Stichting Los Niņos

Newsletter July 2008

Hello everyone,
During my recent stay in Holland, where I was successful in finding more funds for the school, it was time to get back to Guatemala. Obviously I was curious about the progress of the school. I hope you are too ?

Although it has been raining non-stop for three weeks, the construction schedule has been maintained and 'ahead'. Please read all about the status of the school and I hope you enjoy seeing all the photos.

I would like to introduce you to a few important people who are working on this big enterprise;

Knut, is the Canadian architect who designed the project and made all the drawings and is responsible for purchasing all materials..
Through a friend of Knut we were able to buy 36 high-quality wood doors of a highly-reduced price Rosa (Knut's wife) is the bookkeeper and both work pro bono for the foundation. We are very thankful to them.

Dario, an American contractor with over 25 years experience building in Guatemala, is doing a good job taking care of all the workers while he pays close attention to the work every day..

Through Josue, the boy friend of Ruth (one of our volunteers), we have received a donation of all of our glass windows (double-glazed) completely free! We are so grateful to Josue and Ruth for their help. Ruth has been working with our organization for the past 17 months. She and Josue left Guatemala, via Belgium, off to Spain where they will be working for now, but they departed with the promise to return to Guatemala in the future
Muchas gracias Josue.

Thomas, our school construction foreman is from Alotenango. He is supervising 12 workers, 7 of whom are from Alotenango. Including Tomas, there are 5 people working full-time for Dario which means that they are eligible for health insurance, a 13th and 14th month salary, and 2 weeks of holiday for the year. All others have been hired on a contract basis and do not receive these bonuses/extras. (A mason earns 800 Quetzales/equivalent of $108 US/week, and an assistant laborer earns Q500/equivalent of $67 US/week. The daily minimum wage on building site in Guatemala is Q49/equivalent of $7 US/day.)

The construction began with the excavation of an enormous hole to serve as a water reservoir of 30,000/gallons. Since the council of Alotenango cannot guarantee a steady supply of daily water, we will have the reservoir which will provide at least 2 weeks water supply.

Here below is the water reservoir

The next work was the pouring of the cement floors and the construction of 30 cement wall panels (set between iron/cement columns). The construction is designed to resist a 7.5 earthquake on the Richter scale.

pouring the cement floor

Thomas and Dario

Iron/cement columns to resist earthquakes

Once the school building is finished, a rainwater collection system will be installed on the roof. Since there is a 6-month season of rain in the Guatemala Highlands, it makes sense to collect the rainwater for our various future needs.

Our hope is that by this time next year, our beautiful school will be finished (see drawing).

The children at the school in Alotenango are excited to know that they will be able to attend such a clean, fresh and beautiful school with no leaking roofs!

There is much more going on in the Los Niños Foundation.
Wait for the next newsletter, which will be coming soon.
Thanks for your support.

Warm greetings,
Team Los Niños in Guatemala
Virginie, Heidi and Ana-Maria