A group of around 30 people drove down to Tijuana Mexico over the Christmas break to do some construction projects for some needy families. Clint Carter took his flip video along and took some short video clips of some of the activities. We would like to thank all of those families, and students for giving of their time and money to help on this project. We hope that all that were involved found the experience fun and rewarding.
On December 26 a group of volunteers are headed to Tijuana Mexico to do another service project. Some of us will be driving, some of us will be flying but we are planning to meet at the boarder in the afternoon on December 26. We will be doing some construction projects while we are down there. We are hoping to spread a little Christmas cheer to some families in need.
Pray for us while we are down there.
The group left this morning and went to Lake Atitlan. They spent some time at an orphanage this morning then went to the lake. It will be really beautiful there. They are staying there tonight then heading to Guatemala City tomorrow. We will meet up with them there.
The day care building is built very well and Dan Nielsen painted this beautiful mural on the outside wall. Great party with the village children last night. Some playground equipment was delivered a couple of days ago and the children have gone nuts.
We have had some incredible experiences. The scenery is spectacular. It was quite warm in Senahu but here we are quite cold. In fact I have worn my jacket all day. Please continue your prayers for us. The rain has not been as bad as it could be and has held off while we have been working. We stayed at this beautiful coffee plantation house one night at the top of the mountains. The rain came and thunder and lightning came in right after we got there. It was spectacular!!!! Very nice accommodations there!
We gave out incaperina to the people in the village near by. There were twin one month olds that we so worrisome. I know there was one child that I might of saved because I was there. I was helping with the incaperina delivery and this little 5 month girl came. But she had not gained weight in 2 months and Yvonne was telling her mother that she couldn´t be on the program any more because she was probably not getting the food. I reached over and touched the child´s arm she was burning with fever. I told Yvonne that this child was sick. The mother said she had been sick but she couldn´t get the medicine. We had her stay back to see the healthcare worker. Money was made available so she could get the medicine and of course she is still able to get the incaperina. There were some tender moments.
We went to Sumac Shampay which was a mountain pools made from a river stream. The river was dirty of course but these pools were blue and beautiful. I could imagine in my mind that the Waters of Mormon looked like this area. Amazing. We may try to fly to Tekal this week. We are planning to meet with church leaders on Wed. Just by coincidence the area humanitarian leader over all Central America was in Senahu while we were there. We want to talk to him about Humanitarian opportunities in the vilages there. The lady, Yvonne; really scared us to death with all the tales she told us, but we have felt quite safe everywhere. We were stopped by the police on one road but as soon as we showed our passport entry mark they waved us on. Lots of drug traffic in the area around Coban. Love to all of you. I have a TON of things in my heart that I cannot write at this time. It is extremely tender.
Again..continue your prayers for us. Susan
What a trip this has been. The Guatemala scenery is beyond description. Beautiful. We have had 3 other adults with us and they agree. One has been to Peru and Hawaii.
We have been busy giving away the luggage stuff we brought. It has been most interesting. We went to a new branch here in Quetzal and the thing they were most excited about was the empty suitcases we left for future missionaries. They said they were going to hang them both on the little chapel wall. By the way the chapel was a house and we held the sacrament meeting in the double car garage. This is the second Sunday they have held sacrament. We are helping them put up a couple of walls to make more classrooms. Very poor area.
We head for the capital tomorrow. A lot to show and talk about when we return.
The Incaperina program is doing more than I thought. Very happy with that.
We hope to be home a week from Wednesday. Hope to see you all then.
BE GOOD AND DO GOOD.
Hello everyone, I just have a few minutes to let you know that we are now out of the mountains and will be in Guatemala City tomorrow. We have had such an amazing experience as we have handed out the incaperina. There were at least 6 sets of twins. They have a hard time because they usually have low birth weight and then the mother doesn’t usually have enough milk. I saw at least one child that I doubt will live. He was an older boy about 3 but just laid in his mothers lap. All the children were very lethargic.
Stayed at a fantastic place last night, a coffee plantation high in the mountains. I have to go for the minute but I´ll write later tonight.
We are at Senahu today to do the incaperina distribution. We had a safe trip here and made it up the mountain yesterday. We had a portion of the trip that was like Indiana Jones but most of the most dangerous area has now been paved and so we were able to travel swiftly and safely. There are mud slides everywhere! We had to take a shortcut because the main road was blocked yesterday. The country is so beautiful. We had a huge rainstorm this morning but it cleared and these beautiful tropical bird started their songs, amazing.
Yesterday we went to a huge celebration in the community of Nueva Pañin. They had just completed a water project from a little spring in the mountains down to the 42 huts in the village. There was music and dancing and simple fireworks and palm branches and balloons. In accompaniment with this water project we gave out the hygiene kits for the LDS humanitarian. This was a huge deal to have clean water delivered to their homes. No more carrying water for miles every day. It is this kind of project that i wish the church could have been involved with. There is another group coming up next week that are going to help build kitchen gardens in this village so they can grow food. We are partnering with this great QUE che group that is very forward thinking. There are so many needs here and i love that we can be part of the solution.
It is market day today in the square so everyone is here to buy for the week. It is amazing. We rented two 4 wheeled drive vehicles in Guatemala City that had darkened windows so they couldn’t tell how many were in the car or that we were Americans. The 4 wheel drive came in handy in several spots because it is so muddy and rugged. Yvonne said sometime we need to come in the dry season to see how lovely it can be but this is part of the adventure. We were so muddy last night. No water or electricity in our little hotel. Thankfully we had water this morning…cold shower!
We will be here again tonight and then tomorrow we go to another village that has an Incaperina distribution. Yvonne said that many of the mothers die in child birth here because of the malnutrition and the lack of medical attention. She is proposing we help with a critical care maternity shelter where at risk mothers can stay close by medical personnel in Senahu. Thank you so much for all each of you have given to help these mothers and babies. I can see how great the need is here and what a difference it makes. We are saving lives!!! We still need to expand the program and have several ideas to help raise funds. We hope you will be willing to help.
Tomorrow night Yvonne said we are staying at the most beautiful place on earth. We are excited to do that. I love you all!!!!! Pray for us as we do the same for you.
I had another day of miracles I need to tell you about. I was in Tijuana last week with 42 USU students. Some were construction and some pre dental . I rode out to LaGloria with the dental and the construction group took the big Charity anywhere van. When we arrived, the van was steaming. A hose had sprung a leak. We filled it up with water and then I had the pre dental students follow me to the dental office they were going to work in. I knew I would have to get the van fixed soon or it would ruin the engine without water. As we approached the dental office I parked on the wrong side of the street. When I got out of the van a man in an Explorer spoke perfect English saying” What are you doing man???” He saw that the van was steaming. I found out he was American. I said our van had sprung a leak and I needed to get it fixed. He said that the other guy in his Explorer was a mechanic. Did I want him to look at it. Within a minute he had the bad hose out showing me the leak. One block away was a auto parts store. Within 20 minutes, the van was fixed. If I had not parked on the wrong side of the street or been 5 minutes earlier or later I would never had met this guy.
I returned to the orphanage in La Gloria and took some orphans to the next dental office. I also had to deliver one volunteer to another construction project. When we arrived at the construction site, everyone was gone. I left him there and started to the orphanage. A white car pulls up with 4 pre dental students. They were lost and could not find the dental office I had just been to. They followed me to the office. If I had been 2 minutes earlier or later they would never had seen me.
At the end of the day I had to go rendezvous with Padre jaime in La gloria. As I drove down main street of La Gloria I saw the 2 American girls we have staying at the orphanage walking in the middle of the street. I picked them up and invited them to come with me to meet with Padre Jaime. They had never met him and needed to see his program. If I had been 2 minutes earlier or later I would never had seen them.
At the end of the day, I had been directed by powers beyond me to accomplish the work that needed to be done.
This is a room we built last week in Tijuana for an orphanage. Rick is the instructor and wrote this response.
I am very excited about the new education room at the children´s home. Thank you very much. This is just a very wonderful thing. I was there a few times during the construction and told the people there that I appreciated it and that it has tremendous value to the kids there.
The room belongs to them but I´m hoping they will use it for just two things: teaching, and as a study hall. I will try to encourage them to keep it for only these uses.
The education room has three major benefits as I see it. First, and most important, it tell the kids that education is important. You would think that these kids and the adults who run the facility would know this but they don´t. Teenagers have a very hard time understanding (feeling strongly) the importance of education. I struggle, patiently, generally patiently, with them to get them to come to class. I will redouble my efforts to influence them patiently. Second as a study hall. Hopefully it will be a quiet place where the kids will go to do their homework away from all the other zillions of things that go on there including TV. Hopefully I can guide them in that direction. Third and last, but very important, it will be used as a teaching room.
I am just beside myself with excitement in this classroom improvement and in the impact it may make in the lives of these abused kids. It is my opinion that any child who is rejected by his/her family and lives in a children´s home has been abused by his/her family. This is abuse all by itself.
Incase you don´t know, almost all of the kids there are behind one year in school. Some are behind 6 years. One has never been to school. One has been to school for several years but has not learned to read or write. It is a challenge for me to get them to admit that they can´t read and write. They try to hide it from everyone and they sometimes resist coming to class to keep their secret. One 15 year old took a test a two months ago and passed the test for elementary education. She will take a test in a few months for middle school and hopefully start high school next fall.
Again, thank you very much. I feel like I owe you and the people who built and paid for this school room a tremendous amount for this wonderful gift. I will keep you posted on how it goes.
A very nice article was written about Charity Anywhere Fondation in “The Utah Statesman” today.
Here are a few quotes from the news paper article.
“”Our goal is to make a difference in other countries and change attitudes and hearts here in the U.S.,” said Susan Carter, co-founder of the Charity Anywhere Foundation (CAF).”
“This year we are planning projects and expeditions to Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti and with Native Americans in the outback of Alaska,” Carter said.”
“The CAF also has groups at the University of Utah, BYU, Utah Valley University, Weber College and in other states as well as Great Britain. Clearfield High School is sending a group of over 60 people sponsored by the organization to Tijuana to repair and build houses over Christmas break.”
To read the full article, please follow this link to The Utah Statesman.
This was a great trip to the headwaters of the Amazon. It was true jungle here. I did not catch a fish but did gather a few mosquito bites. They still itch. Susan is the fisherperson of the family. We had a great time and every thing was well organized. We never felt we were in danger. The Ecuadorian CAF people were absolutely wonderful. Worked hard and accepted the US volunteers with open arms. A lot of great work was done.