Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Clinics Continue in the High Season

Pop Wuj Spanish School always sees high enrollment during the "gringo summer," aka June and July.  Once again the Medical Spanish Program has been at capacity and with this we have been able to run double clinics.  Double clinics allow us to serve more patients in Xela and in the rural communities where we offer mobile clinic.

Wednesday, July 23rd was no exception.  Pop Wuj staff, volunteers, and Medical Spanish students worked in Xela at the Pop Wuj Clinic and in Llanos del Pinal with a mobile clinic.  In Llanos we saw 22 patients from the community, including some Pop Wuj Scholarship Program participants and Family Support Center staff and participants.

Joanna, a Pop Wuj Medical Spanish student, triaged the patients, including Dinora,
a Pop Wuj Scholarship Program student.

Dr. Sammy, a Pop Wuj doctor, and Cali, a Medical Spanish Program student examine Don Marcelino, a Llanos community member and the father of several of the children who attend the Family Support Center.

Reviewing the pharmacy orders and filling prescriptions.

More pharmacy fun

We will return to Llanos del Pinal for another mobile clinic when the next Timmy Global Health brigade arrives in mid-August.  ¡Gracias a todos por su trabajo en los proyectos!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All Fired Up for Stove Building! Fuel for Social Change

Another successful four stages of stoves were completed this week by our hardworking students and project leaders. The families for which they were built also contributed to the process. One stage two stove and two stage one stoves were constructed in Llanos del Pinal on Wednesday, July 16th, as well as a stage two stove built on Thursday. That's a lot of hard work!
First, we put the bricks in the pila so that they are wet. Wet bricks stick easier to the cement and clay mixes.
Mackenzie, Meghan, and Dorcas mix river sand, dry cement, and water to create a cement paste.
Sharon is measuring and marking one brick length around the stove to know exactly where to place the clay and cement.
Deanna helps pour water into the mix so that it's not too dry.

The photos from this day were taking at Don Emilio's house in Llanos del Pinal, where the stage two stove was built with this awesome crew.

Everybody helped out laying bricks for each level.

A beautifully completed stage two stove--what a wonderful team!

Pop Wuj continues with the Safe Stove Project as we are currently in the process of constructing stoves with 15 families. We started with this group of families in June and will complete the stoves this coming fall, carrying out our mission to fight respiratory illnesses in the rural areas of Guatemala.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Turnip for what? (Nothing beets gardening)

On Tuesday, July 15th, a few of us from Pop Wuj went out to the Family Support Center to visit the kids. It was a relaxing morning filled with gardening, studying, games, and newspaper sailor hats.

All the kids and the adults get their hands dirty to help out the garden.

Amy and Gordito pulling out the pesky weeds.
Anibal and Jonathan help out as well, and Jonathan snagged a radish popping out of the ground to eat.
Doña Delfina serves the morning snack.

Making hats out of newspapers to end the day!
The Family Support Center, formerly known as "La Guardería," continues to host 41 kids between the ages of one and 18. This project is based in the home of Doña Delfina in the nearby town of Llanos del Pinal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Radishes for all! Rábanos para todos!

The crops in the vegetable garden at the Family Support Center are growing fast.  The red beets, chard, and radishes are doing well, however the onions are struggling.  Thursday afternoon was sunny and dry so we took advantage and set to work in the garden.  We have more weeding to do, but it seems that our slug problem from last year has diminished.  We're using onions and coffee grounds to deter their advance! 

Family Support Center kiddos, Pop Wuj students, and volunteers weed the garden.

The plan was just to weed a bit and see how our vegetables were doing in the garden.  However radishes mature quickly and on Thursday we found that the radishes were popping.  We decided to harvest them and add them to the afternoon snack.

Selvin and Adam harvesting the radishes

The first batch of radishes of 2014

Leti, Norma, and Julio helping to wash the radishes

The kids helped weed and harvest and then we gave the leaves to the chickens and the unwashed radishes to Doña Silvia.  Doña Silvia washed and prepared the radishes before we handed them out to the kids as part of the Thursday afternoon snack.

Doña Silvia

This is about as fresh as vegetables can be! 

Yadira with her radish

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Successful Stage of Safe Stoves in Llanos del Pinal

On Wednesday, June 2, three groups of Pop Wuj students, teachers, and coordinators bussed out once again to Llanos del Pinal to take on the construction of safe stoves in families' homes.

Richard and Katherine mix the clay with their hands.

The bricks need to be put in water until the bubbles stop rising so that they stick better with the cement and clay.

Alexa mixes cement with a trowel.

Sharon and Alberto discuss the leveling of the bricks.

Alexa fills in any holes, making sure all the cracks are sealed with cement.
This project remains one of Pop Wuj's most impacting and important projects as respiratory illness is the leading cause of death in Guatemala (CDC). Many Guatemalans use open fires in their homes resulting in fatal respiratory illnesses. The people who suffer most from respiratory illnesses in Guatemala are the mothers who cook over open fires and the children they carry on their backs.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reforestation in Llanos del Pinal

Bringing together the Family Support Center participants and staff, safe stove project families, and Pop Wuj students, teachers, staff, and volunteers, we planted 235 trees in Llanos del Pinal last week.

Carmen, director of Pop Wuj's social projects, and Doña Delfina of the Family Support Center, speak together about the importance of the day's mission to reforest the land.
The reforestation took place near the Family Support Center in the town of Llanos del Pinal.

Pop Wuj purchased a variety of seedlings in anticipation of the activity, including white pine, red pine, cypress, and encino (oak).  We divided into four groups and each group walked/hiked to a different piece of land in Llanos del Pinal.

The kids proudly raise up their trees, ready to plant!
The oldest participants of the Family Support Center and the Pop Wuj students with the most energy hiked up the mountainside for over an hour while the younger group stayed closer to the valley.

Carmen helping Amy plant a tree.

Amy with a handful of trees.

The "medianos," with Amy, Carmen Maria, Pop Wuj students and teachers, and stove families hiked for 15 minutes or so before arriving at the family's land to plant the trees.

We planted 50 trees and then hiked a bit more up the mountainside.

Guayo and Ismael plant a cypress seedling.

Rolling down the hill, now a regular post-reforestation activity for the Family Support Center kids!

Thank you to all of the project participants, staff, Pop Wuj students, teachers, volunteers, and staff for making our reforestation day a success!