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Association of Mam Christian Women for Development in San Juan Ostuncalco, Guatemala Moving Forward with your Help By Cindie Moore

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Presentation on theme: "Association of Mam Christian Women for Development in San Juan Ostuncalco, Guatemala Moving Forward with your Help By Cindie Moore"— Presentation transcript:

1 Association of Mam Christian Women for Development in San Juan Ostuncalco, Guatemala Moving Forward with your Help By Cindie Moore September 15, 2013

2 WHAT IS ASSOCIATION OF MAM CHRISTIAN WOMEN FOR DEVELOPMENT?  Helps Guatemalan women improve their lives  Located in mountainous Western Highlands  Association:  conceived by Guatemalan women  operated for Guatemalan women  Over 350 members  Serves women of Mam indigenous group  Known as “women’s association” for short  Supported by New Castle Presbytery

3 THREE MAJOR ONGOING ACTIVITIES OF WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION  Micro-loan program: provide women a hand up, not a hand out  Health outreach: improve access to health care  Sponsorship of schools and scholarships: offer educational opportunities

4 SHORT-TERM ACTIVITY OF WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION  Formation of Relief Committee in aftermath of November 12, 2012 earthquake  No deaths, but some injuries  Major problem: destruction of homes

5 NEW ACTIVITIES  Contentment with the status quo? Never!  Women’s association plans to provide, in addition to micro-loan program, other income- producing opportunities.  More info later

6 ROSARIO DIAZ COORDINATES WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION Rosario, on right, is pictured with a recent graduate of the Saturday School. More about the school appears below. Rosario also directs the Maya Clinical Center.

7 -Orange markers on map show 25 groups in 24 communities. -Groups are mostly clustered around city of San Juan Ostuncalco where Rosario Diaz lives and works. -Note: as of August 2013, 26 groups belong to women’s association.

8 MAJOR ONGOING ACTIVITY: #1 MICRO-LOAN PROGRAM  26 groups of women have formed groups to operate small businesses.  Many businesses involve:  Livestock or Food Crops (corn, vegetables)  Weaving  Production of Chocolate or Tortillas  Each group receives one-year, no-interest loan.  During Mid-Year Assembly, groups report on their businesses.

9 MID-YEAR ASSEMBLY: REPORTS ON PROJECTS Maria Gregoria reports on her group’s business. Cirila and Berta, Association’s two secretaries, take turns recording the Assembly’s activities.

10 MID-YEAR ASSEMBLY: DISPLAY OF PRODUCTS Beautiful weavings and luscious carrots and onions Delicious chocolate

11 MICRO-LOAN GROUP WITH WEAVING BUSINESS Graciela uses a back strap loom to weave beautiful textiles. This intricate pattern features a green stylized bird near the center.

12  Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) in Wilmington:  Funded a loan for a group called “Ebenezer”  Created prayer partnership – pairing each Ebenezer member with a WPC member  Dover Presbyterian Church:  will fund new group in 2014  funding includes grant from the New Castle Presbytery (Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland)

13 MAJOR ONGOING ACTIVITY: #2 HEALTH OUTREACH  Training more community health workers  Installing water filters in homes of members  Conducting health workshops

14 TRAINING MORE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS (HCWS)  2013 Initiative: ensuring more trained HCWs  15 women are in two-year program  Year 1: theory and practice in classroom  Year 2: practice in community under supervision  Curriculum  First Aid  Wellness (for example, nutrition, family planning)  WPC supported training

15 TRAINING MORE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS Jovita Morales teaches the students about the respiratory system.

16 TRAINING MORE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS Elias and his mom Imelda help Jovita demonstrate how to measure a baby’s respiration rate. Students enjoy a break.

17 INSTALLATION OF IN-HOME WATER FILTERS  Benefits for health – lowers incidence of gastro- intestinal diseases caused by impure water  Reduction in purchase of wood – saves families money  Help for environment – reduces cutting of trees

18 USE OF WATER FILTERS Water is poured into the concrete filter (in back). It flows from a tube into the covered container (in front). The user flips up a lever faucet to enjoy a glass of safe water.

19 CHURCHES SUPPORT WATER FILTERS  Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill NC, initiated pilot program in  In 2012 Dover Church and WPC provided funds to implement program.  WPC has launched fundraising for SWIG, Safe Water in Guatemala, in which 200 filters will be installed to celebrate 2014, known as Year of Water.

20 HEALTH WORKSHOPS  Dottie Peck Foster, a speaker of Mam and Spanish, and her husband, Stan Foster, a public health doctor, of Presbyterian Church, Nacoochee GA, provide annual workshops.  2013 topics  HIV/AIDS  Domestic Violence  Topics always chosen by women’s association.  Delegates from 22 of 26 groups attended 2013 meeting.

21 MAJOR ONGOING ACTIVITY #3: SPONSORSHIP OF SCHOOLS AND SCHOLARSHIPS  Schools  Saturday School  Sewing School  Scholarships Josefina is the registrar of the Saturday School.

22 SEWING SCHOOL Left: Ofelia is learning embroidery by machine. She hopes her new skills will augment income as a street vendor selling candy. Right: Floridalma graduated from the school in She uses earnings from sewing to support her 12-year old daughter, Sindy Andrea.

23 SUPPORT FOR SEWING SCHOOL  Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Durham NC, has taken the lead.  Members of Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill NC and United Methodist Church, Berea OH donate funds for the purchase of sewing machines and other school expenses.

24 ENGLISH CLASS AT SATURDAY SCHOOL Left: Angela teaches English in the school. Right: Students in the school learn English to improve job prospects upon graduation.

25 FIRST PRESBYTERIAN IN ALBANY NY SPONSORING INTERCAMBIO PROGRAM  Intercambio means “exchange” in Spanish  A Guatemalan learning English is paired with an American learning Spanish.  They become Intercambio partners and speak to each other via Skype, a free internet phone service.  Partners talk weekly for an hour:  One-half hour in English  One-half hour in Spanish  Benefits  Language skills enhanced  Friendships developed

26 CHURCHES PROVIDE SCHOLARSHIPS  Nacoochee Presbyterian Church (GA)  WPC – José Valera Memorial Scholarship and scholarships provided by individual members  Church of Reconciliation (NC), including scholarships provided by individual members

27 EARTHQUAKE RELIEF  Outpouring of support from Delaware churches (Dover and WPC), Church of Reconciliation (NC), Nacoochee Presbyterian Church (GA), New Castle Presbytery, and individuals  Immediate needs have been met  Task now to re-construct homes destroyed by earthquake  Forward progress….

28 NEW HOME FOR NOLBERTA AND FAMILY Nolberta, a widow, and her family outside their almost completed house.

29 NEW HOME FOR FELIZA AND HER SON Feliza, a disabled woman, and her son outside of her almost completed house.

30 EVEN MORE EXCITING: ANTONIA’S HOUSE IS FINISHED! Antonia enters her new house.

31 ANTONIA’S NEW HOUSE Antonia and her family pray, giving thanks for their new house.

32 NEW ACTIVITIES – STATUS QUO IS UNACCEPTABLE!  Producing shampoo  Cultivating:  Strawberries  Mushrooms

33 PRODUCING SHAMPOO Left: Shampoo’s main ingredient is pulp from a leaf that looks like yucca. Imelda is removing the pulp. Right: Shampoo ingredients are mixed by hand.

34 PRODUCING SHAMPOO Left: Petronila bottles shampoo mixture. Right: Batch produces 25 bottles.

35 POSSIBLE PRODUCTS FOR THE FUTURE Left: Ruby red strawberries are delicious. Right: Mushrooms are attracting interest.

36 WHY GET INVOLVED?  We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through tireless efforts and persistent work of [people] willing to be coworkers with God…  -Martin Luther King

37 BESIDES... Involvement builds friendships! Cathy Higgins, on right, of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware enjoys her visit at the Sewing School. She is pictured with (L to R) Graciela and Leonora, officers of the women’s association, and Gricelda, the sewing instructor.

38 LIKE TO GET INVOLVED? Contact Cindie Moore at  Thanks to Erika Robertson for technical assistance in the preparation of this presentation.


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