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!
Written by Eugenia Minondo de Fairhurst, President, PAVA Guatemala
During the past few years PAVA’s work has focused on development activities, education, sanitation and productive projects as it responded to evolving needs of the communities.
Tropical storm Agatha slammed into the Pacific Coast of Guatemala on the 29th of May, leaving behind a trail of mud, floods and tears. Mudslides swept away roads, schools, bridges and homes. Newly planted crops drowned under the downpour. Immediately after the storm, PAVA responded to the crisis by providing emergency food supplies to the three communities served by the Bookmobile. Villagers brought in supplies on foot over the mudslides. To date roads remain in a precarious state, although communities have begun to focus on cleanup and reconstruction.
Written by Aeren Martínez
I first became involved with PAVA in 2006, when members of Seekers Church invited me to go on a ‘pilgrimage’ and help build a school. The trip was coordinated by "Faith@Work", now called Lumunos. We don the name of pilgrim rather than missionary or tourist and work with local villagers rather than ‘doing for’ the villagers. The difference between the terms is as wide as a river. Working side-by-side breaks down barriers between our two countries, and as pilgrims we receive much more than we give.
Two years ago the community of La Chusita requested PAVA’s support to build their school. This is a village that was created some years ago by 44 families who shared a mutual dream; to own a piece of land on which to farm. They achieved this dream by buying a parcel in the midst of a big, coffee producing farm. Fertile land and a generous but polluted river flowing through their midst is what they invested in.