The Ladysmith Rotary Club will host a fundraising event o support access to education in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy of Gerry Beltgens/ Rotary Club of Ladysmith)
The Ladysmith Rotary club will host a fundraising event o support access to education in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy of Gerry Beltgens/ Rotary Club of Ladysmith)

The Ladysmith Rotary Club will host a fundraising event o support access to education in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy of Gerry Beltgens/ Rotary Club of Ladysmith) The Ladysmith Rotary club will host a fundraising event o support access to education in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy of Gerry Beltgens/ Rotary Club of Ladysmith)

Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo Rotary Clubs work together to create opportunities for Guatemalans

By Patrick Maguire, Rotary Club of Nanaimo Daybreak

Help Rotary clubs provide access to education for marginalized Mayan children, while having a great time at our Guatemalan Fashion Show and Fundraiser. Join us on Saturday, Nov. 27 between 11:00 and 3:00 at the Eagles Hall in Ladysmith. There will be Guatemalan refreshments and treats, art, handwoven fabrics and clothes and lots of items perfect for Christmas gifts. Please mark your calendars, we hope to see you there.

Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with an astounding illiteracy rate of over 60 per cent. Schooling is substandard with hidden costs preventing many children from attending beyond the primary level. Yet these children are eager to learn.

​Guatemalans are hard working and industrious. When given the tools that only education can provide, they can break the cycle of poverty.

One of the organizations providing these educational tools is Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans. This organization was founded in 2014 by a Canadian educator and Rotarian, Vicki Horsfield, who saw the need in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, a small town about 20 km west of the city of Antigua.

The Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club became involved with this program in 2016 and teams of our members have travelled to assist Vicki and her local staff with projects including providing essential food during the pandemic (2020), renovating classrooms (2019), supporting teacher in service (2018), and, in 2021 providing laptop computers so that students can continue to improve their education while schools are still closed.

These projects are possible because of funds raised locally and supplemented by grants from the Mid-Island Group of Rotary Clubs and Rotary District 5020.

Please attend the fundraiser on Nov. 27 and join with Rotary for a fun and entertaining event. Attendance is by donation.

Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans is a registered charity in Canada and in the US and is governed by a seven-member board of directors from the US, Canada and Guatemala.

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