Friday, March 5, 2010

Guatemala welcomes Hillary Clinton today!

Well yes, we ended up returning to Xela sooner than we thought, but not for long..

We spent this morning in the Aldea of Tierra Blanca in San Bartolo Aguas Calientes.  Guess who it came highly recommended to us by?  You´d be right if you were thinking another Peace Corps friend!  But you´d be wrong if you thought anyone besides Kiki. 

Chris, Maddie, and Kiki looking like they´re ready to settle down.

Our meeting with the community leaders went very well, but the best part was the interjection by a Health Technician named Vicky.  Noticing their hesitation after our presentation, she quickly and concisely summarized Manna´s goals, vision, and programs perfectly.  She even underlined our focus on giving through education rather than via check.  We asked her to follow us to the rest of our meetings, but she thought we were joking... we weren´t.

Tierra Blanca has been added to my list of possibilities.  Thanks for your help Kiki and Vicky!

Now we are in Sololá, well actually 10 minutes away in nearby Panajachel.  Tomorrow morning we will meet with a few representatives from the University of the Valley, including the director of projects.  Hopefully she works in fields as broad as her title implies.  From one meeting to the next, we will jump to Jesús Toc who runs his own NGO, Asoatitlan.  He also works on a wide variety of projects in the education and environmental sectors, and has answered all of our emails within the hour.

Just in case anyone is keeping track... possible future Manna sites now include:

1. Toj Mech
2. Tierra Blanca
3. Sololá
4. San Vicente Buenabaj

 Happy Friday, watch your head on the way out, Dana

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