Newsletter September 2009

Once more, we have a lot of things to share, so hope you enjoy reading this newsletter.

We kindly ask you to note our new email address. The old one will not be used anymore after September 2009. We will only be able to respond to mails sent to info@losninos.info

New on the website : a header Movies (Filmpjes)
First of all, you can now enjoy a movie about the opening of the school in Alotenango on July 15, 2009. Next to that there are several other interesting movies to watch.

Children's Day, Juli 19, in the Netherlands. (A report from the organizers)
We had a fan-tas-tic day! After spending a whole Saturday and a Sunday morning preparing, we were ready to go. A lot of volunteers were up and about for the whole day to support the activities. The children had a great time jumping up and down on the inflatable bouncer, doing arts and crafts and with clown Sjef and his balloons.

Many faces were caught on camera wearing children's make-up or typical Guatemalan clothes. Many tummies were more than full with popcorn, cotton candy or a self-decorated muffin. All of this and more was accompanied by the music of Kidz DJ! The grown-ups enjoyed a drink at the bar (during the small showers) or outside on the terrace when the sun was shining. The sandwiches sold extremely rapidly

The day's profit was more than expected and many people signed up to become donors on a monthly basis. Thus, on all counts, a very successful day. THANKS A LOT ORGANIZING GIRLS!! Also a big thanks to everyone who provided free goods, food and drinks

The picture shows, in Guatemalan clothes, seven of the nine girls of the team who organized this day. Jaia was the winner of the colouring competition. She is glowing with pride after having received her prize.  We also want to thank Sandra Harink, who organized and was responsible for the first aid station.

 


 

New face Los Niños
After being used to the face of Coco representing Los Niños for several years, the foundation has now chosen a new face to represent all the children who are supported by the foundation. The new face is Sandra Maribel Mixteco, 7 years old. She is still in the nursery class in Alotenango. She lives together with her mom Estafana and her two brothers, Marvin and Josue. The father left the family. The house where she lives is made of wood and corrugated iron. The three siblings sleep in the same bed. Mom is trying to find a job but that is very difficult.
The new banner of Los Niños, which was used for the first time during the Children's' Day celebration, showes the face of Sandra and for the last time the face of Coco

 


News from Semilla Esperanza y Amor in San Mateo Milpas Altas
Director Lys took us to see the "house" where a mother and her seven sons are living. The seventh son was only three weeks old. He was born prematurely (at 7 months) and probably blind. They had to find creative ways to keep the room warm and so they covered the walls with paper and sheets. The floor consisted of dirt and thus it was still very cold.  
For the new born, the most important thing was to be kept warm. The circumstances they were living in were just so sad. Unfortunately, this is not the only family who lives in such circumstances.

The police ordered the father a few months ago to stay away from the family as he became very aggressive after drinking too much. He now lives on the streets of Antigua as one of the homeless. The oldest son, who is 16 years old, takes care of the family. He is the only one who earns a little bit of money. 

 

Stunningly enough everything was very clean and all the boys have their own tasks in and around the house. Luckily the property is theirs and therefore a donation from a Dutch couple could be used to build a house made of stone within a week. Permits are not needed and committees to oversee the build do not exist. Rebecca and her boys are very happy that they received the help of the foundation, and the baby is doing much better.

 

Activity organized by our partner organization CasaSito.
 On August 2 the first music festival called "Voces Unidas" took place, sponsored by the choir of the Yale University Connecticut. Everything was organized by CasaSito. The university choir attended with 150 people to sing. The next day they performed for free at the chapel of the 5-star hotel Casa Santo Domingo. Private projects could enter the contest with their own choir.

The qualifying rounds took place in May and the secondary school of Julia Cesar Garcia from Alotenango was one of five finalists. It was a very special day and the choir from Alotenango came second. They won a guitar, a cheque for 3000 Quetzales and a backpack for everyone. CasaSito did a wonderful job organizing this event which will now take place every year.

  

Farewell of volunteers Rob and Marlous
On Friday, August 28, Rob and Marlous from Holland had to say goodbye to the children of the nursery class. This made them very sad as they had spent the last two months working with them, and it had been a very joyful experience.


 In the presence of all the children and teachers, they said goodbye and thanked everyone for the amazing time they had had. But Rob had another surprise for Marlous, who was already trying to hide her tears. He went down on one knee (on the floor they had sponsored) and proposed to her. Even though tears were running down her cheeks, we could all hear a clear "Si" come from her lips. The children loved it.

We, Virginie and Ana-Maria, will miss them terribly. Next to the fact that these two are fantastic, enthusiastic young people, they were also on many different levels enormously valuable to us. They even organized a brainstorm day, including an agenda, for which we were very grateful. We wish Rob and Marlous all the best for the remainder of their trip around the world.

The computers arrived in Alotenango.
We are very pleased that the computers which were sent from the Netherlands all arrived in good shape. They have been cleaned and updated to feature Spanish programmes and so are ready to be used. Hopefully we will be able to hire a computer teacher next year. Many thanks to everyone who helped to organise the delivery of these computers!

  

The tree in front of the school in Alotenango is cut down.
The new school only opened recently and already we have to make a sad announcement. An important factor during the build was to keep the big avocado tree. Unfortunately the tree was covered in parasites and could not be saved anymore. Specialists came to look at the tree, but they concluded that is was no longer viable. A difficult decision had to be made. The tree needed to be cut down. A big palm tree has been ordered to fill the gap. The pictures show the last bit of the tree remaining, and the logs which will be used to fire up the heater. 

 

 


What do you think when you see this picture ? Which one is the prettiest dog?
This picture was taken in San Mateo on the day all the dogs and cats could get a free vaccination against rabies. The vet told us that the turn out was not that big. This is very unfortunate as there are many cats and dogs running around. About 150 injections were given, but it is estimated that there are twice as many animals. It is too bad that not more people took advantage of this opportunity. This also has to do with education.

 

 

Big food shortage in Guatemala.
The Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom announced that the country is in a state of emergency in order to free up money to fight the food shortage. Through a combination of dry weather, not a lot of fertile soil and the global recession, thousands of families in Guatemala are struggling with a shortage of food.

"Announcing a state of emergency helps us to receive goods, which are specifically meant for these kinds of situations, from the international community. Next to that we will now be able to organize the help more quickly on a national level as well," said Colom.

In the meantime, the World Food Program of the United Nations announced that they have sent 20 thousand kg of food supplies to the most heavily affected areas. At a rough estimate, around 4,000 Guatemalan families suffer from a shortage of food.

Our appreciation goes out to everyone who supports Los Niños in one way or another. We trust that you will continue doing so, because without your support Los Niños is not able to exist.

 

MUCHAS GRACIAS                        MUCHAS GRACIAS                                  MUCHAS GRACIAS