Newsletter April 2009

DEAR FRIENDS OF LOS NIÑOS,

The year is progressing fast, already 3 months have passed, time for a report from Guatemala.

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In the last newsletter of Los Niños some readers were neither able to open the links nor the pictures. This is caused by the fact that the provider/email-program usually blocks these items because it is not clear if the sender can be trusted. You can solve this on your own by changing your settings to ensure the sender “info@stichtinglosninos.nl” is trustworthy. Although the settings may differ from one provider or software program to the other, the most common way to change your settings is via the menu bar under “options” or by asking the provider of your email account to help you out.

Farewell party Homeless, Jolanda and Simone of the Foundation Por Eso (http://www.poreso.org/)
Foundation Por Eso has moved to Peru! For the farewell of Jolanda and Simone which took place on Sunday 4th January, the field near the dumpsite was transformed into an actual party décor. All the homeless were there. It was a beautiful farewell party with karaoke, games, a piñata and Jolanda's delicious brown beans soup with sausages. It also meant an actual, literal good-bye of Arturo, a truly beloved homeless man who has had a special place in all our hearts since the start in 2002. After the party Ana-Maria brought him back to his shelter, said good-bye and gave him a strong hug. On the 7th January he passed away. He earned his rest. He will continue to live on in all our memories.

    

Newsletter carpentry project Suzan Eleveld
Mid of January Suzan wrote the following to Los Niños:
“I am quite proud but mainly I am surprised and happy that the carpentry project is developing in a steady manner and I am grateful for all the support that I have received! Herewith you receive the latest newsletter of the carpentry project.” We therefore gladly refer to her website and newsletter
www.timmerprojectguatemala.nl. During Suzan's short stay in The Netherlands the carpentry project continued with full speed thanks to the volunteers and Guatemalan assistants (former students) who have been well taught by Suzan.


Granting of cheque at New Year's drink  Join!forKids
At the New Year's drink of Join!forKids, Lisette Rikkers accepted (as representative of Los Niños) a cheque of no less than €1000. Students of primary school the “Petteflet” in Tilburg recorded a Christmas c.d. and donated the profit to Los Niños. Around 30 children performed one of the songs during this New Year's drink. Absolutely marvellous !



Secretary Nico Claassen says goodbye as board member of Los Niños
Nico informed us that he could not fulfill the job as secretary as he would have wanted to nor to extend what others may expect from him. For the just mentioned reasons he will resign from his position and wishes Los Niños all the best in realising all the goals they are striving for. Of course he will remain to wish Los Niños well. We would like to thank Nico for all his efforts. Jan Jongerius, chairman of the board will be his interim successor.

    

New school year in Alotenango began on 26th
Bendición de Dios started the new school year with 2 new teachers and 2 mothers who will ensure that each day, all the children will receive a healthy snack. In anticipation of the opening of the new school everyone is improvising with the available space. It is not always easy for the teachers because the spaces are small and hot as the sun shines directly on the corrugated iron roof. It will become even worse during the rainy season as during a shower it will be difficult to understand one another. But only a few months to go and then everyone will be happy to teach and be taught in the new school building.

 

Week  in Chimachoy
Also in the village Chimachoy, the new school year in 2009 started well. Virginie participated in the classes of the secondary school during the first week. Now we have a much better view of how the Instituto de Telesecundaria (video education) actually works.  Virginie was walking to school every morning at 7am, paying attention to the new students who started their first year, motivating families to keep on sending their children to school, helping out during English classes and replacing a teacher who got called to a meeting at the Ministry of Education at the last possible moment. An incredible experience, and one which cannot be compared with the educational system in Europe. But it was really a worthwhile experience for every volunteer who would like to get to know Guatemala inside out!

 


Dutch Ambassador visits us!
On the 11th February, Teunis Kamper, the Dutch Ambassador in Guatemala came to visit us. Our architect Knut, Virginie and Ana-Maria were able to spend some valuable time with him during a lengthy visit to the new school. He was very impressed by the solid building and we are honored to be able to welcome him during the opening in July.



Carnaval

Of course we also celebrated Carnaval in the capital this year. Everyone who joined did their utmost to look their best. As highlight of the evening, Ana-Maria was crowned “Princes Carnaval”. Dressed in a red cape, a special hat with feathers and with the sceptre, she celebrated, danced and sang together with her “servants” very late into the night.

 

Computers donated and delivered for free via DHL
The association “Jenaplanonderwijs” in Oudewater donated 25 computers to Los Niños. For this special occasion our chairman drove a minivan to DHL in Helmond to pickup these computers personally. At this location the goods are prepared for shipment to Guatemala. Hopefully we can receive the shipment soon as the new school already is counting on the computers. A huge thanks goes to “Jenaplanonderwijs” for the wonderful donation and to Ellen Kusters of DHL for organizing the transportation. 
 

Information booklet 2009 Foundation Los Niños
The new information booklet 2009 can be downloaded, from the start page of the website www.stichtinglosninos.nl, in pfd format. Here you will find a detailed explanation of the in 2008 executed projects. Besides that you will find information about what is planned and expected for 2009. The booklet is useful for everyone who is interested in everything that is going on at Los Niños and perhaps even more for everyone who represents Los Niños in a presentation or activity! The English version will soon be on the website too.

Donation in general and especially for the new school 
The financial crisis is affecting everyone. We only hope and pray that the consequences for us will not be too heavy because during such a crisis the first money flow that gets cut is the one that flows to charity. We truly hope, with all our hearts, that we will not be hit as hard and that we can continue to count on your support. Even if the donation is a bit less, no worries, every donor who is able to donate €5 a month is highly appreciated. Many month donors enable the progress of the projects supported by Los Niños.

On the website you can download the authorization form to become a monthly donor.
THANKS!!

 

Progress on construction of new school and related activities
The construction of the new school in Alotenango is progressing rapidly, and is 90% complete!  Thanks to our Dutch partner, the large SKG (foundation for children's projects in Guatemala) organisation the new school will be a beautiful building where soon 300 children will be able to receive a high quality education via Bendición de Dios.

The Canadian architect Knut Jauer constructed a solid, earth-quake proof school building. This is absolutely necessary because of the fact that the active volcano Fuego is located only 5 miles away from Alotenango.

The children will experience a big difference between the new school and their homes as their housing conditions are generally abominable. But also this is part of their education and the development process: learning how to deal with good and valuable material, the importance of maintaining
it well, as well as recognizing the benefits of a long-term perspective.


The actual costs of the building will be a bit higher than previously estimated. The reasons are twofold. Partly it was due to increase of prices of raw material caused by the huge inflation in Guatemala, and  secondly it was due to the extra unexpected disbursements spent on the outside kitchen and the basin where the children can brush their teeth. Once more we would cordially like to invite you to join us for the official opening of the new school which will take place on Wednesday 15th July in Alotenango.
  
 


    


Also an opening-celebration in The Netherlands
To celebrate the opening of the new school a large party for kids will be organized in Brabant on Sunday 19th July. Make sure you block this date in your calendar. There will be more information on this in the next newsletter.

Muchas gracias
Once more our gratitude goes out to all donors, all people who have set up (or are going to set up) smaller or bigger actions and to the generous spenders. That to all these donations we were able to accomplish and maintain so much over the last years.

Team Guatemala:
Virginie en Ana-Maria

ATTENTION: Please note that the email address losninos@conexion.com.gt has changed to info@stichtinglosninos.nl.
Please adjust your address book accordingly!

For donations from abroad use the following:
IBAN: NL94
Rabo 0166 820709, Stichting Los Niños, Tilburg
BIC/SWIFT: RABONL2U