Gas Stoves and Nutritional Supplements for a Sustainable Future

A nutrition and gas stove program is being managed by a local women’s group in San Antonio Palopo known as the Directiva. These 12 women manage a weekly nutrition clinic for 50 children who range in age from 6 months to 5 years old. The children’s progress is monitored by weighing and measuring them.The Directiva is well-organized and ready to roll out the program. They were very appreciative of our support and hosted a luncheon in our honour on Sunday, our last day before heading home.
It was a great experience for all of us!

Bags of the packaged nutritional supplements.

Incaparina supplement is full of vitamins and nutrients that help children develop during their formative years.

The Directiva is also managing  implementation of a gas stove program in town. Nelson, Chemainus and Nanaimo Rotary clubs have provided funds for stoves, tanks and propane gas. The families receiving the stoves must attend weekly info sessions about nutrition, make a slow cooker Wonder Bag and contribute funds towards the stoves and propane. The funds they contribute for propane are less than the cost of wood. The savings can be used for food and shelter.

Directiva members Josepha(on the left) Veronica (in the red top) and Sandra on the right listen at the stove demo.

Elena,  president of the Directiva helped with the stove demonstration and went over the process for implementing the program. The plan is to issue 5 stoves per week to families participating in the program. A local propane distributor will supply refilled tanks to the homes when required.

Adios from San Antonio Palopo on beautiful Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

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Team 2018 Wrapping Up Another Successful Trip

A final visit to the house for Clara and her family and it is time to start planning for the trip home. It has been difficult communication with the “blog master” owing the erratic internet in San Antonio so we will await further in-depth stories when the Rotary Team returns to Chemainus.

New home and new blankets from Tom and Derek

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Learning Center Activities

San Antonio Palopo is fortunate to have a nice learning center. Susan spent lots of time with the kids.

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Celebration And Appreciation, An Emotional Time




Smiles all round. A happy and emotional moment.

The entire Chemainus Guatemala Rotary Team joined in a celebration of the new house build by David and Chris. The celebration , put on by the Yolanda family and the community, was to say  a big thank you for the much needed help.  The home owners Jeremia and Marie Yolanda were very happy as were their children Henry, David, Sandra, and Milton.

“Sandra is so happy to have a new home, a mat to sleep on and warm blankets. The family couldn’t thank us enough. Three of the boys escorted us about a kilometre back to the main road as we left. It was sad to say goodbye but rewarding to experience and share with them a new beginning.”

Part of the celebration included presentation of new shoes for the excited kids.

David and Chris proudly standing in front of the new home they built from scratch.

Susan, Tom, Jacqueline and Derek join the celebration.

Henry and David waiting to see their new shoes. The children helped out and greeted our help with open arms every visit.

New shoes always needed in San Antonio Palopo.

Sharing the moment.

Some poles ,old metal and a blue tarp were the makings of the Yolanda’s old “house”.

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One Happy Family

This is the project David and Chris from Nelson Rotary Club worked on. The family of Jeremia and Marie Yolanda and their five children lived in a tarp covered four Post house. David and Chris built them a new home out of laminate which will be wind and water proof. The children helped out and greeted our help with open arms every visit.
As an aside, David took them fruit one day which included an apple. The children were thrilled as unbenounced to us they only get an apple once a year at Christmas.
We will be celebrating their new home on Saturday.

Before and after view house for family of five.

Chris putting final touch by making the door.

Two happy kids

David with his snew friends

Jacqueline and David McCormick show living space for five.

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When In Rome Do As Romans….

Derek tries his head at carrying water on his head with the help of Martha. The women in the village use their heads to carry most anything.  Water has to be carried up the hill to use for making the mortar for the cement blocks.

Derek tries hand at carrying water.

Juan, Israel, Martha and baby, Julian and Derek during break in construction.

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Report From Tom

We started work building a retaining wall and part of the foundation for Clara and Israel’s home. Derek and Tom helped digging trenches, moving concrete blocks, doing masonry work or pitching in where ever needed.
David and Chris ordered material, scoped out their site in more detail, and arranged for delivery. They start work Tuesday.
Susan helped out at the women’s centre with the seniors luncheon and the after school children’s reading program.
After “work” we filled 26 soccer balls with air ready for donation to the local school.
People are happy here with the bare necessities of life. We are grateful for what we have and should focus more on our needs instead of our wants.
Adios from San Antonio Palopo

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Step Right Up, Get Your Snake Oil Here


Street sales in San Lucas Toliman

We took the 7:30 boat from San Antonio Palopo to San Lucas Toliman to have breakfast and pick up items at the street market. Chris Chart from the Nelson Rotary Club has joined our team. We purchased blankets and toys for some of the children less fortunate. We thought about some snake oil but passed.We also dropped into the women’s centre to visit Mary Cruz who showed us how the hand made slow cookers works.

Back at hotel we ran into fellow Nanaimo Rotarians Graham and Vickie Calder, Ron Blank and Patrick McGuire.

We are all set to start our projects early Monday morning.

Adios from the Hotel Terazzas del Lago.

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A New Generation

Jacqueline, Sheny and Petrona.

Shown above left  is Jacqueline Sheppard who makes our trips to San Antonio possible. I have not checked lately but this would be close to 30 years for Jacqueline’s visits to the small village. If you look close you will see modern technology tucked in Petrona’s  belt.  Petrona is a smart, hardworking and capable woman.  If you look even closer you will see her daughter Sheny has her own phone.  This is an example of a technology jump.  Neither would have ever had a regular telephone.

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Guatemala Team On Location

Children in San Antonio Palopo

Today the Guatemala Team met the family they will building a home for. The family is very excited and can’t wait for it to be finished. Material has been delivered and work will start on Monday.

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