A letter and update from our Founder and US Director, Diane Nesselhuf
We are all in this together. I have lived for seven decades, and I have never experienced what we are experiencing now. Many times in my life I have seen different parts of the world go through a traumatic event. There have been wars, natural disasters, shootings, and other awful things. When this happens, people circle around those who have experienced the terror and are able to comfort and help them. Who circles around us now? The whole world is within the circle. This seem insurmountable. It is up to us to reach within the circle and help each other.
Just like every place in the world, our friends in Guatemala are in the circle. In a country where poverty is already an everyday occurrence, the pandemic only adds to the people having to live day to day. Here in the U.S. most of us can buy food for weeks as we have refrigerators and freezers. Our friends in Guatemala rely on the local markets to buy much of their food every day. Many of these markets are now closed. There are several organizations that are handing out food. This is a blessing for many families. Our philosophy at Sharing the Dream is different. Of course we give food to our elders, as they have no other way of receiving food. We have continued delivering food to them the past several months and will continue to do so.
We have been placing product orders with our artisans. It has become more and more difficult for the artisans, as many cannot travel out of their communities to buy the materials they need to fulfill the orders. Our staff has had to rethink how they do their day-to-day tasks. How do we get money to our artisans when we sometimes can’t get to the bank and artisans can’t get out of the village to receive it? In Santiago where we have many programs, the government has shut down the village so that people cannot go in or out. We have asked our staff there to stay home for two weeks. This is difficult for them, as they really want to go to the office to get things done. Their health is important to us.
We will continue to place orders, and as things clear up in certain areas of the country, we will be able to get the orders and the money to our artisans. This takes creative thinking. This takes all of us together to reach each other in the circle. You don’t have to be physically present with another person to touch them. Many of you have already done this by your orders from our online store and your donations. We are truly thankful for all of you who have contributed and ordered from our website. You are making a difference. Since our two brick and mortar stores are still closed, ordering online is important.
I love this quote from Harriet Tubman. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
You may think that it doesn’t seem like much when you give an order or a donation. It does make a difference. It makes a difference to the artisan who now has money to feed their family. It makes a difference to the elder who has a meal. It makes a difference to our Guatemalan staff who can quarantine themselves tor two weeks knowing that they are not losing their jobs. All of us together can continue to reach for the stars to change the world.
We have added to our online store, and we are offering a spring sale. Please check out our sale page online. There are some great deals.
Thanks again for being a dreamer. Thanks for reaching out in our world circle and making a difference.
Be safe. Wear that mask and keep the physical distance.
Sharing the Dream in Guatemal
Sharing the Dream in Guatemala
Diane Nesselhuf is Sharing the Dream in Guatemala's director and founder.