We have an Event coming up in Malden, Massachusetts – Rescheduled date: Sunday, May 23th – for Earth Day!
Watch Sowing Opportunities’ 1-minute Earth Day video!
See Sowing Opportunities’ recent Neighborhood View article.
Chajmaic’s greatest resource is its abundant river, el Río Cahabón. This river flows for over 120 miles and provides for all the needs of those in the village. See Sowing Opportunities’ recent Neighborhood View article and our recent newsletter email.
In August 2019, a new mayor, Arnoldo Fontana, was elected to the municipality of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. He completed the project, going even further than the previous plan, bringing not only electricity, but also faucets to each of the 350 homes in the village:
The next thing that is needed is to install filters at water tower, which costs $5,000 per filter. Two filters are needed at the location of the water tank. Each filter lasts two years, so that annual cost would be $5,000, divided by two years. The other cost for the water project is the monthly cost of electricity for the water pump @ $97 per year.
Choc Tiul family
Because it is something that helps us survive and without water we die.
Tiul Coc Family
To drink for domestic use cooking and washing many things.
Choc Choc Family
To our community.
Pop Coc Family
We would die because without water we would not bear to live long.
Figueroa Chavez Family
5. How does water improve the functioning of our body?
It keeps the kidneys healthy and hydrates the skin.
Sacul Chub Family
6. Why is it important to conserve water?
Because it is what helps us to survive and we must make good use of it properly, so that we can have it more easily at our disposal.
Choc Lima Family
7. Why take care of water?
Because without water we cannot do much and as it is vital for us we have to take care of it because the water runs out and if we do not take care of it we will run out of water.
Cú Ical Family
8. Why are ways to preserve water created?
Because in many places rivers have been drawn and people cut down many trees and throw away a lot of garbage and there is a lot of pollution.
Macz Tiul Family
9. Why are there organizations that promote water care?
To prevent humans from continuing to pollute and become aware of our duty to care for and use what is necessary to avoid misuse.
Ba Chub Family
10. What are the consequences of not conserving water?
Because if we don’t keep it well or don’t take care of the place where we get the water from, it can run out and we run out of water.
Gomez Caal Family
11. What are the advantages of caring for water?
Because we can have the amount we need and if we take care of it we avoid contaminating it and thus we do not get sick.
Ical Ba Family
12. Why is water important for animals?
Because it helps them survive
Tiul Cucul Family
13. why does water promote plant growth?
Because it moves soil minerals through the plant when the soil dries out, root growth slows down and plants don’t grow.
and grow and helps them keep their bodies healthy.
Details are here.
Sowing Opportunities held a clothing drive and, thanks to the support of many, we collected over 300 large bags totaling over 5,000 lbs. Through the Savers FUNDrive® program, our #nonprofit earned over $1,300 for purchasing #groceries for families in the #village of Chajmaic, #Guatemala during the #pandemic, or to start our #agricultural project. We are seeking a #corporate, or individual, sustaining supporter/s. Details: https://conta.cc/3bvuXGU
Our goal on June 29, 2020 was 100 bags. On August 29, 2020 we delivered over 300 bags to Savers!
We brought the collected bags of clothing to Savers in exchange for a donation to the nonprofit. We have been using these funds to feed hungry families in the remote village of Chajmaic, Guatemala.
Email sent on July 13: https://conta.cc/3gH2uz3
Sowing Opportunities is indebted to the capable assistance of Elena Martínez and Valmy González for their help in organizing and LIFTING and transporting (from one storage facility to another), nearly 260 bags of soft goods for our Savers fundraiser! Val did the heavy lifting all day (August 2nd) and Elena was our constant support, providing website assistance, taking professional photos to document our day, and keeping track of the bags. Not an easy feat! If you are looking for a skilled and innovative web designer, check out Elena’s website!
Sowing Opportunities appreciates the generosity and efforts of the employees at U-Haul, 124-126 Eastern Ave., Malden, MA. The manager, Amilcar, provided our nonprofit with three storage bins for one month and, at one point, one of the employees, Devyne, helped me bring 16 heavy bags down the stairs to our bin when the elevator was broken. Kevin tried his best to help me open a lock that was truly jammed and the team provided a new lock so that the process was (almost!) effortless. The efforts of the employees at U-Haul, 420 Eastern Ave., Malden, MA were equally amazing! Luis, Trey, and Andrew set things up for us and were incredibly efficient and kind, fork-lifting our U-boxes to us when we requested them. They are indeed an essential service in Malden!
We are also very appreciative to Kyle and Enterprise Chelsea Truck Rental for their support and contribution for our clothing fundraiser.
Sowing Opportunities is incredibly grateful to Mary Selvoski, master tailor and Seamstress to the New Hampshire stars, who must liquidate her stock during this pandemic, and who donated over 125 of 40-gallon bags of clothing for our Savers fundraiser!
Donations and support gratefully received from:
Since returning from Guatemala, I have some updates to share with you.
First, I cannot fully relay how moved I was to hold hands with those beautiful children in Chajmaic. They literally would not let go of my hands until our contact there, Alfonso, told them that we had to go single file up the slippery stones, climbing the steep mountain to where the water tank has been built by the municipality.
Second, my heart was literally broken to hear that Alfonso was strongly considering coming to the U.S. without documentation to escape the poverty and gang violence. When he told us this, I had just read that the U.S. government was going to undergo a shutdown over the border wall. The desperate need of the Guatemalan people leads me to consider immediate action for our project.
Here are the facts, as we know them:
One of Ricardo’s agricultural engineers, Federico, started an agricultural project in a Catholic boarding school for indigenous children, teaching the young students to grow vegetables in greenhouse farming – a system he learned in Israel – for food and livelihood. We visited this school, outside of Guatemala City (in Mixco), and learned that his plan is to replicate this system in Chajmaic.
with this breakdown on an annual and monthly basis:
On December 21, 2018 Fern visited the remote village of Chajmaic for the first time since learning about it in early January 2015. If not for the reports and photos for several years, she would have been in shock at the abject poverty.
Before arriving in Chajmaic, she bought boots in Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (30 minutes’ drive away) to prevent being bitten by a poisonous snake while in the village. We arrived in Chajmaic on their busy market day, which was just at the entrance to the village. The entrance road was paved six years ago.
We gave our project leaders in the village, Lety and Alfonso, a gift of appreciation for their work.
Here are some facts:
We climbed a steep, muddy, rocky and slippery hill of 60 meters (200 feet) to get to the water tank, which, when the water pump is installed, will become operational. There are two pipes – for inflow and outflow – that leads to each faucet.
There is an abandoned latrine project from years ago, which the villagers said they didn’t want. This needs to be explored further.
Bilingual (Q’echqi’ – Spanish speakers) may become the leaders, and this could be a motivation for young people to learn Spanish as a second language. Leaders could become Spanish teachers, as well.
We visited the pump house near the road on our way out of the village. It lacks installation of a pump.
We invited 3 adults and 4 children to come to lunch in Fray and discussed our plans. Alfonso told us he was thinking about going to the U.S. without documentation to bring his family out of poverty. To discourage them, we told them true stories – some from personal experience – and I cried. We hope that we convinced them. But this demonstrates the extreme desire to extricate one’s family from the oppressive conditions which they face daily.
As a testament to the depth of their empathy and character, one of the children with us at lunch, perhaps age 7, whom we learned was ill with fever, came to me after Fern cried and asked her in mixed Q’echqi’ and Spanish why she was crying. The girl had been holding Fern’s hand throughout my stay in the village. Fern told her it was because she cared about her and her family.
At the end of our stay together, Lety and Alfonso blessed us.
None of this would be possible without the able leadership of our Guatemalan project manager, Héctor Ricardo San José Roca. His decisions and actions have brought us to the successes we now have.
We can demonstrate need. We can demonstrate capability.
We can demonstrate solutions. We can demonstrate results.
Here are three videos of the group of 10 – 6 adults and 4 children – at the top of the steep hill, at the water tank. The first video is with Alfonso speaking in Q’echqi’ to the children:
The second video is with Ricardo speaking in English, with Alfonso carving a walking stick for a safe decline:
The third video is with Alfonso speaking in Spanish, handing Fern the walking stick that he had just carved for her safety:
Details on the entire visit can be found here: http://www.sowingops.org/en/learn/guatemala-travelogue-december-2018/