A family dries green coffee beans in the village of Pasaq, a Child Aid partner community.
It’s National Coffee Day!
Guatemala is one of the world’s top producers of coffee, and many of the children involved in our literacy program work seasonally in the coffee industry. Xojolá and Pasaq are just two of several coffee communities that participate in Reading for Life, our flagship literacy program in Guatemala. Help support our work in these villages by donating here.
This is also a perfect time to thank the coffee companies that support our work.
- Ethical Bean, in Vancouver, BC, is a major supporter of our scholarship program in the town of El Tejar, helping put over 100 impoverished children through grade school and junior high.
- Jim’s Organic Coffee, in West Wareham, MA, has partnered with us for years, first to help bring a new library and classrooms to the village of Tzanchaj and now to support Reading for Life in that community.
- Portland Roasting, a Child Aid hometown partner and longtime local coffee company, is helping us bring Reading for Life to four coffee communities in the Guatemalan highlands.
Our warmest thanks to each of these companies for making our literacy work possible.
Last week, Portland-based author Ann Cameron visited Socorro de Belén, a school in Antigua, Guatemala, where Child Aid has been working for many years. Socorro is a school for young indigenous women training to become teachers. Norma Guzmán, a Child Aid literacy trainer, coordinated the visit because she has used Ann Cameron’s books with her students. Needless to say, the students at Socorro were thrilled to have this opportunity.
For many of the students, one of Ann’s books, Colibrí, was the first novel they had ever read. Many of the young women were amazed by accuracy of the book and enthusiastic to read a book about their own country. According to Norma, their interest in this novel and participation in Child Aid’s programs has inspired many to become avid readers. One young woman expressed that she is now reading her 11th book of the year.
In Guatemala, where quality children’s and young adult’s books are nearly impossible to find, the impact Ann’s books, combined with our programs, is immeasurable. Thanks to our outstanding trainer, Norma, for arranging this visit and to Ann for all she is doing to help the youth of Guatemala become readers for life.
Ann has written several award-winning Spanish language books for children and young adults. The book that Norma uses, Colibrí (Hummingbird), is a contemporary adventure story of a young Mayan girl and is set in Guatemala, where Ann lived for over 20 years.
To purchase Ann’s books, available in Spanish and English, click here.
We are very proud to announce that Portland Roasting is supporting Child Aid’s literacy work in Guatemala this season! Every time Portland Roasting sells a bag of its special Guatemalan Holiday Blend, it will donate $1 to Child Aid!
This means that every time you buy a bag of Guatemalan Holiday Blend coffee, you support Child Aid. The money raised will help fund Child Aid’s Reading for Life program in the coffee producing communities of Pasaq, Xojolá, Palá and Chicacao. Since you’ll be getting a pound of the city’s best coffee in the process, everyone wins!
So where do you get it? Buy it online here, or pick up a bag at one of the following Portland-area stores:
- Whole Foods
- Lamb’s Garden Home
- Sheridan’s Fruit Company
- Lillian’s Natural Marketplace
- Lamb’s at Stroheckers
- Made in Oregon
Our hugest thanks to everyone at Portland Roasting!
Dee and Lee Carlson, La Conner Rotary Club members, help unpack and sort books before a delivery.
This year, the Rotary Club of La Conner, Washington helped raise funds for Child Aid so we could send 53,000 children’s books to Guatemala, and distribute them to over 60 rural communities. Once the books arrived in Guatemala, a group of Rotary volunteers from the La Conner club traveled to the country to help with sorting and cataloging in one of the communities that received books.
We’re able reach as many kids and communities as we do because of generous support from groups and organizations in the U.S. Huge thanks to La Conner Rotary! The club is helping us bring Spanish-language books to well over 10,000 children who never before had access to quality reading materials.
We have one chance and a deadline. Now we need you.
Child Aid recently received a $100,000 matching challenge pledge. If we can raise that amount from our individual supporters between now and December 31, Child Aid will earn an additional $100,000. If we don’t make it, we lose it!
Educating a child is the best way to provide her with a path out of poverty. Thanks to this matching pledge, the impact of whatever you give gets doubled.
Your gift this season is critical. Your support and this historic pledge will help us continue to bring critical educational programs and health services to thousands of children in Guatemala and southern Mexico.
Thank you for your support! Please donate here.
Speaking of special events, it’s not too late for you to organize one for the summer!! Really, what could be more fun than having a garage sale for your favorite charity? (Maybe a bowl-a-thon.) How about a fundraising dinner? Or a BBQ for Books? If you do decide to do something like this, we can create a little web page for you like!
And be sure to check out our Take Action page from time to time to get involved. Have a great summer!
If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, join us on a beautiful bike ride to support Child Aid’s rural librarian training program. The ride will take place on Sunday, September 20, 2009 in the idyllic countryside around Forest Grove, just west of Portland. We’ll ride through vineyards, forests and rolling hills, all for the sake of great cause: community libraries in Guatemala and helping children learn to read. There are three rides so peddlers of all levels and ages can participate: an 11 mile ride, a 30 mile ride and the 55 mile challenge ride. Contact us to learn more. We hope to see you there!!
Chores onstage at the Kenton Club.
Friday night’s benefit show at Portland’s World Famous Kenton Club was not only a hootin’ good time (by 1am, it seemed like half the crowd was on stage dancing with the band!) it was a big success as well. The event raised $1,215 which will go directly to Las Canoas’ library.
Las Canoas is a small, extremely poor Kaqchikel Mayan community above Lago Atitlán in the Guatemalan Highlands. Most of the families here earn $100 to $200 a month working intermittently in agriculture or busing to nearby Panajachel to sell crafts or other goods to tourists. The school here is poorly funded, the classrooms lack books and the library recently closed for lack of funds. With the help of everyone involved with the Las Canoas benefit, Child Aid is working to reopen the library, stock it with age-appropriate books for the children, provide training for a new librarian and the local teachers and start reading programs.
Portland musician and music educator Ivy Ross set the whole thing up after she spent a month volunteering and traveling in Guatemala. We owe her a huge thanks!
And then there were the bands: Pink Widower, Chores and Tine! They took time out of busy schedules and rocked the Kenton Club free of charge, bringing in loads of fans who donated at the door to support Las Canoas. Help us thank them for their support by checking out their My Space pages and buying their CDs! We also owe a big, big thanks to the Kenton Club itself, which donated 15% of the bar tab to the cause. Now that’s a bar with returning to! And of course, thank you to each and every one of you who made it to the club and donated to the benefit. All of us at Child Aid – not to mention the community of Las Canoas – appreciate your support tremendously!
Pink Widower and their mighty horn section.
(And by the way, if you’d like to organize a benefit or special event for Child Aid, we certainly could use your help! Just contact us here or call 503-223-3008. The Kenton Club show was a great community builder and is yet another example of what people can make happen for people.)
Portland people – put Friday, June 19 on your calendars!
Portland rockers Pink Widower, Chores and the all new Tine will play a benefit show at The World Famous Kenton Club to help the community of Las Canoas, Guatemala. Local musician/youth development activist, Ivy Ross, organized the event, which promises to be four hours of loud and very danceable rock-and-roll!
Proceeds from the benefit, matched with training and support from Child Aid, will help Las Canoas reopen its library, hire and train a librarian, and start a reading program for nearly 600 elementary school children!
Even if a night of rock isn’t your cup of tea, please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested. It’s another great example of how communities here can make a huge and positive impact on communities that are less fortunate!
For more information, visit: www.child-aid.org/building/lascanoas
Great news! Ethical Bean coffee is now available to coffee drinkers in the United States! The Vancouver, BC coffee roaster, owned by Lloyd Bernhardt and Kim Schachte, is a longtime supporter of Child Aid. Every December, for several years now, Ethical Bean has donated $1 for every bag of coffee they sell to Child Aid as part of their month-long “Kids to School” promotion. It’s been a tremendous help to so many children in Guatemala. If you’re in the United States, click over to the Ethical Bean website, click on the Amazon link, and support this generous business by purchasing a two-pound bag of their outstanding, fresh, Fair Trade coffee! Not only will you love the coffee (trust us!), but you’ll be supporting Child Aid’s scholarship program in Guatemala, and a great business, too!
December may be a long way off, but Ethical Bean is worth supporting now. And once December does finally roll around, you’ll be so hooked on their coffee, you’ll automatically participate in the “Kids to School” promo. Then, for every 100 bags of coffee Ethical Bean sells, a child in Guatemala gets a yearlong scholarship. Without these scholarships, most of these children would otherwise not be able to go to school – their families (many of which bring in combined incomes of less than $300/mo.) simply cannot afford the hidden costs of school: shoes, uniforms, transportation and materials.
We owe such a huge thanks to Lloyd and Kim and everyone else at Ethical Bean for their wonderful support, and there’s really no better way we can thank them than by steering as many coffee drinkers to their excellent product as possible. So click on over and enjoy what will be the some of the best coffee you’ve ever tasted – you’ll help make difference in the life of a child in the process!
Can you think of an easier way to help out? We can’t!