Dear friends and family,
We are writing to you with an update on Maya’s biological mom, Olivia, and Maya’s biological siblings in Guatemala, as well as an update on the village project in Chajmaic.
The biggest news is that we learned that Olivia bought a small parcel of land before she had Maya. She purchased the land to have a secure place to live. Olivia did this when she was under age and the land was paid for, but she didn’t have the money to have it officially documented in her name. Ricardo is assisting her to get it in her name. This entails hiring an civil engineer, a surveyor, and a lawyer, and working with the village leaders (Cocode). These actions will protect the family and the land and serve to enhance Olivia’s self-confidence.
This information also brought us to an awareness that, on some level, which we haven’t seen at all, is that Olivia took some initiative and leadership at an early age. Because of her desperate health situation and apparent social strata, we thought differently about her. This adds a new dimension to getting her healthy.
This is what Ricardo has achieved:
…for Olivia and her two younger children:
- Ricardo maintains regular contact with the priest and head nun who run the safe house where Olivia and her 2-year-old daughter are located, and with Olivia’s doctor. With the three meals a day and medicine, Olivia and her daughter are both doing much better.
- Olivia wants to start her sessions with her psychologist, and she will start next week.
- Olivia’s daughter underwent physical exams and is receiving medication. The nuns are working hard because they were personally very worried about Olivia’s situation. They see Olivia and her daughter like part of their family.
- Olivia’s 8-year-old son is temporarily being taken care of by Olivia’s brother and her sister-in-law (Lety). We are making arrangements to bring Olivia’s son to her within two weeks.
- Olivia knows that her son is o.k. and is coming, so that eases her mind. He will receive the same love and food as Olivia and her daughter are receiving.
As soon as money is available, Ricardo will make the 11-to14-hour trip to the safe house to talk with Olivia and her family in person. Ricardo will call Lety to tell her when to bring Ronaldo to the safe house and Ricardo will present Ronaldo to the priest of the safe house. He will also speak in person with Lety and her husband, one of Olivia’s brothers.
…for the village project in Chajmaic:
- Ricardo needs to go to Chajmaic (a) to talk about land and (b) to make sure that Olivia’s papers are ready and in good shape.
- For the time being, Ricardo will meet with Olivia’s family in Fray Bartolomé de las Casas 30 minutes from Chajmaic, for safety reasons.
- Ricardo will help the family to find short-term solutions – specifically safe water and training – prior to developing the chili pepper project.
- The long-term solution will be job opportunitiesand education.
- There is still work to be done to establish trust with the people of Chajmaic.
- The first thing that must be achieved is getting safe and consistent water.
- Primarily we need to rent land to show that we are serious about our intent. The cost of that is $9,300.
This is what we here in the U.S. have been doing:
- Brainstorming with friends and Board members regarding fundraising.
- Researching foundations to submit proposals.
- Completing paperwork with our attorney to file for Sowing Opportunities’ 501(c)3 status.
- Creating a logo and business card to begin networking as an organization.
- Identifying where we can submit our story to publicize our nonprofit.
- We would like to meet with fundraising consultants to sharpen our approach to funding organizations.
- We are thinking of having a fundraiser where we might be able to tell our story and sell Ginny’s pottery. We’re looking for ideas on this, as well as having a corporate investor.
- Ricardo’s wife, Eva María, is a licensed business administrator. She recommends that we rent rather than buying the land for one year, until we see that it’s really functional for the project. We are considering this option.
The current needs are:
We currently have $720 in the bank. We expect that more will come, but this is what we have in hand.
The number 27 is appearing many, many times mysteriously in our lives. Both of our children were born on 1/27.
Would you consider donating $27 to the project? Or, would you consider giving an increment of $27 or even $127, in honor of Maya and her sister Netta?
We are excited about what’s next. Your generosity has fueled all our efforts and is bringing healing and hope to Olivia and her village. We ask that you keep Ricardo, Olivia, and the project in your prayers.
With our warmest regards and gratitude,
Fern and Ginny