Newsletter Los Niños december 2012  

Dear all,

This is already our last newsletter of the year with a lot of positive things to tell you.
The year 2013 went so fast. A year in which we were able to achieve a lot thanks to your donations. 

A Historic Agreement for Guatemala.
On October 10th, a historic tripartite agreement on workers rights was signed by employers, trade unions, the Government and the International Labour Organization of the United Nations. This is amazing because over the past 15 years Guatemala has been repeatedly indicted on violations of freedom of organization and collective bargaining! 
CNV International supports the work of the Guatemalan trade union organization CGTG and they were involved in the negotiations right until the end. The tripartite agreement was signed in the Ministry of Labour in the presence of president Otto Perez Molina. After Colombia, Guatemala has the highest number of victims through anti-union violence.

Sarah Suzan.
Suzan, director of the carpentry project, turned 50 on October 15th. We celebrated it with a breakfast surprise in her house. It was a great day and after a little metamorphosis she turned into a real "Sarah"
(old lady).

San Mateo celebrated their 5-jarig anniversary.

On October 16th various activities were organized in the project ´Semilla de Esperanza y Amor´ to celebrate their 5-year anniversary.
After the first visit of Los Niños in 2008 everything went really fast for the project. Many people wanted to help with the construction of a solid and safe school which we could build and open in 2011. Now, each day more than 100 joyful children attend the  after-school program. Without your help this would never have come to fruition. Thanks!


End of the School Year 2012 in Alotenango.
On October 19th, the school year in Alotenango came to a close.
The children were all nicely dressed on their last day of school, their shoes properly polished and all a bit nervous. Especially the children who were to receive their nursery school diploma, as soon they will all go to primary (the ´big/real´) school.  The children of Grade 6 were also very anxious. After a long time of being all together the time has come to become more independent. Two children were selected to carry the Guatemalan flag while all the students sung the Guatemalan National Anthem. After this all the students came on stage to get their diploma. The morning was filled with a number of beautiful dances and songs by the children. At the end all the children had the chance to enjoy a delicious lunch. At night the 6th graders had a little party with their parents. A good school year! Immense satisfaction of pupils, parents and teachers. In 2013 the school will finally be complete with 6 grades in total. We are really proud that we have reached this point. All because of your great support. Thanks!


Graduated with a scholarship of Los Niños in 2012.


Jonathan Montiel.
On the 19th of October Jonathan received his primary school diploma. With this we finished a period in which we supported him and his 2 brothers since 2003.
You can see Jonathan in the first line, third from the right.



Brayan Dubon.
On the 30th of October Brayan graduated from High School. Thanks to the foundation Join!forKids who supported his studies for 3 years.
Brayan will look for a job and with the money he will earn he wants to study at the weekends. He doesn´t know what to study yet.




Sonia Azucena Xetey Chavez
from Chimachoy.
The 7th of November Sonia graduated as a secretary with a further qualification as a legal secretary.



Pedro Chan en Aurelio Rodriquez from Chimachoy.
The 23rd of November Pedro and Aurelio graduated as primary teachers. They lived for three years in very humble circumstances near to Antigua to be able to study at the school "INVAL", which is one of two schools dedicated solely to the study of primary education.



Also Felipe Piche from Chimachoy graduated as a primary teacher but he will get his diploma later because he didn´t pass everything on time.



End of the School Year 2012 in Chimachoy.
Roos van Dooren, one of our volunteers, described this special day:

On the 22nd of November we left Antigua with 2 buses full of people and Christmas bags, ready to go to the high school in Chimachoy - a remote village in the mountains. Beautiful views and a lot of poor people. The village full of little houses with roofs of corrugated iron sheets. Horses to the left and to the right and everywhere cows and dogs walking in the street! Laundry hanging on lines above sandy paths. The women wear beautiful and colorful Guatemalan clothes. Men are wearing their suits today and children are in their school uniform. In the centre of the village there is a primary school and a high school. Today 11 boys and 9 girls will get their diploma. An exciting day!
On the way there I couldn't help but enjoy the beautiful views because it is gorgeous everywhere here! Green, green, green and more green! Everywhere I could see all the colours of the mountains, volcanoes, the blue sky and special clouds. When the paved road (with pits, lumps and bumps) became a track the feeling changed. I felt suddenly the rich, white tourist with her camera who was watching monkeys. This really affected me and I immediately felt uncomfortable when I got out of the bus. It was so nice we could give these children, these families, a basket of food on this special day. This is the least we could do for them.














After a lot of speeches the graduation of 20 students started. They all got their diploma and got a packed rucksack as a gift. It was great to see the happy mothers of the students saying thanks to us. Very warm and polite. But it was also a strange feeling. 
For them this is a really generous gesture whilst for us it´s just a little gift of a couple of Euros we can easily miss. With a bus full of huge carrots and cauliflowers (a thank you gift from the mothers) we drove back to Antigua, an hour's drive from Chimachoy. A city that most of them have never seen. A very special experience, with varying feelings, but mostly warmth. I am grateful that I could have participated in this day.

Note: 8 of the 20 graduated students will continue their studies to college level with a Los Niños scholarship.

Art, Music and Sport Festivals.
We are pleased that Los Niños, thanks to the great proceeds from the musical Seussical, organized by the Leijdal Rotary Club in Tilburg and doubled by the Wilde Ganzen, is able to sponsor 3 years of Art, Music & Sports Festivals. These festivals are organized by our partner organization CasaSito. The participants are educational centers supported by CasaSito and Los Niños. On the 24th of  November the Art and Music Festival was entirely geared towards the theme of “24 hours without violence”. The children from the various projects had made beautiful art projects and they rehearsed a song against violence.
It was very special to see what great things all the children were capable of doing.
We are incredibly pleased we can support this beautiful initiative.
Big thanks to Rotary Leijdal and the Wild Geese.


"Sinterklaas" celebration at the Dutch Embassy (dutch children's party).
Also this year Sinterklaas and his helpers (Zwarte Pieten) were present in Guatemala. On the 1st of December Sinterklaas visited the residency of the Dutch ambassador where guests big and small had gathered. 35 little, happy and nervous faces were in attendance. Some were beautifully dressed as Zwarte Piet and others just as themselves. Five volunteers of Los Niños contributed as Zwarte Piet and they did their job with great aplomb!. All kinds of dances were presented and they proved to be a great success. Even a drumming Piet was there. Volunteering can be more than just working in one of the educational projects.


A positive message.
On the 5th of December we received the following letter from Mr J. in ´ t Veld which we would like to share with you all.
“The euro-and-economic crisis is affecting our country and (future) cuts cast their shadows ahead. The income of all the inhabitants of our country come under pressure.
Despite this phenomenon, we must be honest. In our Netherlands we can still live relatively extremely well. We need to realize that there are other countries where the prospects for the inhabitants are way less than here.
We think back to the situation in 2006 in Guatemala where my wife and myself came in contact with the excellent carpentry project in Alotenango. It is an excellent project that has already proven its worth and the young people who participate will have a chance for a better future and to support themselves and their families with their own income.
Also this year we want to support this project.  An amount of € 1,000,--is transferred to your account"

Farewell Jeroen José Lans.
On the 6th of December we said goodbye to Jeroen.
He worked for 3 years in the carpentry in Alotenango, directed by Suzan Eleveld.  He left 2 wonderful study workbooks behind including a complete explanation, step by step, for the 1st and 2nd years of the carpentry course. A new teacher can come and can apply it immediately.  A beautiful souvenir of his work here. Muchisimas gracias dear Jeroen.


Tourists visit in San Mateo.
Our ambassadors, Jan en Alda, from Venray who also visited us in 2011 are again in Guatemala with a group of people to discover this beautiful country.
Of course they visited the project Semilla de Esperanza y Amor in San Mateo. The group left a nice donation so that in 2013 the children will be able to receive a vitamin drink every day of the next school year.




Dubon Children's Home is ready.
After many conversations with the city hall, the architect, the construction company and a lot of other people, we were finally able to start the construction of the Children's Home. We can now let you know that the house is almost ready but we are only waiting on one small last detail: the connection of the drains and the water. Since we already have waited so long we can also wait for this. We must trust that our patience will be rewarded! One thing is for sure: the dream of Miriam has finally been achieved. Huge gratitude to everyone who has made her dream come true.

Message from a new monthly contributor.
Six years ago I created a Central America trip with Djoser. We visited the school of Bendicion de Dios, in Alotenango supported by Los Niños. Ana-Maria gave us a tour and told us about her work and the things the children were taught (no candy, brushing their teeth). That created such a big impression on me. From that moment I had the business card of Los Niños with me but I never made the step to become a donor. Until the moment my daughter fell in love with a boy from Guatemala City. Time to take action and support your organization. Good luck!


On behalf of the Board, the children in Guatemala, Christel and Ana-Maria:

We wish you and your loved ones the very best, in both the big and the little things, 
for the new year! And above a lot of happiness with each other!