Team Update – November 2017

Here’s the latest on what our most recent volunteer team has been up to on their trip down to Guatemala!
The team’s first event was to attend the graduation of the kindergartners to Grade 1. It was an eye opening day at the Centre of Hope where each graduate had multiple family members on hand to celebrate their big day with them. It was also a chance for Loving Arms President Linda Coghlin and Guatemalan Director Alicia Mendez to acknowledge the hard work put forward by the teachers the past school year.
Next, team member Meghan Coghlin hosted a clinic for new mothers to teach them the basic fundamentals that we in North America may take for granted. She gave new mothers or pregnant mothers a toy baby and provided information for these mothers and mothers to be about stimulating their baby, talking to them, and playing with them. She also gave these mothers a hygiene kit, blanket, and some baby clothing to take home.
Next up, the group held deliver food packages to 70 families who travelled to the Centre of Hope to receive their precious food. It also had time to do a little sprucing up of paint at the Centre of Hope.
During their trip, President Linda was also able to meet with Amy rose, a Canadian teacher working at Colegio Intermericano, a private school in Guatemala City. Amy volunteers at Loving Arms along with several of her co-workers to provide workshops to our teachers at the Christian School of Hope to improve our curriculum.  Amy has contacts at other private schools and will work with Alicia and Linda to book an information session with the parents of the students at these private schools with the intention of securing child sponsorships at our school. Many parents at these schools are American, European, Canadian, or South American and might be interested in helping a needy child.  These private schools tend to partner with other schools like ours to help give back to the community.  The schools we will be attempting to secure sponsorships from are Colegio Maya, Americano, AIS, and Amy’s school Colegio Intermericano.
The team also met with Carolina Lantán from the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce.  They wish to partner with our charity for a fundraiser for the children and the school.  Suggestions have been discussed and Linda and Alicia will work together to coordinate an event to celebrate Loving Arms’ 10th anniversary next year.
During their trip, the team also met with CA Travelers to create a partner to create packages for adults who wish to have a volunteer and tourism package. The program would be called “Voluntour” packages to launch for our 10th anniversary and can be for 1 week or 1 month stays.  A month-long package for Cultural experience/community service/tourism and sight  seeing/volunteering with Loving Arms can be geared towards high school and university students to learn Spanish. The volunteering portion would contribute to Loving Arms programs such as food packages, home construction, building stoves and water filters, and helping at the Centre of Hope at the beginning of the trip and end with sightseeing famous Guatemala landmarks such as Tikal, Lake Atitlan, amongst others.
Throughout all this hard work, the team was even able to celebrate our President Linda’s birthday as well! She was surprised with fireworks and a cake… what a treat!

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