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News from Guatemala: April 22, 2016
"“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

Xela AID's
Wild Alaska!

Xela AID’s new travel program featuring exciting adventures and meaningful fellowship with old and new Xela AID friends launches this fall with Wild Alaska. Join us for a 9-day 8-night trip aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Jewel. Trip runs Sept. 2-10, 2016. Contact Scott Dennis to book today!
See Flyer for details and pricing.
Phone: 626-627-9021

Calling All Angels!

Children on Xela AID’s waiting list are eager to go to or continue in school. You can make their dream come true by sponsoring them, and becoming a “Xela AID Angel.” Click below to meet children on our Waiting List. Sponsoring is as easy as clicking through to make your tax deductible donation. Questions? e-mail
View Waiting List

Support Us Through Amazon!

You can support Xela AID by purchasing through “Amazon Smile.” That means your birthday, anniversary, Christmas gifts and everyday purchases can benefit Xela AID a full 5%, at no cost to you! Just go to When asked to select a charity, type in “Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance.” Go to each time you shop and you’ll be shopping for good!
Xela AID is a proud member of 
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Fabiana’s Story 

Fabiana Juarez Vasquez never thought she would be a writer. In fact, she didn’t learn to read and write until she was about 14 and joined Xela AID’s Literacy Program. Recently, each member of the Literacy group was challenged to write a fictional or autobiographical story and submit it to a competition that would be judged by Xela AID staff.  

A total of 12 teens and women from the group of about 35 submitted stories. In her story, Fabiana wrote a fairy tale about a young girl who meets a prince and falls in love. Her story won the competition, winning her an in-home water filter that will provide Fabiana and her family with safe drinking water.
Xela AID is grateful to Board Member Sherry Robin who sponsored the competition. Said Sherry, “It was the first time the women were challenged to create a story and they were very excited to use their newly acquired writing skills in a creative way".

Photo: Story competition winner Fabiana Juarez Vasquez recieves her in-home water filter from Clean Water Program Coordinator Elmer Mazariegos.

Study Center Seeking Coach,
Advocate, Benefactor 


Looking to make a difference in the lives of children? We may have the perfect post for you.
Xela AID’s Study Center is a haven for local children who need help with their school work. Launched by Xela AID Board Member Emeritus Sheryl Fontaine about a decade ago, the Center traditionally served 12-25 children daily and has grown dramatically in the past two years.  Today, up to 45 students visit the Center in two sessions daily. The morning finds older students (those sponsored by Xela AID’s Work Study Scholarship (WSS) program) giving back by tutoring students in 7th grade and above. In the afternoon, Xela AID’s instructor Juana Lopez tutors 20 students in preschool through 2nd grade. WSS tutors assist, working with students in grades 3rd through 6th.
The Study Center is well-utilized thanks to Juana and this great group of tutors, and is filling an important need in the San Martín community where schools lack sufficient teaching staff. "Children in the area who need help can only find it at the Xela AID Study Center,” says Norma Gonzalez, Xela AID’s sub-director and coordinator of education programs.
With the Center’s current growth, Xela AID is seeking an individual with a special interest in helping children meet their dreams to serve as a Coach, Advocate and Benefactor to this program. The aim will be to do work with our team in Guatemala to assess the Center’s current offerings and outcomes, and to help to improve them in order to offer the highest quality learning assistance to the Center’s students. 
"Xela AID program Coaches provide ideas for improving program operations, assist with planning, cheer on the staff, and help provide or find financial support,” says Bailey Smith, Chair of Xela AID’s Education Committee. “Our program Coaches also act as bridges between the program and Xela AID staff in the U.S. It is an important role that is critical in our experience in fueling a program’s growth and development."
If you are interested in becoming a Coach/Advocate/Benefactor for this valuable and successful program, please contact Bailey Smith at

Photo: San Martin student enjoying himself while he learns.

Carry for a Cause this Spring!


Xela AID Board Members and mother-daughter duo Kathy Burt and Amy Logan recently launched the new spring collection for their social enterprise, JOJI Bags. JOJI Bags are premium handbags that feature Guatemalan textiles handwoven by the women in Xela AID's Weaving Cooperative, Tesoros del Corazon. The line features a variety of styles including a canvas tote, large leather totes, and clutches. Each bag is one-of-a-kind and includes a tag with the name of the master weaver who wove it, and directions for finding her story online.
“JOJI empowers the women who weave for us by paying them fair-trade rates for their beautiful creations, and purchasing from them each quarter,” says Amy, JOJI President and designer of the new spring line who also serves on Xela AID’s Board of Directors. “It’s a job they can be proud of that translates to a better future for their families!”
To learn more about JOJI and shop their spring collection, visit

Photo: JOJI President, designer, and Xela AID Board Member Amy Logan sporting her canvas tote on a sunny day out.
Thank you for your interest and support!
Our mailing address is:
Xela AID Partnerships For Self Reliance
111 W. Ocean Blvd.
4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802

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