Stichting Los Niños


Newsletter January 2008

Dear friends,

The New Year is already one month old. So we drank a glass of champagne with the volunteers and are now all busy with our projects.

Introduction days for the volunteers' educational project at Alotenango.
On three afternoons about 20 new volunteers found their way to Alotenango where they were prepared for the beginning of the school year. They later met their teachers, and were divided into several classes. Later they visited some homes and the volunteers had classes themselves for one afternoon. For a short while they all became 6-year-old children.



Beginning of the school year. On Monday January 21st.
Fresh, clean and with a bright smile on their faces, the children arrived one by one, some of them with a backpack which was too big on their back, others with a plastic bag with some notebooks in it. We asked the parents to provide notebooks for each child. The children were glad that they could finally go to school now, and they were quite excited at who would become the new teacher and what would be the new name of the volunteer assisting in the classroom. Would the new teaching book be difficult and would we all get a new toothbrush? Director Julio gave a short speech about the importance of attending school and the national anthem was sung. Also the volunteers studied a Guatemalan song, and everyone liked it. After that they all went into their new classroom and within minutes the rumours disappeared and the new school year had begun.



   

Building school educational project Alotenango.
It now is time to let you know about this, because we have good news! The retired Canadian architect Knut Jauer, who drew up the building plans, all for free, and who will supervise the building, came back from Canada where he had to stay for a long time because his wife was seriously ill. We are happy that everything is well with his wife Rosa and we, as well as he, are very glad that we can start the project. We already had two building meetings. The building committee consists of Knut the architect, Virginie from the team Los Niños and Julio, the director of the school Bendicion de Dios in Alotenango. Now the blueprints will be designed and detailed budget drawn up. And then we start digging! Well, we know now that the costs of building will be much higher because in one year the prices of cement and iron have doubled…. In Guatemala they do not know the system of fixed prices. and so it is possible that it will be more expensive this year. But this is another reason to start as soon as possible, because also the prices of renting are increasing every year.

Students with a grant.
Apart from the 16 students who already received a grant from Los Niños, this year another 14 will benefit too. Four who graduated on the telesecundaria in Chimachoy will continue studying to be teachers, and one student is studying to be a secretary. This year, for the first time, the project Casa Sito is giving educational grants and nine of them are awarded to Los Niños students. Seven go to the first class of middle school and two to the second class.

Visit website www.stichtinglosninos.nl
The website is all up to date now and we are happy with the new webmaster, who takes care that all the news is on it within one day. Thanks to Jeroen de Jager! If you have organised a nice activity for Los Niños, please send details with a note and a photo to info@stichtinglosninos.nl, it will be published on the website.

New president of Guatemala.
On January 14th Guatemala welcomed the new president, Alvar Colom. He wants to establish a 'social-democracy with a Maya face'. He is the first left orientated president of Guatemala in about fifty years. The 57-year-old engineer of economy declared during his inauguration that he wants to involve the majority of the indigenous people in decision making of the country. He said: "From today the poor and those who had no opportunities up to now take priority". The new president also promised to take measures quickly against increasing criminality. Guatemala belongs, with Honduras and El Salvador, to the countries with the highest murder rates in Latin America.



And all of you again, thank you very much for your support and the often surprising mails in which you announce beautiful donations. We love to open them! See you next time.

Team Guatemala
Ana-Maria, Virginie en Heidi