Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ALL SMILES: Update from Linda

The Learning Centre is really taking off!   Candelaria and Yesenia are all smiles as they report to us that  there were 325 visits to the Centre by San Antonio kids in this first month of operation.

Wow!  We are thrilled too.

Yesenia, the young recently-hired teacher, is very busy providing learning assistance to groups of 12 children at a time, focussing on Math, Reading, Writing and Computer skills. Most families in the village do not have books or computers, so the Learning Centre provides a much needed, supportive learning environment. The teachers in the schools have embraced the Learning Centre and are organizing their classes to visit and make use of the resources. 

Many children are attending to do their homework and to enjoy the library of new books. Mary Lynch and Kathy Coster were able to purchase over 100 books in Mexico (where the prices are much better) and these are now on the shelves.

The Centre is such a hub of activity, especially in the afternoons, that consideration is being given to paying a senior high school student to assist Yesenia for a few hours a day, as managing all this enthusiasm is quite a challenge. 

You can see the excitement on Petrona's face as she harvests lettuce from the garden. Fresh produce is very expensive to buy in the market. The women helping in the garden share the produce while some of it is used towards the lunch program for the Ancianas (elderly women). 

The Ancianas are enjoying the use of new balls for their social time. They are encouraged to participate in games which challenge them mentally and physically.  Twenty-five isolated, poor elderly women attend regularly. They are so appreciative of this opportunity to eat a nourishing lunch and have some fun with friends. You can see it in their smiles.   

Thank you to all those who have supported this transformation of the Casita to a vibrant place of learning in San Antonio Palopo. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Update on Felipe's new home - by Mary Lynch

Dear friends who are helping with having a house built for Felipe,

IT IS  COMING ALONG WELL ... and, in fact, it should be finished in less than 3 weeks. It has turned out that it will be about 12'x9' and it has cost a little more than anticipated, but thanks to all of you, we should make it. 

I am very relieved to think that Felipe will  be brought  down from his dark, isolated room to a place with windows and where he will be with his family, who will be able to lift him outside to watch the world go by - check out the view!

Above are some photos of the work in progress. the first photo is  of his  uncle , who only has the use of one  hand, the 3rd one is of his grandmother and mother who are sorting the coffee beans; they are very relieved to know that Felipe will soon be living down there with them again after his hut had been  wiped out by Tropical Storm Agatha (in May 2010).

I am really very moved  by your response and really can't thank you enough for supporting this project, that will make such a difference in the life of a man who has suffered so much.

I'll keep you posted.
Thank you,