The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. Plutarch
On a cold Saturday morning on February 16, about 45 guests, which included PAVA Guatemala and PAVA Foundation board members, donors, and representatives from the communities of Panamachavac and La Loma joined the village of Paxixil to celebrate the community library that PAVA helped to build. Panamachavac and La Loma also have PAVA supported libraries. Eugenia Minondo de Fairhurst, outgoing president of PAVA Guatemala, began her remarks with the above quote from Plutarch and whether spoken in English or Spanish the meaning was clear to everyone present. The Paxixil library has been operating since late October 2012 and this was its grand celebration. PAVA assisted the COCODE (Community Development Council) and the library advisory group to outline the presentation programs offered in the library: El Jardín Infantil, Reach Out and Read, Storytelling time, Opening Opportunities, and Identity. They further explained the community use of the facility. It was clearly a community run program and all were ecstatic about it!
by Aeren Martínez, PAVA Foundation Secretary
This morning I got up pretty early, 6:00 am to be exact. I confess that would be my normal time to get up back in Austin, but here I've been a tad more relaxed. The reason for my early rise was to go to Paxixil in the district of Tecpán near the ruins of Iximche to visit the library that a group of from Seekers Church in Washington, DC, with friends from Texas, California, Colorado, and Iowa helped to fund and build. The community library project is just another way that PAVA is moving with the times.
By Eugenia Minondo de Fairhurst, President, PAVA Guatemala
The bold billboard reads: “50% of the Guatemalan children are malnourished, DO YOU CARE?” This is shocking! Why is it occurring in a country with fertile soils and a privileged climate? How is it possible that in the agricultural villages where PAVA works the incidence of chronic malnutrition is even worse, almost 100%? Why is it that in La Loma, 8 month old Ana is showing signs of malnutrition when her father produces beans, peas, corn and squash? And why is it that Juana buys her children 10 quetzales (about $1.33) worth of candy and doesn’t keep a head of broccoli to feed her family? All these scenarios point in the same direction: lack of information, lack of knowledge.
by Frances Ingouville, Executive Director, PAVA Guatemala
Modern community libraries all over the world are agents of change. They provide the opportunity for all the community members to come together and participate in programs that target the needs of every age group. More than just books the library is a meeting place that promotes development and provides the information and activities to make the change happen.
by George Lamb, President, PAVA Foundation
In 2013, it will be 30 years since Dennis Wheeler and Michael Shawcross organized a relief effort to help five highland communities isolated by the terrible violence of the war in Guatemala. This led to the formation of PAVA: Programa de Ayuda a los Vecinos del Altiplano (Aid Program for Highland Communities). From there, PAVA Guatemala established its reputation for grass roots organizing and working in partnership with the Mayan people of Chimaltenango for community development and relief programs. In 1986, PAVA Foundation was established in the United States to raise financial support for PAVA Guatemala.
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