OPEN HEARTS & OPEN DOORS


Dear Friends,


How do we adequately share the situation in Guatemala? How do we express our utmost appreciation for the support of our donors? How do we continue to deal with the immediate, pressing, and ongoing need of food for our students, elders, and communities?


We open our hearts and share with you through words and pictures. We use our skills, our hard work, and our long standing, trusted relationships with community leaders to continue distributing food and other immediate needs that don't cease even when we are in the middle of a global pandemic. We just keep going and moving forward even when the need seems insurmountable. We let each of you know how valued you are as part of the FundaMaya family - and express our gratitude for you partnership with us and the work we do every day together!


Please take a few minutes to continue reading as we try to share the situation on the ground in our area of Guatemala, express our gratitude for each of you, explain what we have been doing, and share where we still aim to serve.


Please also know our staff is very much aware of the role they have taken on in aiding our community in this difficult time. They each take pride in the work they are doing and want to maintain the safety of those with whom they come into contact, as well as their coworkers.

We aim to provide timely pictures and updates, but, please know we are not working in conditions like the US or Canada in a normal time, much less now. Many families can not come to our office in Panajachel due to COVID-19 and the Guatemalan government's rules.


We schedule our staff to visit different villages in our region on certain days, but sometimes there are situations beyond our control (i.e. extreme weather, road conditions, coordination needs with leadership in the communities, etc.).


Did you know FundaMaya goes to San Jorge, Tierra Linda, and El Barranco, we head in one direction away from Lake Atitlan (with the outermost villages being easily an hour away by truck). To go to San Antonio Palopo we drive about 35 minutes another way along the lake. And to go to ChukMuk we have to go around the lake on another road for about 90 minutes (nearly always very rough and bumpy and other times nearly washed out in parts) that goes along the upper rim of the lake?


If you haven't experienced some of these bumpy rides and breathtaking views with us in the past, we hope you will have the chance in the future to join us in Guatemala. For now, we invite you to learn more about the work we are doing in partnership with each of you!



List of Articles in Newsletter


  • Current Situation in Guatemala

  • Fear of Starvation

  • Impact to Date

  • Meals Provided in Past 110 Days

  • Kids Against Hunger Donation to Fundamaya

  • Open Hearts & Open Doors

  • Communication & Coordination

  • Outreach

  • Bomberos & Local Health Workers

  • Community Coordination

  • Safety & Care of Staff

YOU Can Make a Difference!

  • Our Main Priority: Emergency Food Fund

  • School in Guatemala

  • Schools are closed, but studies continue...

  • Preschool Students - Panajachel, San Jorge, & San Antonio Palopo

  • Interested in Sponsoring?

  • Our Elderly

  • Elderly Program

  • Please Meet Doña Paula

  • Providing Employment Opportunities & Necessary Items

  • Paying Work & Masks!

  • Walking Cane Project

  • Solar Lamps

  • Our Amigas Project

  • General Hygiene Kits

  • Growing Strong Garden Project in Partnership with Cultiva International

  • Donate: Growing Strong

  • Ongoing Projects & Medical Needs

  • Other Donations

  • Medical Needs... An Ongoing Part of Life

  • Pedro... A Young Man in Dire Need

  • Shipments to FundaMaya

  • Upcoming Shipment

  • Updates & Social Media

  • SmugMug

  • Facebook

  • To Our Donors

  • Video

  • Specific Student Donations

  • About the Coordinating Non-Profits (Guatemala, United States, & Canada)

  • Action Alliance International, Inc.

  • FundaMaya Canada

  • Fundamaya (Fundación Familia Maya)




Current Situation in Guatemala


The President of Guatemala is doing everything that he can to try to prevent the spread of this disease. Here are some pieces of info about Guatemala's current situation.

  • On July 1, the numbers were 1,061 people diagnosed positive and 27 deaths. In total there are 18,096 cases and a total of 773 deaths. (Ministry of Health and WHO - COVID Situation Report 164).

  • The hospital system here is verging on collapse, and there is not enough medical staff.

  • The chief doctor at Roosevelt Hospital has himself been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is being treated at the hospital. 

  • Guatemala has been on curfew now for over three months.

  • We currently have a curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.  

  • This Sunday and next Sunday no one may leave his/her home during 24-hour curfews throughout Guatemala.

  • Schools are closed. (See the section below on current news with "Schools in Guatemala" for more information.)

  • Businesses are closed.

  • The airport is closed.

Unfortunately, the virus is now in the Lake Atitlan area. 

There are cases in Sololá, Santiago, San Lucas Toliman, and our hometown of Panajachel.



Fear of Starvation


The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to cause a serious food shortage here in Guatemala. The numbers of malnourished children and hungry families increase daily. In addition, people are not able to pay their rent, utilities or other household expenses. The indigenous Maya population have always struggled, but this pandemic is like nothing we have ever experienced before.  

We have witnessed hardship and desperation over the years - after Hurricane Stan, Tropical Storm Agatha, the eruption of Volcano Fuego, during droughts, and in just normal everyday times - but this is different and so difficult to even put into words.

The measures to control the virus have resulted in no daily work, which in turn results in no food for the family that day - and each day after. Concerns about contracting the COVID-19 virus are overshadowed by hunger and the possibility of starvation. People are hurting and they are becoming desperate.

This is not a normal time. This time is much, much worse!




Impact to Date


Meals Provided in Past 110 Days


To our donors and supporters, THANK YOU for your commitment in helping our vulnerable communities. 

Your donations have enabled FundaMaya to deliver over 427,000 meals* to students, families, and elders since March 11. This averages out to approximately 3,800 meals a day!

We can't begin to express our appreciation or what it has meant for the families, students, or elders that have received these meals.

To not know how you are going to feed your children...that is not something anyone wants to experience...

These feelings of desperation and fear aren't going away though... we need your help to get to 1,000,000 meals... or... whenever people can return to work and a sense of normalcy where they can work for their daily food.

*number of meals based on 700kcal per meal

People often ask, "What is the biggest need right now?" The answer is never easy, as there is always someone needing medical care, yearning for the opportunity of school, or any other of many needs - however, right now, the answer has to be FOOD. Make sure you check out the section below on YOU Can Make a Difference!


Kids Against Hunger Donation to FundaMaya


We are so grateful for the large donation of Kids Against Hunger food that we are distributing to so many families in need! Thank you to Carrie Gunning and Boones Creek Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee. We now have 4 pallets of meals. There are 66 boxes per pallet; 36 bags per box; 6 meals per bag! All in all, this generous donation will be just over 57,000 meals!

Here is what is included in the Kids Against Hunger meals:

Rice & Veggies MealPack:

High-quality white, long-grain rice

KAH Rice

·       Widely recognized as a food staple in most countries of the world

·       Fills the stomach

·       Has a long shelf life

Vitamin-fortified, crushed soy

Soy

·       Very high protein content (52%)

·       1 lb. of soy is the equivalent of 3 lbs. of red meat

·       Fortification provides nine additional, essential vitamins

Dehydrated blend of six vegetables

KAH Veggies

·       Adds nutritional value, flavor, and color

Vitamin & mineral powder

KAH Food Vitamins

·       Includes 21 essential vitamins and minerals

·       9 amino acids

·       Adds flavor

The vitamin formula is a proprietary formula and is the “secret sauce” that goes into our food. It includes 21 vitamins and minerals, and each bag of our food contains six servings of the dehydrated food which when boiled will feed six children or adults. According to the food scientists developing the food, it supplies the optimum amount of nutrition for a malnourished individual. It provides not just a meal, but better health to starving people. Additionally, our bags are specifically made from moisture-proof and odor-proof material to prevent spoilage and insect or rodent problems. The food bags are also three-ply for strength. Kids Against Hunger’s life-saving meals have a shelf life of at least three years.



Open Hearts & Open Doors


Guatemalans are stoic, hardworking people. Even in normal times, hard work is often not enough - and struggling to feed their families is a reality. 


However now, there is even less of an opportunity to make a living and with no savings - there is no food.


The FundaMaya staff works hard to raise funds, to pack food, and to distribute it to those in need. The need increases daily as more people come for help.


Whole communities are desperate for food. People who never needed help before are coming to our door. 


Our doors and hearts have remained open for the past 110 days, since before the current crisis was named a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization. We have stayed open because there is a true, immediate need and our staff has felt it was imperative that they continue to help their neighbors and communities.

We have stayed open with the help and giving hearts of our generous donors - both individuals and groups - who have come together to donate a few dollars at a time or with larger gifts. All are essential and the smallest donation helps to provide at least one more meal for a person...so no donation is too small!



Communication & Coordination


Outreach

We are calling our sponsored families to learn how they are doing, along with delivering as much food as possible.  If you have not received an update about the student or elderly person you sponsor and would like one,

please write to infofundamaya@actionai.org.

Our Family Aid Department will contact them, let them know you are wanting to check on them, see how they are handling the current situation, and check on their immediate needs.

Please be patient, as it can be difficult to reach people (i.e., may need to reach out to a relative or neighbor if they don't have a phone) and we have all been

doing double duty packaging food. For those of you that have been here and gone through the process - you know how long and hard this work is. It is very worthwhile work!

We will be back in touch, but if you haven't heard from us after 2 or 3 days, please reach out to us again at infofundamaya@actionai.org.

We truly do value our sponsors and donors and the connections you have with our staff and sponsored students, elderly, and families!








Bomberos &

Local Health Workers


Community Coordination

Along with the support for our families, we are also focusing on community leaders called the Cocodes in:

broader level with the communities We also work closely with the local Panajachel

with whom we normally work. Sololá

San Jorge la Laguna FundaMaya works closely with the El Barranco

Bomberos (our First San Andres

Responders/Fire Fighters). Maria Tecun

We have provided masks and Tierra Linda

equipment to several Bomberos Jaibalito

Stations, our local health centers,

community workers, and municipality workers. 

















Safety & Care of Staff


As a humanitarian organization we are granted a special pass to be able to travel to surrounding areas. Normal travel has been severely restricted right now. There is no public transportation.

If you have been here to our region of Guatemala, you know how much public transportation (buses, trucks, and tuk tuks) is relied on to get from one destination to another.

At FundaMaya, we have provided our staff with additional protective gear so that they may continue to respond to those needs as long as food is available. 

In addition, most of our staff are the only breadwinners in their extended families and their wages have to stretch further than normal.

FundaMaya is very proud and grateful that we have kept our complete staff working and being paid during this time.

With your help for this essential work, FundaMaya will NOT close our doors or our hearts; we will continue to deliver to the surrounding areas as allowed.

YOU Can Make a Difference!

Our Main Priority: Emergency Food Fund

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FundaMaya, partnering with

Action Alliance International Inc.

312 Julia Ln, Euless TX 76040

1-619-202-0090

Donate

$25 a month, a

one time payment or monthly! 

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