Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcoming the Latest Participants in our Stove Building Project - Proyecto de Estufas

This August, Pop Wuj launched the latest phase of its stove building project in Llanos del Pinal.  After several weeks of interviews with community members, we welcomed ten new participants into the program.

The latest ten participants in the safe stoves project

Gina, Carmen, Carmelina and Dorlisa in the final stove interview with Doña Teresa 

Orientation Meeting - August 14

On August 14, Pop Wuj held an orientation meeting for the new participants of the stove building project.  Gina from the social work spanish program and Liz from medical spanish school program made presentations on the health benefits of safe stoves, as well as the human and environmental health impacts of burning plastic as a source of fuel and waste management.  Carmen and Mynor then went over the three stages of stove building to take place over the next few months, and the logistics of our supply delivery day.

Gina and Liz making a presentation on the harmful effects of open stoves and burning plastic 

Supply Delivery Day - August 28

Two weeks after our orientation meeting, all of the families arrived at Pop Wuj early on the morning of August 28, to collect the materials.  We walked down to the Ferretería, picked up the first of our materials (aluminum chimney and stove tops), and then piled into the back of the supply truck.  In our subsequent stops we picked up bricks, clay and cement, and slowly made our way up the bumpy road to Llanos del Pinal.

All of the volunteers, coordinators, and participants chipped in to facilitate the transporting of materials.  When wheelbarrows were not available, we formed long lines passing down bricks and cement blocks carrying them from the trucks to individual houses.  

After a long morning, we successfully delivered over 1100 bricks and 300 cement blocks (not including the few that broke along the way).  

Looking forward to the next few months of stove building!  

If you are interested in making a targeted donation to our stove building project, please click here to donate.  More information on the stove building project itself is available on our environmental projects page.

First stop at the Ferretería

Helping Hands - A line of volunteers and participants at work

Post and Photo Credit:  Caroline Yung

Second Annual Mini Feria at the Family Support Center

As all of Guatemala began celebrating Independence Day, the children and youth at the Family Support Center celebrated with the Second Annual Independence Mini Feria!  On Friday September 13, 2013 staff, mothers, and volunteers chipped in to bring a day of fun, food, and games to Llanos del Pinal.  

Activities kicked off with various civic activities and recognition of the current group of honor roll students.  The children and youth learned about Guatemalan history, the Independence, recited the pledge, and sang the national hymn.

The Mini Feria commenced with games, food, and laughter.  The mothers prepared various snacks including enchiladas, french fries, snow cones, elotes locos (corn on the cob), fried hot dogs, and rellenitos.
A hotly-contested game of fusball between Anibal and Jonathan

Julio, enjoying his hot dog on a stick!
Fair games included bowling, a bean bag toss, a throwing game with a giant clown's mouth, lotería (bingo), and fussball.  The children were awarded prizes upon winning a game.

Ingrid and Brenda checking waiting anxiously to pick out their prizes

Lotería in action

Evelyn with her first prize and a handful of tickets!

The Boston College Timmy Brigade

A long but fun-filled week with the Timmy Brigade from Boston College.  Over five days we saw approximately 430 hundred patients at the various mobile clinics in Concepción Chiquirichapa, Xeabaj, Pujujil, and Buena Vista, before closing out the week with a full-day clinic at Pop Wuj.  

Patients ranged from Christian just barely two weeks old being by Dr. Shwartz  (photo above), to seniors well into their 70‘s.  Some patients arrived very early in the morning, to ensure they had a chance to see the Timmy health practitioners.  The volunteers were a fountain of energy, and despite nearly 12 hour days at the clinic they still managed to find time to participate in a chocolate tasting and lecture at Doña Pacha, and show of their salsa moves at La Parranda following a lesson with Nestor from Bakano’s salsa.

A big thank you to Timmy Global Health and all of the students and coordinators at Pop Wuj that made this week possible.