When you hear someone say, "I went to Mexico." What comes to mind? Cruise ships. A picturesque vista. Palm trees. Fruity beverages. Oh, and tropical weather. Yes, all the vacation-y things. You typically don't imagine your days south of the border to be serenaded by birds and your freezing cold nights set to the soundtrack of about 1 million dogs.
In this particular case, they were.
Our guest blogger today is Teresa Larsen - a dental hygienist, a long time CHOICE supporter, and humanitarian. She recently returned from an expedition to Guatemala with our partner Dr. Roy Hammond with Smiles for Life. This organization trains men and women in extreme rural areas around the world in basic dental skills. In this blog, Teresa talks about her path and her personal challenge.
Bringing health care to a community that has never had it before is no small task. In December 2014, a new hospital was inaugurated in Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala. For the first time, 13,000 people had access to medical care. CHOICE Humanitarian and 23 communities in the Chulac Region joined forces with other NGO’s, religious organizations, business and government organizations to create this long needed facility. Prior to the completion, residents had to travel 65 miles for hospital care.Read more
Sikaab’e is a state of the art technical school and it is the only one of its kind in the Polochic Region and provides education and training for farmers and high school students ages 14-18. Increased education and vocational training gives the locals the opportunity to stay in the community, to find a better job, or to create a business. Appropriately named, Sikaab’e means “Seek Your Path” in Q’eqchi’ and encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.Read more
CHOICE Guatemala announces the completion of the kitchen facility on the campus of Sikaab’e! Sikaab’e is the technical school in the Plicheck Valley where CHOICE Guatemala works. It is appropriately named as Sikaab’e means “Seek Your Path” in Qeqchi and this is the first of its kind in this region and encourages entrepreneurship and innovation to farmers and high school students in the region.
Increased education and vocational training gives the locals the opportunity to stay in the community, to find a better job, or to create a business. The school was built by 19 students studying masonry who received their INTECAP government certification as masons. The second cohort graduated 19 people in culinary skills.Read more
“As humans we are all equal, and we should treat others as such, and honor every race, religion, culture, and belief with the same respect that we expect others to have for ourselves.” Julie, Store Manager for DownEast Home & Clothing.
DownEast has been our corporate partner since 2009 focusing on gender equity in the Polochic valley of Guatemala. Strong female role models are important in their staff and philanthropy efforts as well as a shared core value. Their partnership is a great example of how consistent small actions can lead to big lasting change. Find a comfortable chair and get to know six strong, amazing women.
Thank you DownEast for being our guest blogger this week!
CHOICE Guatemala has completed the first cabin at Sikaabe – our new vocational training school located in the Polochic Valley. These cabins will be a source of revenue for the school and are located on a ridge overlooking the most amazing scenic view that you will ever see! Soon these will be promoted and marketed as a resting place for overnight tourists that visit this area. Students studying hospitality at Sikaabe will provide a first class visit to guests, and 100% of the revenue will be used to help Sikaabe become self-sustaining. Sikaabe, which is Q’eqchi’ for Seek Your Path, broke ground in 2014 and started animal production in 2015. Felicitaciones CHOICE Guatemala!
Life can be tricky when you’re living in extreme poverty. Everything seems like an uphill battle. The expense of education and the time that it takes away from household chores is often a stumbling block. This is particularly true for girls.
If you live in the poverty belt in Guatemala, and you are one of the lucky ones to graduate from primary school, there is nowhere close to continue your education, and the cost can be prohibitive.
However, in 2009 CHOICE Humanitarian opened the Nacional Instituto Telesecundaria Basic Educación opened, and that was a game changer. Serving students from 12 to 16 years old.Read more
Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity. That includes access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene products and awareness about health as it relates to the female body.Read more
Why is gender equity in impoverished communities so important? Because extreme poverty is sexist! Women in poor communities bear almost the entire responsibility for providing the basic needs for their families, yet are largely left without resources, freedom, and decision-making power required to fulfill these needs. CHOICE Humanitarian is committed to programs that empower women to take an active and equal role in community-level leadership that can break the cycle of poverty.Read more