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Guatemala Update: August 2015
Meet The Artist in Santa Barbara September 12th!
Xela AID and Kathy Burt are pleased to invite you to attend An Artist's Reception with renowned artist Guillermo Bert. Proceeds from this partnership are benefiting Xela AID, Xela AID's weaving cooperative and many local Guatemalan artists. 

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Time: 1:00-5:50 p.m.
1937 Laguna Street,
Santa Barbara, CA

RSVP Please!

New Must-See 
Xela AID Video

Luciana is a survivor, and an amazing testament to the power of persistence and also what can be overcome with support and encouragement at the right time. Xela AID is grateful to Actuality Media and its talented students for telling Luci's story and the story of Xela AID! Watch LUCIANA'S STORY (10 minutes) 

Interested in an Upcoming Trip? 

If you're interested in traveling to Guatemala with us this summer, visit our Volunteer Trips page on our website to see our schedule for 2016.

Applications and trip itineraries will be posted shortly. If you wish to reserve a spot or learn more about our trips this summer, e-mail
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." 
- Winston Churchill
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New Welcome Center Inaugurated, New Program Announced 

Xela AID's new third floor, The Betty Rikalo Welcome Center, was officially completed and inaugurated on August 6. 

"Growing up our house was always a gathering place for our family and friends. My mother made everyone feel loved and welcomed. Another of her important values has always been to be of service to others..." said Sue Rikalo (pictured above alongside sister Nancy Rikalo and Architect Rony Escalante), Xela AID Board Chair and daughter of Betty, 93, for whom the center was named. "My mother will love knowing that her values will live on here with all of you."

During the ceremony, a new program was also launched. The program, said Chair Rikalo, "will fill a gap in Xela AID's educational offerings." Made possible by the Carter family, who were present, the new "Computers for College" program will make sure that students receiving a Xela AID Work Study Scholarship who graduate high school and are admitted into technical school or college in coursework where a computer is required, will receive one. "We are exceedingly pleased to be able to assist in this way," said Larry Carter.
Join the Festivities HERE

Jewell College and Friends
Lead Science Camps in San Martín


The "Jewell College and Friends Volunteer Trip," Xela AID's fourth trip of the year, welcomed 19 students, professors, a father-daughter team and a Trip Leader in Training during July. 
The Jewell College team pulled off three fantastic science camps, including one to build solar-powered lights, one to program microprocessors, and a physics experiment demonstrating the power of pressure by building and launching bottle rockets. "Students in our Leaders Program not only learned but they had fun," said Lucky Gonzalez, Xela AID's education coordinator. Solar-powered lights built by students will supply free light to study by. In some cases, these are the only lights available in the students' home at night.

Other projects included completing a medical records system, art projects with elementary school and preschool students, completing electrical hookups in Xela AID's new Welcome Center, and clean-out and maintenance of Xela AID's well and a chimney!
One of the trip participants, Guillermo Bert (pictured above in hat), is a renowned artist that specializes in "Encoded Textiles," featuring works of art that feature QR Codes to tell the story of an indigenous community. Bert has recently dedicated his new works to support Xela AID and the people of the San Martín community (see event information in left-hand column). We were fortunate to have him along for this adventure! 
See, LIKE and Share Photos HERE.

Artists and Friends Painted the Town 

The Xela AID "Doctors, Artists, and Friends Trip" welcomed a diverse group of enthusiastic volunteers including several artists from the organization Art Ambassador for a Colorful World, doctors, new friends, and many returning Xela AID volunteers. 

"It was one of the largest and most diverse groups I've ever had the privilege of traveling with," 
said Board Member and Work Study Scholarship (WSS) Director, Amy Logan. "Each and every person in this group jumped in to their projects wholeheartedly and it was amazing to see what we were able to accomplish together." 

Xela AID's headquarters was buzzing with activity all week! The group of artists, led by long-time Xela AID Volunteer Kevin Macpherson, were hard at work painting a mural for the new 3rd floor, while others entertained many with their portraits of local Mayan women. Meanwhile, a group of high-energy volunteers were leading a variety of art projects in the classrooms of Las Nubes school. The students were thrilled to receive brand new art supplies along with a class led by our volunteers – a special experience that many of the students rarely get to enjoy. 

More projects included art therapy sessions led by Board Member Sherry Robin, a "Healthy Family Communications" workshop with the women of Xela AID's Weaving Cooperative led by Xela AID psychologist Yuly Hoffins, and cardiology and general medicine appointments led by Dr. Steve Kent and Dr. Nancy Rikalo in collaboration with Xela AID physician Dr. Nora Contreras 

See more photos from this trip HERE! 

Stay tuned for more updates next month!
Our mailing address is:
Local Hope - Guatemala's Xela AID Partnerships For Self Reliance
16585 Pacific Coast Hwy #1194
Sunset Beach, CA 90742

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