In case you weren't on our mailing list (email or snail mail), below you'll find writings from our winter newsletter. If you'd like to be added to a mailing list, please email email@example.com.
To donate to Sharing the Dream, you can follow this link, or find the button at the bottom of this page.
Chuk Muk Project Advances, Donations Needed
Those of us at Sharing the Dream in Guatemala have been talking about building an elder center for years. The land we looked at was always so expensive that we gave up the idea until the village of Chuk Muk gave us some land. Then the dream started again. In January, I (Diane) was in Guatemala with my son Seth and my husband Ed. They were both excited about the land and drew up different plans for the construction. This now has more meaning than ever since my husband passed away in July. He was a wonderful man who supported my dream for 20 years. He was excited about the elder center and he and my son came up with the idea of the village concept instead of one large building. It is hard for me to move forward with my life and these plans, but as Ed told me, “Diane, we both have new chapters in our life, we have to move on.” It is with Ed’s blessing that I will help undertake this project. It will be a new chapter for our elders in Guatemala, too.
We’ve had lots of exciting developments over the past year on this project that will include an elder center, artisan workshop, tutor center, and hostel. We are just starting to look at the plans with a contractor so we can begin construction. Above is a draft drawing of the village concept. The orange building is the elder center with the guard’s house on top. The blue building is the artisan/bead workshop with a small fair trade store, offices, and storerooms on the bottom floor, and a large space on the second floor for our beaders. We are hoping to hire at least 20 women from the community as beaders. The green building is our tutor center on the first floor and the hostel on the second floor. We want to do this in three phases with the first phase being the elder center.
Our philosophy is to be as sustainable as possible. We are hoping to do more of that with the bead group and the hostel. We are also working with the Chuk Muk community to apprentice people in every aspect of the building project.
Please consider helping us financially with this project. We have been working hard to secure funding for our new elder center village in Chuk Muk, Guatemala. We have been given a matching donation of up to $100,000 by a very generous donor and have raised about $20,000 toward this goal. We greatly appreciate any contributions toward this project.
Remembering Ed Nesselhuf
Sharing the Dream tries to work in creative ways to help create independence not dependence. This is quite a bit of work as so many NGO's just have the philosophy of giving money and not expecting any thing in return. As a trained counselor I know that for the improvement of people's self esteem and for their continued growth we need to let people take control of their lives. We are working with some young people in some very interesting ways. Just let us know if you would like to help.
Julia is 25 and has only gone through middle school. She applied for a scholarship several years ago but asked if we wouldn't give it to her sister. Her sister Sara Hilda just graduated from high school. Julia has been working at the elder center as a tortilla maker and a helper in the kitchen for the past few years. She only works part time. We asked her if we hired her full time if she could pay for her own schooling. She is very excited and nervous to go to high school. She has become the assistant for Bernabela with the elders and the bead group. The added expense for Sharing the Dream is $150 per month.
Tomasa is in her last year of high school. She was not going to go this year as she did not have the money. We needed a weaver periodically to weave samples for the artisan development program. We are giving Tomasa a partial scholarship of $250 and she will be paid for helping with the weaving and can then pay the rest of the money for her school.
Hector was a scholarship student of ours since middle school. He graduated from high school this year and wanted to go to college for social work. He doesn't have the money as their is no father and his mother is a weaver with 3 other children. Two of them are disabled. He was going to go to the city to help an uncle sell fruit. We offered him a part time job if he would go to college and pay his way. He is going to be our tutor in Pana and Chichi. He will also help around the office. It will cost $150 a month to pay him part time.
Sharing the Dream in Guatemala
Diane Nesselhuf is Sharing the Dream in Guatemala's director and founder.