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News from Guatemala: January 2016
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

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Xela AID is registered on Amazon Smile, and every time you purchase there—birthdays, anniversaries, next Christmas, and even your everyday purchases—a full 5% will go to Xela AID! There’s no cost to you, and you'll still get the best prices available on Amazon.
It’s easy to sign up. Just go to on your computer or hand-held device. Sign in to your account. There it will ask you which charity you’d like to support. In the box, type in “Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance” and select. It’s that simple!
Remember to go to each time you shop Amazon so Xela AID will receive your donation (consider making a bookmark). Those 5%s add up! Thanks ahead of time for your Amazon Smile support for Xela AID!

Calling All Angels!

Do you currently sponsor a child in our Work Study Scholarship (WSS) program? If you do, we call you a "Xela AID Angel." Interested in connecting more with your sponsored child? Now you can e-mail a note for your student with student name and ID number in the subject to: Tell your child about your family, send photos, or simply say hello! Questions? e-mail
How can you become a Xela AID Angel? Easy! Click below to meet children on our Waiting List. Sponsoring is as easy as clicking through to make your tax deductible donation.
View Waiting List
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Volunteer This Summer With Xela AID!
(See Deadlines)

Make 2016 a year to remember by joining Xela AID on a volunteer trip to Guatemala! Trips open to the public in 2016 include April 29-May 9 (Deadline extended to JANUARY 25th), July 23-August 1 (Deadline March 15), and August 13-21 (Deadline April 1, waiting list only).
For our September 29-October 9 trip, Rotarians may apply (Deadline June 1). We look forward to hearing from you! Photo above: Volunteer, BJ West crafting with San Martin local, Juana López.
Download Overview/Application Now
(First Come First Served)
            Visit our Volunteer Trips Page to
View Individual Actual Day Calendars
Call for more information:
 Arlene Corral (559) 802-6174

Grandparents are Stars of Winning Story

Over the past year Xela AID’s Literacy Program students have been working hard learning how to read and write. With the students’ new-found knowledge and skills, Alicia de Leon, Xela AID’s literacy teacher, with the help of Sherry Robin, a Board member and the program’s coach and benefactor, put together an exciting challenge.
After a discussion about the importance of reading and writing and how it can create more career opportunities, the women in the Literacy Program agreed to start a story competition. The women were given five months to write a story of their choice. The story could be autobiographical or fiction, as long as it had a beginning, middle and end with some sort of conflict or challenge to overcome. As an incentive to compete they were told the stories would be judged on creativity and effort, and that the winner would receive a special prize.
When all the stories were completed they were judged by Xela AID Guatemala staff and a winner was chosen. Fabiana Juarez, a teen from San Martín Chiquito, wrote a story about her grandparents, casting them as a prince and princess. Her touching story won the contest. She was awarded a water purification system for her home, a prize that will positively impact her family immensely and for years to come.
“The women worked so hard and have written some great stories,” said Alicia. “Their effort and creativity really impressed me!”
Sherry noted that writing their stories was such an impactful experience for the women, that competition may become a yearly event.

Photo above: Literacy student Reina Vázquez is now able to read to her child! 

Seven Students College Bound!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. The kids in the San Martín community understand that education is the key to a successful future and are working hard to make their dreams a reality. And Xela AID’s Work Study Scholarship program continues to support their dreams, with more than 120 students now sponsored!
Seven students from Xela AID’s Work Study Scholarship Program (WSS) have been accepted into college programs, more than double the number accepted in past years. The first three include: Sheily Vanesa Méndez (sponsors Pat and Lori Bunton), Maidely Reyes (sponsors Sean and Edward O'Connell), and Yoceny García (sponsors the Carter family). The other four, all sponsored in the WSS Program for the first year of their college journey by the International Christian Scholarship Foundation, are Lilian Aracely Salazar Ramirez, Elmer Raul Mendez Sicap, Lilian Raquel Bahinas Gonzales and Juana Cecilia Sales Vasquez. Xela AID salutes all these young people for their hard work!
When Xela AID came to San Martín Chiquito 23 years ago, there was no record of even a single child having graduated from high school. Today, more than 300 students have graduated from high school through from Xela AID’s WSS program, and 15 from college! We thank each sponsor for having made it possible for these young people to fulfill their dream of an education. We are excited to see what the future holds for these intelligent, young people.

Photo above: Students, Sheily Vanesa Méndez, Maidely Reyes, Yoceny García and Dulce Gomez getting advise about college courses from current college student Isy Mazariegos.
Stay tuned for more 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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