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Guatemala Update: April 2015

Farmers Market Benefitting Xela AID Launched Saturday

Xela AID is proud to be the official sponsor of the The La Verne FRESH Old Town Certified Farmers Market which will benefit Xela AID. The exciting new event will be held each Saturday, 8-1 rain or shine, at "D" Street at Third in Old Town La Verne. 

Come buy your fresh, delicious fruits, veggies and gourmet specialty foods from more than 30 vendors and support Xela AID at the same time. 

We look forward to seeing some of you there! To sign up for VALUABLE COUPONS, click HERE

To view photos from our Grand Opening Event, visit our Facebook album HERE.

Xela AID Volunteer Leads Infant Pack Project

Xela AID Volunteer Alana Jolley's living room looks like a clothing factory for babies! That's because she spends her spare time with family and friends assembling "Infant Packs" so that babies born in San Martin Chiquíto where Xela AID has it's headquarters, will have more than rags to wear. "Many babies born in the village have nothing  at all to wear when they are born," explains Luis Enrique de Leon. Xela AID 's director in Guatemala.

Alana went on a Xela AID Volunteer Trip in both 2004 and 2006. While in San Martin Chiquito, Alana went with a mid-wife to see a delivery and learned that the newborn did not have fresh blankets or warm clothing. This encouraged her to take action and start the infant pack project to provide newborns with the essentials they need for a healthy start.

"I love doing these because I know how much new mothers appreciate having something fun, warm, and new to take their newborns home in," says Alana. 

Our recent volunteer trip in March took down 32 Infant Packs. This is the fifth group of packs that have been brought to San Martin Chiquito. Pictured below, a member of Xela AID's Weaving Cooperative smiles with her newborn and their new infant pack.
These lovely little packs, fully contained in a large-sized zip-lock bag, include a receiving blanket, cloth diaper, safety pins, socks, soft shoes, a unisex jumper, cap, soap and other combinations of items that are rarely available for new infants.

If you'd like to support this project and help provide Infant Packs to those in need, visit our Infant Pack Fundraising Page


On our most recent trip, five volunteers decided to become Xela AID "Angels"! We are thrilled to announce the newest members of Xela AID's Work Study Scholarship Program. Thank you to the following volunteers for their generous gift of sponsorship: 
Peggy Brannen for her sponsorship of Darwin Arnoldo Lopez Méndez

Buck and Maggie Wahl for their sponsorship of Lindsay Guzman Perez

Frank Cronin and Susie Gardner for their sponsorship of Alejandra Yulissa Mendoza Escalente
Interested in making a difference in the life of a child in Guatemala and becoming a Xela AID "Angel"? Visit our link below to view the children on our WSS Waiting List. 
View Waiting List
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." 
- Winston Churchill
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Xela AID's First Volunteer Group
 for 2015 Returns Home
After a Great Week of Projects

The hard-working group of March volunteers (pictured above) have arrived home safe and sound from their Guatemalan adventure! The group named themselves the "JJ's" (for Jovenes y Jubilados, the "Young and the Retired)". The group included 16 volunteers with various talents and professions that allowed a wide range of projects to take place over the course of the week. Here's a look at some of the projects the group took on during their time in San Martín: 

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Because of the recent wind storms in San Martín, a couple of homes in the area desperately needed roof replacements and repairs. The team swung into action replacing the roofs thanks to construction expertise by volunteers Buck Wahl and John Douglass (pictured at right), Mel Dinkel, Peggy Brannen, Maggie Wahl, B.J. West, and Frank Cronin. To view more photos of the construction projects, visit our Facebook album: "March 2015 Construction Projects".

ART PROJECTS: Art projects for children are few and far between in the villages of the Guatemalan highlands, due to lack of resources. Volunteers spent precious creative time with children making decorative flags that they finalized with a picture of themselves. This is a special treat for parents who rarely have photos of their children as they grow up. Special thanks to volunteer B.J. West for organizing the project and volunteers Maggie Wahl, and Peggy Brannen (pictured upper left) for their assistance! To view more photos from the art projects, visit our Facebook album: "Art Projects March 2015."
Xela AID Volu
nteers may choose to study Spanish during their time in San Martín. This trip, both Amy Logan and Susie Gardner took on the challenge of one-on-one spanish instruction with Fabiola Estrada

There's nothing more universal than cooking and recipes, and in the Guatemalan highlands, a new recipe can mean a new source of income. Volunteers worked with a few dozen excited cooks to learn new recipes. Thanks to volunteer Kathy Burt (pictured at left) for organizing and teaching women how to make banana bread and baked apples! To view more photos from the cooking projects, visit our Facebook album, "Cooking Projects! March 2015."
LEADERS OF THE FUTURE: Xela AID's Leadership Training Corps welcomed 35 new participants after graduating 20 last year from a pioneering two-year course. Xela AID Board Director Sue Rikalo led the new group in welcoming exercises and addressed the topics that will be covered over the next two years. To view photos from the meeting, visit our Facebook album "Leaders in Action!"

KNITTING AND SEWING CLASS: Xela AID Volunteers shared their talents with the especially talented weavers of the area who took to knitting and sewing like ducks to water! These new talents will help the women and young girls earn money to support their families and for school. Special thanks to Xela AID Board Advisor Jackie McDougall for leading these classes and to Board Member Kathy Burt for lending her sewing expertise. To see more photos from the project, visit our Facebook album "Knitting and Sewing Projects, March 2015". 

HAIR CUTTING: B.J. West (pictured left) was a one-woman project as she helped women look and feel better about themselves by creating beautiful hair designs for them. Many of the women had never had their hair done before! Visit our Facebook album "Beauty for Fun and Self Esteem" to see more photos.
CLINIC WORK: Xela AID's June Russel-Glennon Clinic is the heart of Xela AID operations, since keeping people well is key to keeping them in school, working, and taking care of their families. This trip, thanks to the donation of an EKG machine secured by Xela AID Board Member Steve Kent, we held a cardiology clinic to help serve the local community in preventing heart issues. One serious issue was detected, with efforts underway that may save the life of a child. Special thanks to volunteers Susie Gardner and Medical Committee Chair Frank Long for their assistance in the clinic alongside Steve. To view photos from the cardiology clinic and other clinic programs, visit our album "Everything Clinic".
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Volunteers participated in a conference on Preventing Domestic Violence given by our new therapist Yuly Hoffins. More than 30 women were welcomed to the conference which is part of Xela AID's Healthy Families Workshop Series initiated earlier in the year. Thanks to volunteers Amy Logan, Kathy Burt, Leon Kaplan, and Jackie McDougall for their support in the conference! View our Facebook album, "Preventing Domestic Violence Conference" to see photos from the day.
Look for more Xela AID updates next month! 
Our mailing address is:
Local Hope - Guatemala's Xela AID Partnerships For Self Reliance
65 Pine Ave. #404
Long Beach, CA 90802

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