December 2012.

That the Foundation Support the Maya’s has contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of the Maya’s in the villages on the west side of Lake Atitlán, and in particular the disabled among them, is an achievement for which we were thanked by the current Mayor of San Juan during the celebration of the day of disabled people on 3rd December. We are very pleased with the recognition of our work that is made possible thanks to donors. However, more important was his commitment to support Centro Maya in the future. That brings us a step closer to the Government taking its responsibility.

We have not reached that stage yet! Although there are several organizations contributing to the cost of the Centre, our Foundation still carries the majority of the costs. We are therefore pleased that Mr Age Kamermans has made himself available as an Ambassador to raise funds for our Foundation, which is not an easy task in times of crisis.  In April this year Age visited the Centre to gain information.

Centro Maya

Recently I wrote about the neighbouring property of Centro Maya rented by us and which we were hoping to purchase in the future. However, the owner wanted an exorbitant amount, and when the owner of the property on the other side of the main building was satisfied with less, we decided to buy that property. The terrain and the already existing building have been prepared and are in use. There is also a beautiful workspace for the young adults who are engaged in the manufacturing of ornamental jewellery. These are very popular amongst tourists and sales are doing well. The workspace has recently been split in half, an oven installed, and we now bake whole wheat bread. Marinella Bachio, who with her family, has been appointed to the Centre for a period of three years by the Italian organisation COE (Centro Orientamento Educativo), has charge of these activities.

Our request for used laptops (see previous newsletter) resulted in assistance from an unexpected source. The Dutch Embassy in Guatemala asked if we were interested in their five year old depreciated computers. This resulted in a trip to the capital and we returned with a bus loaded to the brim with 20 computers and 11 printers. We sold a part thereof and the proceeds were used to finance the construction of a dedicated computer room.

Since 2004 the Centre is visited annually by a group of physical therapists from Long Island (U.S.A.). They are not only helpful in their own field of work by visiting patients in remote areas, but also assist in various other activities. This time they provided part of the garden at the Centre with a cement floor and a zinc roof. The Mayor supplied the corrugated roofing sheets. This covered area is now used as dining room and meeting room.

Since last year the Centre receives financial support from the Dutch Liliane fonds. This made it possible to diagnose all the children. A representative of the Fund visited the Centre in November.  She expressed her appraisal for the capable staff and gave evidence of being impressed by what has been achieved. She expressed her confidence in the future of the Centre and pledged to continue the support of the Liliane Foundation.

Scholarship fund

Currently 40 people participate in a school education, partly or wholly financed by our Foundation. The education program is as follows:

  • Primary education 11 students.

This year 1 student passed and will move on to secondary education.

  • Secondary education 13 students.

This year 3 students gained a diploma.

  • Vocational education 14 students.

This year 3 students gained a diploma. They would like to continue their studies, but there are not enough funds available.

  • University 2 students.

(In Guatemala the school year begins in January)

Social fund

  • 5 Families receive monthly food aid.
  • 2 Families received help in the event of death.
  • 2 outstanding microloans are now being paid off.
  • Teeth regulation for a heavily handicapped girl.
  • Cost of treatment and transportation for a girl with leukaemia.
  • Purchase of a land for building a shelter for a single mother with five children.
  • Occasional assistance in emergency situations.

As I mentioned earlier, we are very happy with the support of the current mayor because that is hopefully the beginning of a greater involvement of the Government in caring for the disabled.  Conadi, the organisation that looks after the interests of disabled people in Guatemala, works hard on the situation and Centro Maya certainly contributes towards thi

Copyright   ©  All Rights Reserved "Stichting Steun de Mayas"