Dear Sponsors and Godparents,
The school year has finished for the Bella Vista kids; the older ones are off with their parents to pick coffee beans now.
This year again I spent two month there and with your help I could arrange for many things to be done.
In January spring announces itself with hundreds of swallows flying over the shores of Lake Atitlan, the fishermen try their luck in wooden boats. This is where I draw the energy I need for the hills of San Pedro. Up there, at the foot of the volcano, the new Bella Vista school nestles in the middle of the coffee plantations.
There is no official access, not even a street to speak of, it is just paths over the volcanic rocks that lead to the school - no problem for the kids, they pop up from all directions in the morning. They are in time, because a breakfast is waiting for them. This school year we had registered 86 children !
The San Pedro municipality built a new school with large well-lit classrooms, but apart from the old chairs and the blackboards on the walls there was nothing. Also the office and the school kitchen looked a mess on my first visit. Everything is on the floor. I step over balls, cups and plates, dusty boxes stuffed with books, a shoebox full of crayons, some tools saved at the last moment and wooden boards of the old school building, several dustbins. There is no door at the kitchen entrance, stray dogs are looking for remains of the food. There are no cupboards, no shelves, no cleaning products, no buckets. But then again - before there were no tiles to be cleaned, just stamped clay soil.
So I get up there every morning to change something. After four weeks, things are starting to look better: A carpenter builds shelves and a dividing wall. We buy curtains, because the classrooms heat up terribly in the sun. A small library and a storeroom are organized. In the kitchen, the work tops are tiled. We buy a school bell and a clock and we get water filters. A door is set into the kitchen entrance - now everything is ready for the preparation of the breakfast and the cooking lessons.
What is up and running here is a little school for Mayan children in the Highlands of Guatemala, where happy kids profit from the opportunity for a better life. In particular, it is the breakfast, the additional food they get through the cooking lessons and the clean drinking water that give them the strength to learn.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you - with your donations you made this possible !
On 8th of January I will be back there to register the students and organize the breakfast and the cooking lessons. I will buy school utensils and shoes for the most needy.
Please, continue to support me in this endeavour also in the coming year.
I wish you good and blessed times.