Tuesday, May 26, 2015

El Día de la Madre

Text and photos (except as noted) by Jessica Franks

Mother’s Day falls on May 10 each year in Guatemala. To celebrate, the children and youth at the Family Support Center put together a special presentation of skits, choreographed songs and dances, and fun games for the moms of the Llanos del Pinal community on May 7. A large group of Pop Wuj students and teachers attended the celebration and the kids were excited to perform in front of a captivated audience.

Carmencita welcomed everyone to the activity and we got underway!

Photo by Shanti Aguilar

Wilson, taking his mustache very seriously.  Photo by Shanti Aguilar.

¿Quién ganó? Una mezcla of moms from the community and moms of Pop Wuj's faculty. 

Trying to pop the balloons. Photo by Shanti Aguilar.

Hip hop stars with their backup dancers honoring their moms with song and dance.

The ladies performed a choreographed dance for us.

 And then pulled Amy and Shanti from the audience to join them!

In the middle of the celebration we recognized the first quarter honor roll students.  ¡Buen trabajo!

A skit by the little ones.  Photo by Shanti Aguilar.

¿Cuál mamá puede comer un plátano el más rápido?

 And when we returned to the Pop Wuj school, the students were cooking up a big dinner for everyone! Buen provecho!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Recycling in 2015!

Text by Amy Scheuren

On Friday May 9th, we made our first recycling trip of 2015 and earned Q103 or about $13 USD!

The children and youth at the Family Support Center have been collecting plastic bottles and containers for several months.  Last week we loaded the plastic in Llanos del Pinal and brought the full costales (sacks) to Pop Wuj.  It quickly became obvious at Pop Wuj that it was time to clear off the roof terrace and recycle!

Gustavo and the kiddos packing the costales
Photo by Ashley Aue
Helping to load the truck in Llanos del Pinal
Photo by Ashley Aue

Loading the truck in Llanos
Photo by Ashley Aue
With the help of a few Pop Wuj students, a former long-term volunteer and University of British Columbia professor, Sylvia, and Wilder, we carried all of the recycling to the street and began loading it onto the truck.

Plastic on the left, metal and glass on the right!
Photo by Amy Scheuren

There's always a way to load everything in one trip!
Photo by Amy Scheuren

Tying down the bags
Photo by Amy Scheuren

But we forgot to load the broken chair!
Photo by Amy Scheuren

We headed to Recip, a private recycling center just outside of Xela, and after a few hiccups and delays we were able to recycle:
  • 237 lbs of plastic at a rate of Q0.25/lb.
  • 10 lbs. of aluminum at a rate of Q3.50/lb.
  • 18 lbs. of glass at a rate of Q0.10/lb.
  • 35 lbs. of tin and small kitchen appliances at a rate of Q0.20/lb.

Mountains of plastic, packed and ready to be shipped out of Recip
Photo by Amy Scheuren
The $13 earned on recycling will be saved and combined with other 2015 recycling income.  In November we will use these funds to reward the recycling efforts of the children and youth at the Family Support Center with a pizza party!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feliz Cumple: Celebration Time at the Family Support Center!

Text by Amy Scheuren

On Friday May 1st, we celebrated the birthdays of 14 Family Support Center children and youth.  We have three group birthday parties per year and on May 1st we celebrated all of the children and youth who have birthdays between January and May.  

Filling the piñatas! 
Photo by Amy Scheuren
As always, staff and volunteers were preparing for the party all week.  We bought three piñatas, a lot of candy and peanuts, and selected gifts for each of our cumpleañeros.  We decorated the main room at the Family Support Center, destroyed three piñatas, sang "Feliz Cumpleaños," gave the birthday presents to the birthday kids, and distributed the goodie bags to all children and youth.  

Photo by Shanti Aguilar-Cardenas
Photo by Shanti Aguilar-Cardenas

Photo by Shanti Aguilar-Cardenas
The kids were extra excited because we had many current and former long-term volunteers join us for the party.  It was great to have former Family Support Center coordinators Ashley and Adam as well as former General Projects Coordinator Shanti in attendance.  In addition the party coincided with Johanne's last day in Xela and Llanos del Pinal.  Johanne has been studying at Pop Wuj and volunteering at the Family Support Center since September 2014!  Many short-term volunteers pass through Pop Wuj and the Family Support Center, but it's a special treat when the kids get to celebrate with folks that they know well!