To the “Friends of the Bella Vista children in Guatemala”,
The Bella Vista district is still the poorest in Town of San Pedro on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. After fourteen years our project to help the children of the coffee pickers is more urgent now than ever before.
The families of these children are poor and will probably remain so, since the fathers are day laborers who pick coffee, clear fields or break stones and only make $10.00 to $12.00 CDN a day. These salaries have hardly changed over the years.
Whenever I climb up to Bella Vista School, I see the fathers waiting at the street corners as unskilled laborers trying to find work. Big trucks pick them up early in the morning. But only the ones who are strong enough and are needed on any given day get to work. The rest do not. That’s heartbreaking and I am glad, when I arrive at school at breakfast time, to see that their children get a warm meal every morning. Equally important are our cooking classes for Grade 5 and 6, girls and boys are trained to cook simple nutritious meals. All students love it and a good meal at the end of the class is their reward!
Through your donations, this young generation gets the chance to break through this circle of poverty. After 6 years of schooling in the Bella Vista Elementary School they leave with a basic education and are able to function in the Spanish language in Guatemalan society. We have a kindergarten group of 26 students this year, where mothers bring their 4 year olds to get a warm hearty breakfast. At home it’s tortillas with salt and black beans, every day. That’s it!
Guatemala has one of the highest malnutrition rats of very young children in the world. What we can do is to help around 90 children per year, to have a healthy warm meal every day, safe drinking water in school and provide their families with water filters at home.
The young parents see the necessity, to give their children a vocational training. But money is lacking to pay school fees, books and a uniform for Middle School, College or University. Your donations are a huge help here as well!
In the meantime we have 19 young students who attend Middle School, College or University, all from the Bella Vista district.
Two young women became a seamstress and working out of their home, making a living to sell blouses. Two young men successfully finished their College education and are now working in an Internet Café and in the Coffee wholesale trade.
They made it out of poverty into a better life!
Please, help with your donation for a child’s breakfast, the cooking classes, the water filters or an education. You will get a photo and report every year, to see how “your child” is doing.
I am very thankful for your help and your good hearts towards these children.
For a donation, please write your cheque to: Jutta Christmann and mail it for deposit into the Bella Vista account direct to the RBC Bank, Att. B. Malloy, Lockeport, N.S., B0T 1L0