Olivia and her son to reunite!

Dear Friends, colleagues, and family,

Once again, thank you for the assistance you have given for the project in the village of Chajmaic (see photo, satellite view). We are writing with an update:

On July 11th we sent the $720 we had in funds to Ricardo:
$262 went to the safe house where Olivia is staying, to pay for room and board for her and her 2-year-old daughter for July.
We owed $825 to Ricardo for his expenses and per diem to travel to Cobán, June 19-24, 2016. From the $720, we paid $458 to Ricardo. We owe him an additional $367. He is our hands, feet, and heart in Guatemala.

We, of several faiths, are strong believers in miracles. On these two days, several miracles are occurring:

  1. We received an email on July 18th from Temple Tiferet Shalom of the North Shore, where several of you have sent donations (and can receive tax-exempt status). The Temple has $400 in donations which they will send to us soon. That will pay for the balance of the money due to Ricardo for his work one month ago.
  2. Ricardo is regularly in touch with the priest and Olivia’s sister-in-law, Lety. On July 19th Lety will bring Olivia’s 8-year-old son to her. Olivia has been asking the head nun for him to come. His arrival is being allowed as an exception in an all-female safe house, and is at the permission of the priest. Ricardo made sure that funds are already there for the transport of Lety and Olivia’s son. This was from the expense account that we provided when Ricardo made the trip last month.
  3. Olivia will meet with her psychologist on July 19th, as well. Because of Ricardo’s good fund management, there is enough money to pay the psychologist for four additional visits at once a week.

What is truly amazing is that everyone at the safe house, as well as the internal medicine doctor/psychiatrist, and the psychologist, all speak Q’echqi’, the language of the people in the village of Chajmaic.

Ricardo continues to be fully responsible for the work that is happening both in the village and in Cobán, and for this, we owe him a lot.

At this point, we need prayers, and BIG ideas for funding, such as a corporate sponsor, investor, or funder. However, any amount of donation continues to be helpful. Through small donations, we have given this project over $17,600 in the past 18 months. Other than the Crowdfunding fees and money transfer fees, all of the funds have gone directly to the project and people in need.

Fern has taken no salary in all of this, and Ricardo has taken minimal stipends. We are realizing, at some point soon, that he will have to be salaried, in order to continue this work. For this reason, we need to seek out larger fundraising entities. We would welcome your ideas and input on this.

We are also thinking, to at some point invite Ricardo to come to the U.S. to speak to groups such as houses of worship, about the project, his work, the people of Guatemala and what they need, and his vision for the future.

We now need:

  • $675 immediately to put Olivia’s land in her name in the village of Chajmaic,
  • $2,330 this month to send Ricardo to Cobán,
  • $350 to pay for room and board for August for Olivia and her two children in Cobán, and
  • $9,330 to pay for a deposit on the land in the village for the chili pepper project.

The final miracle is that our 16-year-old daughter Netta is right now in Israel, and today, July 19th, she is traveling to the Kotel, the Western Wall (the Wailing Wall), where she will pray for the project. We who are managing this project are of several faiths, but all of our faiths converge at the point of this Wall in Jerusalem. In this time of global division, we choose to focus on what unites us. For all these miracles, we truly give thanks.

We will keep you updated in the next week as to what happens with the project.

In gratitude,
Fern and Ginny