will have made a big impact. I have loved Antigua so much! The town is gorgeous and I can’t get over all the beautiful architecture and scenery. Luckily I was able to go see one of the volcanoes nearby, volcan de pacaya. It was so awesome!! The first pictures attached are of me at the volcano. The view of Guatemala City was gorgeous from up there. We also roasted marshmallows at the top which was super fun. At Sheny’s house there was an amazing view of volcan de fuego. If you look closely then you can see the smoke rising from the top. They also had a dead cat that was always sleeping nearby. The architecture in the city is incredible. The picture there is in the Central Park area and is just the most beautiful building. I think that’s all for now!! Thanks so much!!

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Guatemala Visit

What an amazing experience it has been here in Guatemala.  It is hard to keep from crying.  Every day we see such poverty and want.  I can´t sleep at night thinking of the poor conditions.  Tuesday was the Incaperina distribution.  Over 100 mothers received either milk or Incaperina, depending on the age of the child.  Good news was that 8 children were at a healthy weight and were released from the program.  Sad news is that there are 15 severly malnourished children that now need to be on the program. One on the children that came for the distribution we could tell was very sick.  We grabbed Gordon and sent him with the baby and the older sister to the hospital that is one hour away.  They said the child was very sick and named at least 5 things that were wrong.  Gordon and Yvonne went back the next morning and they had the baby on IVs.  The doctor came to Yvonne and said, ¨You´ve got to get these babies to us faster.  He said that if we had waited even 2 more hours the baby would have died.  The baby was in a family of 9.  The mother had died in childbirth and the 14 yr old sister was caring for the family.  We bought them food.  There was another baby that need to go to the hospital also but she wouldn´t go because she didn´t have permission from her husband.  She lived 4 hours walking distance from Senahu.  One mother had walked 5 hours to be to the distribution by 9.  It is so unbelievable.

I have people waiting for me so I have to go.  Hopefully I can get back to a computer in a couple of hours.  We are leaving here today.  It is a 9 hour drive back to Guatemala City and we are going to take it in 2 pieces.

Just have to say the missionaries here are so amazing.  I just bless them for the work they are doing in these conditions.  And I pray with all my heart for the missionaries from our family that are working for the Lord in these conditions.  My heart is full of things I want to tell you.  I love you all.  PS.  Tell Lacey and Eliza that practially every kid in Senahu has a bracelet that they have made!

I have to go.

Love Susan Carter

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Guatemala Report

Our latest journey to Guatemala was amazing. It was HARD but we accomplished SO much that my heart is full. I made a list of what we accomplished in Senahu. It is not complete, so please let me know what you can add to the list. This was one of the most successful expeditions I have been on because of the diverse work that was done.

Before I list, I want to thank Gordon Hamm for getting all the arrangements made for us. We usually have much waiting time for taxis, buses or people or items to arrive but due to Gordon’s great connections down there we were on the go all the time. He deserves high praise for putting this together!

Now for the list. Yes, you have to read it all the way through. They are not in order by time, but a random listing.

1. The Kimball family and McKay Bowman are still in Telemon, Guatemala, They have started a project of building chicken coops and furnishing chickens for many poor families. I think 20.

2. One day a man stood outside the hotel for 30 minutes. We finally asked him what we could do to help. He was a worried father with a sick child and wanted help to pay for medicine for his sick daughter. It cost only about $4. I walked with him to the Pharmacia and we purchased the medicine. After giving me a handshake of gratitude and a relieved mind, he took off running for his home

3. A mother and father brought their sick 8 year old to us. She was malnourished, but they told us that she broke her arm a year ago and since then has lost weight. They wanted us to buy some Incaperina, formula, sugar and some medicine. The medical clinic told them she did not have parasites but could not explain the steady loss of weight. I held the little girl and she was nothing but skin and bones. We bought everything they requested. I received a sad phone call yesterday from Senahu telling me that the little girl died on Sunday. Heart breaking news.

4. We provided money to buy in bulk, corn, beans, rice and other staples for 12 families. Our group then divided into sacks the food purchased. The local minister delivered the food to the 12 poor families and many tears of gratitude were shed. Even the minister was brought to tears when he saw how desperately the food was needed. We hope the food will last for a month.

5. Ashley Hamm, Gordon’s daughter, has a favorite widow in the mountains out of Senahu. She has 6 children and all were sleeping on dirt floors. 3 beds were built out of wood and delivered. Delivery was a challenge because we had to carry the beds up into the steep mountains.

6. When the beds were delivered, Scott Terry noticed she had chickens in a chicken coop in here kitchen area. On Friday, Scott decided to buy her some chicken feed. He and 2 others again went into the mountains and delivered the chicken feed. Delivery again was a challenge.

7. We were approached by one of the ministers to see if we could help with a funeral. They don’t embalm so a vault needs to be constructed of cement block. Building materials were purchased from the lumber yard and the minister and 2 others constructed the vault that day.

8.Gordon Hamm has a special family that had roof problems. He furnished materials to cure the leaks and roof problems.

9. We brought 6 wheel chairs with us. We gave them to 6 different chapels for use for those in need.

10. One wheel chair was used for a small girl with serious birth defects. Cherish, a physical therapist, used cushions she had brought to make the wheelchair more comfortable and serviceable for the little girl. Cherish worked with the family to try to show them exercises that would increase the child’s mobility.

11. Jordan Terry, for his Eagle Scout project, provided flouride treatment to over 800 children in 6 different locations. Each child got a tooth brush and tooth paste. Many boys received wood cars and the girls jump ropes and little dolls They loved them!

12. An eye chart and 400 pairs of glasses were brought. A simple eye exam was given to more than 200 adults and 122 glasses were given away. Mostly reading glasses. It was so fun to watch as people tried on the glasses until they finally were able to see.

13. Austin Lloyd, for his Eagle project, organized and cleanup contest between 2 schools. Over 200 students were provided with big trash bags and given certain areas to cleanup. 2 trash barrels were purchased and donated to the city. Trash is a big problem and we hope this will increase the awareness to keep things clean.

14. After the cleanup, 2 computers and 2 laptops that Austin had brought were donated to the poorest school.

15. Jay Garff, for his Eagle project, provided funds to build 5 book shelves for a non-existent library in Senahu. The local students in the metal school worked to build the shelves. He also brought 500 books to start the library. Before we left they had 3 shelves built. Senahu now has a library.

16. Gordon Hamm has a wonderful relationship with the police department. He visited with them and they said their only police car was broken. We offered to fix if it didn’t cost too much. We paid $113 to get an analysis but the total cost was more than our budget could handle.

17. We donated some school supplies to one of the poor schools.

18. McKay Bowman, a tall basketball player, set up a basketball and soccor camp. He had some basketballs and lots of kids came to participate. He left 4 basketballs there at one of the chapels.

19. We had taken 500 religious Christian pictures with us. We gave them to 6 different chapels for their church libraries.

20. We delivered medical supplies to the local clinic. Bandages, needles, sterilizer lotion.

21. We brought a used nebulizer. The little clinic was delighted because their nebulizer had broken 2 days before. Yes, a small miracle that we would bring a nebulizer!

22. A group of our volunteers assisted in preparing ground for another school room at a poor school.

23. Austin Lloyd, while attending church, noticed that an elderly man was there with no shoes. He gave the elderly man his shoes. Amazing that they just fit.

24. Extra Sunday ties were given to missionaries to replace old boring ties.

25. Our 10 suitcases we brought were given to the local minister.

26. At a technological school, mostly teens, were provided flouride treatment. As we left, we sang “I am a child of God.” They then sang their national anthem to us. It is one long song. Great to see them be so patriotic.

27. We rented a chicken bus from Senahu to pick us up at the airport. We allowed 15 people from Senahu to ride down from Senahu to Guatemala City to attend a special religious ceremony that they could not afford to attend. We paid for their hotel and meals. They rode back with us to Senahu and it added to our wonderful experience in Guatemala.

28. Brad Aldrich, a landscape artist, helped local artists paint a mural on the medical center reception room wall.

29. Once we have finalized our donations and expenses, we hope to pay for a concrete floor in an unfinished medical clinic building.

30. Cherish Lloyd did some wonderful physical therapy on many people, old and young. She provided training to others on how to help those that are in need of physical therapy. I hope she writes back and lists all those she helped. The needs for her help there is great and I was beginning to worry that she might decide to stay forever.

31. One young father during the eye exams was dealing with serious eye problems. His daughter was also born with similar eye problems. Cornea transplants and cataracts. We hope to get help for both of them.

I KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST. HELP ME ADD TO IT. THANKS FOR BEING SUCH GREAT VOLUNTEERS!!! IT WAS ONE OF MY MOST SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITIONS I HAVE BEEN ON.

BE GOOD AND DO GOOD.

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Other Projects

2) The Solar project. Gordon Hamm brought and we installed four solar systems. One was a grow box in the Branch Garden. Others were in members homes who do not have electricity. It gets dark at 6 and light at 6. The lights hopefully will at least allow them to have light so they can read scriptures, prepare lessons and read at night. It will make such a difference in there home.

3) Around 20 Flashlights were distributed that can be recharged by hand. They were sure a hit and will be put to very good use.

4) Assistance to the coch family. Gordon Hamm developed a close relationship with this family when he went down with his family. There daughter Anna is the only seminary graduate from last year. She works six days a week in the Restaraunt of President Lico for an income of about 35Q per day (around $4.67 per day) She takes all her income home. While there brother coch cut his foot with a Machete and had to have stitches. We took a load of wood to the family and they were also given some funds from the donations. We also installed a solar light in there home. They were very appreciate of the help.

5) They are just finishing a new Clinic that we can possibly utilize in the future for Dental and Medical. Scott worked many hours to help them get a piece of equipment operational. He developed a very good relationship with the staff. We may want to explore using the facility and taking medical groups in the future.

6) Debbie and Katie worked with the Spradins a missionary couple from El Dorado Arkansas. They did some teaching in some schools and worked with the missionaries on teaching English at the Church. Debbie also made a trip with them to a very remote village, and it about killed her getting there. Fortunately the mayor of the community drove them back in her nice vehicle. The conditions of the members is very meager, especially in the mountain villages where so much work needs to be done. Yet they have smiles on there faces and appreciate so much all that is done for them.

7) We found a young boy with size 12 shoes, and took him the store and bought him new shoes, socks and a spiderman backpack. He was so proud.

8) Dave Otts daughter made some beautiful purses that we were able to pass out, and were very well received. He also brought alot of small toys and other items that were passed out, all were a big hit with the children.

9) Debbie Clark worked with President Licos wife on her Diabetes. She has provided her with a testing meter, strips and spent alot of time giving her good input on what she needs to do to try and get her Diabetes under control.

I apologize if anything has been left out. Gordon in my seven years of doing Humanitarian work I have never come back from a trip feeling so personally satisfied. I am so grateful for the Donations that were raised by Dave Ott and Ron Truman, along with all of the materials donated by Gordon Hamm for the Solar Projects. Debbie Clark also took down around 80 white shirts for Missionaries. 50 were left in Guatemala City and 30 were left with President Lico in Senahu. I can see why they are called the forgotten people. The Bus ride is a grueling 10 hours from Guatemala City, around 7 on dirt roads. Fortunately the bus that is now based in Senahu was very comfortable and reasonable, only 300Q each way around ($40 us). There is so much we can do in Senahu-Seamy and in my opinion District President Lico is the one to help us in our work.

Best group I have ever worked with, such a pleasure and so much good was accomplished for these good people.

Ted Dodge

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The Stoves

The stoves. When Rob Rheinhart of the Maya Relief shared this with me 4 years ago I could not fully grasp the signifigance of the stoves in the Homes. Thanks to the the efforts of Ron Truman and Dave Ott, they raised $3000 for the purchase of stoves and other projects. We purchased 12 Stoves from Maya Relief for $120 per stove. If we could and started a project like Incaperina to fund stoves on a monthly basis, President Lico could provide work for some in his district.

We installed 6 stoves, and left another six with the necessary funds to get them to the villages. The day we installed the first 3 stoves it was pouring rain. The first stove was at the home of a Branch President in cite kechi (spelling not guaranteed). They have just finished a beautiful chapel. The President lives in a shack with his wife and 3 children. He didnt even have a stove but was using 3 blocks to cook on. I saw no food in the house, but the church manuals were on the table. It was incredible to see Dave and Ron work along with President Lico. The first stove took about an hour and a half to install, but the difference was immediate. The smoke in the home was overwhelming and with completion of the stove all the smoke goes outside the home. The family was very greatful and the Branch President went with us for the remainder of the day and did alot of the heavy lifting.

The second home was a mom and dad with 8 children all living in a 3 room shack. The trail to there home was almost impassable because of the rain. In this home they were able to install the stove in around 50 minutes, and again the family was most grateful.

The third stove was in the home of the Branch President in the village of semu roch (again spelling not guaranteed. I have not be able to find any of the maps of Guatemala that have these villages on the map. With this family Ron and Dave also allocated money from there Donations to buy the family a months supply of food. It was interesting that at this family the mother was cooking Incaperina for the evening meal. Makes me think that we may possibly want to expand the Incaperina and include families of greatest need. We asked President Lico about fast offerings, he said the amounts were very small. To get assistance from the Church the Branch has to complete paperwork, send it to the District and then send it to the Mission President for approval. It appears to be slow and cumbersome and in many cases does not allow for the immediate needs. For this family Elder Anderson from Tehachapi California reported back to us the gratitude from the family for the flashlights, food and the stove. The father said that it use to take 20 Loads of wood, and now it only takes 5. They have to get the wood from public land several miles away, much of it being on very steep terrain. He said he now has more time to work in the fields to provide for his family. This family also has a son who is in need of treatment for a brain disorder that will run about 5000 Q (around $666 US)

Bless the good men who held on to a bar in the back of the truck. Because of my age they let me ride in the cab with the driver. We started calling that Day the Polichic Death march. It was a brutal day, but all felt so good about the work that had been done. We also left one adittional stove to be installed at a later time.

The next stove was installed in Senahu to a family with great need. By this time they had gotten the installation time down to around 20 minutes. Was was also installed in Nu Palin to the member of the Branch there. One more was installed at the village above Senahu in the homes built by the government after the mudslides. They said it took only 15 minutes to install the last stove.

Dave Ott left all of his power tooks with President Lico and I know they will be put to good use. Working through him on projects turned out to be the best way. We had people come directly to the Hotel and ask for things and we could refer them back to President Lico. Sure saved alot of hurt feelings and confusion.

Rob Rheinhart has told me that Maya Relief has now installed about 5000 stoves in Guatemala. He has also talked about a program whereby we can get a two for one match. I will follow up with Rob and quickly as possible on that.

Ted Dodge

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Guatemala Trip

We owe a debt a gratitude to Gordon and Pam Hamm for the groundwork they have done in Seanahu-Seamy. The people Love them and appreciate so much all they have done for them and continue to do. It was really an amazing trip. I will outline some of the projects and some recommendations for the future. With all the projects we worked through the District President, President Lico. Gordon had made that recommendation and it worked very well. I have met few church leaders who have the passion for the work and the Love for his people that he demonstrated to our group. He was always the one in front, lifting the heavy objects giving of himself. I know his personal situation is tight because of the economy. He took the 10 ride in the bus to meet us at the airport, and the 10 hr ride back to Guatemala with us. These trips were round trip for us. On one day we went to Semuc Champay and he went with us. The driver took the wrong turn and it ended up taking us 6 Hours to get there, fortunately it only took 3 to get us back. We took many of our meals in his home, because his restaraunt in the square did not have water. The meals were very good and the price of 15Q (around $2 US) were very reasonable, about half of what the meal would be in the other restaraunt. He received instruction for the stove installation from the representaive of the Maya Relief and went with us into the mountains to install the stoves. Some of the areas of his district are 4 Hours from Senahu on dirt roads and on one Sunday he made the trip into the mountains to see to the needs of members in his district. Having said that about him, it would be my recommendation that anyone we consider in that area for employment be President Lico. He has a very good handle on the needs in his district and has the respect of his members.

Ted Dodge

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Nuevo Palin Success

Am leaving for Alta Verapaz on Sunday again. Last month I went to Nuevo Palin and found a really inspiring story. These tomatoes are their fourth crop. Each crate will sell for around ten dollars, and there had been 18 for this harvest. Eleven families continued with the kitchen gardens, and of these seven started to produce for sale, establishing their own mini co-operative. Adicay stayed involved and brought them fertilizer and seeds, which the villagers paid for themselves out of their sales. When the other villagers saw how successful the co-operative was, they too wanted to join up. The second picture shows 15 signing up for the fifth crop. Nuevo Palin has become tomato central! I will go there next week with Ricardo, who ran the initial project. I think they will need to find another crop.

As a pilot project it has been very successful. I for one never expected it to grow to this extent and become sustainable in the process. The fact that these families now have an income and with it a source of pride – not to mention the Vitamin C from eating the produce – is something that Charity Anywhere can be very proud of.

Yvonne

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Report from Senahu

Dear friends of Naru, Maya Help, Charity and Mr. Nick.

I want to wish a new year full of successes, with many blessings to you and your family. Since the family has been a fundamental part of the support, great works, that you do, always wanting a better life for poor indigenous families Senahú communities.

I thank God for the confidence and support that enables us to serve many people in 2011.

This year Naru, Maya Help, Charity, Don Nick and Adicay could support 327 families of the three communities in the municipality of Senahu, with St. Nicholas, New Syllabus Palin, with a population of 2.289 inhabitants, making the supply in two communities drinking water in their homes, after years of struggling to make a decent living. Similarly, support, mini-Vegetable production project 32 families of New Palin, low income who have suffered for lack of lack of technology on agriculture and economic resources. Similarly in the Syllabus community, we made a reconstruction and improvements of batteries with 12 sinks for public use.

As for the drinking water supply of the two communities.

We have had testimony of ladies, which gives them infinite thanks to Naru and Help Maya, to fulfill the dream of having water in your home, as they had several years of living in the place and never had clean water and suitable for human consumption in your home, so perhaps say that no longer will long enjoy the service, because it has an age and Avans, but his greatest desire is that children have safe water and grandchildren. They indicated that their revenues are working on farms, could never build a large project, such as its water system, which currently have.

Also share in these moments that families have their New Palin vegetables, all families have already bought their seeds, with the sale of their vegetables. With these practices their mini project, is being held. by Naru, Help Maya and Charity.

The example of these communities, despite the poverty of their families, forcing them to end their big project. As these cases only, give us strength to go on and give meaning to my life, to continue serving others.

We are currently organizing with small efforts to find better life choices. We are venturing into organic intensive agriculture, to find sustainable livelihoods for farmers in our country. We’re about to knock on doors in 2012.

ADICAY and myself, we can only thank God for using us. With a strong team working with a social purpose, which we are discovering ways to better serve and in full.

For all these fruits in 2011, many thanks to Naru, Maya Help, Charity and Mr. Nick, because without financial support, each of you, we at Adicay, we can do more things for others.

A sincere hug and kisses to all.

Happy New Year and Successes in 2012

Ana Adicay

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