This campaign is all about supporting opportunity and autonomy for the children and communities of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. We are raising funds for school supplies, art supplies, food and shelter to assist these brilliant bilingual children in having access to education, a safe place to call home, and a hope for their future.
As we looked into existing organizations in Guatemala that address the issues of child poverty and orphanism, we were shocked to discover that the orchestration of education and nourishment efforts were either non-existent or grossly inadequate and misdirected. There were no art or agricultural teachings being offered in any of the schools or orphanages. The only education that was offered was in basic math, reading and writing. Our group knew at this point that we were getting involved, and we had no clue how deep our hearts wanted us to get into this work or what exactly we were getting into.
The funds we are raising are also to invest in land for a permaculture education center and garden. This land and garden will offer sustainability as it feeds the children and also provides a hands-on education in agricultural practices and traditional arts.
In Guatemala, agriculture and arts are two primary sources of income and sustenance that the Indigenous communities have practiced to avoid the reliance on goods and services from outside of that region. Practices like these reduce the import of waste to this paradise, strengthen community bonds, and ensure the successful passing of traditions and cultural art/agriculture practices.
This is about keeping the heart of the culture alive through sustainable permaculture initiatives. Our overall goal is to offer support to and strengthen the Indigenous communities that carry the cultural wisdom, teachings and practices of the Mayan Tribes of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
The cultural wealth and wisdom held by the Native communities in this land is precious. Supporting the youth of these impoverished, impacted communities is work that is tangible and achievable if we work together.
Thankfully, there are men like Pablo Culum who has started an orphanage that offers services to 45 orphaned children in a small town by the name of San Pedro. His dream is to educate people of all ages, care for the children, and support the global vision for sustainably healthy communities.
Because Pablo operates the Orphanage from funds he earns selling his artwork to tourists, the upcoming months of March-September (the rainy-season) are especially difficult to provide for the children, as there are very few visitors to the lake. He has humbly asked for assistance on behalf of the community.
The goal is to feed, shelter, and educate the children, and he is asking for all the assistance we can offer.
So, any funds we can generate to start supporting these children will be impactful and meaningful on so many levels.
Anything you can offer to this cause will be cherished and appreciated by the communities of Atitlán. Please give generously, as this is meaningful work that is greatly needed, and will make a huge difference in the lives of many.
With Gratitude and Blessings from Atitlán,
~Blaine and the Team.
P.S. We will be starting a 501c3 in the near future, but that takes time and a lot of paperwork (and maybe a willing lawyer who wants to help us pro bono). So, this is the first tangible step that we are taking, but certainly not the last.
**Here is a video shot with Pablo at his shop in San Marcos where we discuss what is necessary to assist the children of the community, the vision for future endeavors of expanding the support we offer to more children around Guatemala, as well as some of the other needs of the communities and families here.
(It is mostly in Spanish)
"It is our hope and goal to support these orphaned children in living a healthy, happy and meaningful life. We know that by taking steps to care for the most vulnerable populations of children we are preventing a cascade of social problems, and paving the way for healed communities and a better planet for all of us." -Blaine
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