Saturday, February 5, 2011

Partners of the Americas & Kids Share Workshops at ASOCAMPO, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Partners of the Americas & Kids Share Workshops at ASOCAMPO, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

KidsShareWorkshops | November 30, 2010 | 2 likes, 0 dislikes

Dear friends,

I am pleased to share this video with you of our recent visit to Guatemala on a site investigation. It was a very good choice to go first before teaching which I had wanted to do originally. I personally gained a lot of knowledge and additional appreciation for families living in coffee communities. I also feel strongly about working to help these kids with education because they are the future of the coffee plantations from which we enjoy.

After my visit it became clear to me the best way to make a difference is to assist in building an interactive library, arts education, health and sports programs with the help of Partners of the Americas and other non profit organizations. One of our directors also suggested having the Peace Corps involved the first two years so we could have an ongoing presence. These kids have little exposure to the outside world and I am certain few books from which to learn. We did notice a new school was being built. As far as we know only one organization, Catholic Relief Services, which is supported by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has an active presence. This community was hit hard not too long ago and lost more than half of its family members. But they are rebuilding and feel proud of their heritage and way of life as you will see in the video.

My hope is that by focusing on this rural community for which my employer GMCR purchases coffee from, other NGO's will take notice and want to give to this coffee community as well. Maybe some of you drink coffee, I do. The US is the largest consumer of coffee so I feel it is important to give back to these kids and their families. They are our future and coffee is always going to be important to many folks as it has for many centuries when it originated out of Ethiopia in the 9th century.

Thank you, Kristina Applegate Lutes; Executive Program Director & Founder


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Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.