Hello Appleby United Church, Family and Friends

I am Andy McCormick and I am preparing to head out to Guatemala with a CCAMRE Mission Team on April 11, 2015.

Whenever possible I will be trying to share my daily experiences with you as we work with the Mayan Ch’ortí Indians in the impoverished rural mountain villages of La Uniòn, Zacapa, Guatemala.

This year our mission is made up of 17 Canadians plus a number of Guatemalans.  We arrive in Guatemala on April 11 and return home on April 26th.

Our Dental work will continue with Dr Russell Grover and Dr Richard Morris. This year they will be supported by a large team of 9 hygienists and dental assistants.

I will continue to focus on the Scholarship program we operate, looking forward to talking to the students we sponsor, their families, and teachers at some of their schools.

Team member Roy Baker will be monitoring the building of enclosed stoves in homes of the most needy, and we will continue to review our breakfast program in Volcancito as well our child sponsorships and other activities.

Stay tuned for the daily updates, they will show below in reverse order, newest to oldest.

Andy

 

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Guatemala Week 1 – Thursday April 16

         Hola from Guatemala.  It was very late Saturday night when we finally arrived in La Union and it has been a busy week.

For the first week of the mission there are only 5 Canadians here working with 4 from Guatemala.  Cecelia Bardsley is working with Mark Will in Volcancito meeting with families that have children in a child sponsorship program.  These are families that are particularly destitute and often cannot afford to feed the children properly.

Roy Baker has been working in both Pena Blanca and Volcancito inspecting homes where we have been installing efficient stoves to see if they are working properly.  He is also inspecting other homes to find ones most in need of one of these stoves.

Hilda Rossi, the President of CCAMRE has quite a job organizing all the team needs here as well as participating in a number of the programs.

So far this week my work has been spread between Timushan, Volcancito and Taguayní. Volcancito is the poorest of the various villages that we work in and so we have been focusing.  Of the 31 scholarships that we have, 17 of the students are from Volcancito.  So far I have managed to meet with 10 of the families at their homes as well as spending a morning talking about the students with Emma Elizabeth Guerra the principal of the junior high school in Taguayní.

Today, Thursday, I spent the day in Timushan talking with the leaders of the community coop about investment involved in opening a community store.  The building was mostly finished some years ago but for political reasons the whole project was not completed.

The temperature is well into the 30’s, hot hazy and humid.  Wednesday evening we had quite a thunder storm, heavy rain pounding down and lightening flashing around.  It is a little early in the year for rain to start and we hope there isn’t too much because it could make driving on the country roads almost impossible.

It is incredibly fulfilling talking to both the families that are receiving scholarship support as well as the teachers at the high school because they know that these kids would not get this chance otherwise.

Buenos Notches

Andy

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April 14th, 2015 Update – Internet challenges

Andy arrived safely in Guatemala City on Saturday and endured the long drive to La Union which is the home base for the mission team.  Despite the internet connection success the past few years, this year is proving to be a challenge.  Andy has reported that there is no convenient way to establish a connection this year and much to his disappointment, he will not be able to provide daily updates to his mission blog.

We wish him success in his connections with the many scholarship recipients and their families this year.  Andy will be forced to take a break at the end of his day, collect his thoughts, and perhaps transcribe them for posting here upon his return.

Thanks for all your support and best wishes.

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