Paso Por Paso’s Activities in Mayan Guatemala

San Pedro volcano, Lake Atitlan

PASO focuses its efforts primarily on supporting indigenous Mayan people in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala. It works cooperatively with other Canadian groups and individuals with similar interests and goals. While some of PASO’s directors visit Panajachel each year to oversee our program initiatives, PASO utilizes the expertise of others to implement its programs. Most of PASO’s efforts are supported through the Guatemalan non-profit organization called Mayan Families. Mayan Families’ main operational base is in Panajachel where it has built strong community connections, cultivated good relationships with municipalities, local institutions and service, earned the respect of ordinary indigenous people, and offers multi-lingual communications.

Paso sponsors children in schools, has micro loans for Tierra Linda women, has a school twinning program, offers bursaries to college and university students in the Lake Atitlan area and provides many services to the school in Tierra Linda. Details of these projects can be found here, on our facebook page and on our website http://www.pasoporpaso.ca

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Patricia will be missed.

Paso Por Paso has lost a special friend in Guatemala. Patricia Guttierrez coordinated the Canada Mayan Scholarship program for Paso. She carried out the search for suitable candidates, collected their marks and reports, submitted them to Paso and also coordinated the financial requirements of each student. Her volunteer work in Guatemala for Paso Por Paso will be missed.

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Six additional students sponsored.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church held a Pork Roast dinner recently for their congregation and they invited Paso Por Paso to share their work with women and children in Guatemala.  Bob Goodwin, both a director of Paso Por Paso and a member of St. Andrew’s, was instrumental in organizing this event.

 

Paso Por Paso is a registered non-profit organization which was originated twelve years ago by eight retired high school teachers from Orillia.  Their focus is on access to education through the sponsorship of students from primary to university.  Paso has also made many improvements to the Mayan village school of Tierra Linda and they support a local school nutrition program.  In addition, they support Mayan women through interest free micro loans used to start small businesses; this project raises the esteem of the women and their families.

 

Bob Goodwin also presented on Sunday to the congregation.  As a result, seven members of the congregation presented Mr. Goodwin with cheques to provide three year sponsorships for six students.  This has allowed Paso to increase the sponsorship of students in Panajachel and in the remote highland school of Tierra Linda.  Through the sale of Guatemalan crafts and a very generous donation, Paso was able to raise additional funds to support their initiatives in Guatemala.

 

Two of the new sponsors will be joining Paso directors when they travel to Guatemala in February 2018. While there, they will have the opportunity to meet their sponsored students on two occasions. The first will be when each sponsored student comes to the Mayan Families office in Panajachel to make a Valentine’s Day card for their sponsor and to receive 60 pounds of food to take home. The second will be during a home visit to meet the family. This is always a special time for the family and sponsor as they have an opportunity to discuss the educational goals of the sponsored student and well as the needs and challenges they face on a daily basis.

 

For more information about Paso Por Paso and to follow their activities while in Guatemala, visit our blog: pasoporpaso.wordpress.com. Information is also available on the website, pasoporpaso.ca and on the Facebook group, Paso Por Paso Orillia.

Bob Goodwin

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FINAL Art and Craft Sale of 2018

Dale Duncan is holding two fundraisers this week to raise money for our projects in Guatemala.

There will be a sale of Guatemalan handcrafted goods at her home on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, November 17 and 18, from 1 to 4 pm at 53 Westmount Drive North, Orillia. This will be the last sale this year so drop by to pick up some original items for Christmas gifts.

On line art auction is underway now! Visit our Paso Por Paso facebook page to bid.
Proceeds from the art sales of paintings and drawings by Marvin & Ronaldo Perez will go directly to them as they help support their family and pay for much needed medical aid for their mother. All remaining proceeds go to our projects & efforts to aid Guatemalan families.

The Art Auction runs until Sunday Nov 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM. Bidding will end at 4 PM on Sunday Nov. 18th Starting bids are on each photo, along with artist’s name.

Graphite on paper sketches 12″ X 16″ by Marvin & Ronaldo are for sale for $15 each.

Thanks to local artists for donating their fabulous work to the cause!!

Read more about us on our facebook page Paso Por Paso Orillia or our website http\://pasoporpaso.ca/

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PSCI Alumni “Honour those who led us”


Paso Por Paso received $1165 from former PSCI students and friends at a gathering at the Lake Country Grill on Saturday night. The event was planned by Carmen Agius, Don McIssac, Patti Sanderson and Dale Duncan in order to “honour those who led us”. Over 100 former students and teachers enjoyed dinner, drinks, dancing and a lot of reminiscing. Even Steven, Steve Ayers and Steve McEown, both PSCI grads, entertained the crowd and received a cake to celebrate their 40th anniversary as entertainers.

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August 22nd Gravenhurst Market.

Paso Por Paso will be at the Gravenhurst Market on August 22nd 2018 from 8 am to 1 pm. A good selection of original Guatemalan items is still available. The market is very large and is a great way to spend a Wednesday morning.

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Bob Goodwin joins Paso Board

Bob Goodwin

Bob Goodwin was elected to the Paso Por Paso Board of Directors at the June 2018 AGM. Bob has extensive experience in Guatemala and the Paso Board looks forward to working with him. Bob provided the following summary of his experiences in Guatemala.
“I recently (late summer 2017) moved to Orillia from the Niagara area, where my wife and I had spent the last 19 years after taking early retirement from our work in Ottawa. My career was in engineering (civil/municipal) and construction. From 2003 to 2008, I was involved with a local organization “Wells of Hope”. The main focus of the group was to drill wells to provide water to the people in the eastern highlands of Guatemala in the department of Jalapa. My involvement was to use my expertise in water distribution once we were successful in establishing reliable water sources. As well, I initiated a programme of school construction, building 3 schools of 3 classrooms each during our initial stay from Oct 2004 to April 2005. I was co-chair of the board for several years and made numerous trips to the area. I have also volunteered with a group called the Guatemalan Stove Project and have spent time in the Mayan villages in the Xela (Quetzaltenango) area. Although certainly not fluent, I have sufficient Spanish to be comfortable in Guatemala.”

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Bob Goodwin joins Paso Por Paso

Bob Goodwin has joined the Board of Directors of Paso Por Paso for a three year term. Bob has extensive experience in Guatemala and Paso looks forward to his involvement with Paso Por Paso.

Bob Goodwin
I recently (late summer 2017) moved to Orillia from the Niagara area, where my wife and I had spent the last 19 years after taking early retirement from our work in Ottawa. My career was in engineering (civil/municipal) and construction. From 2003 to 2008, I was involved with a local organization “Wells of Hope”. The main focus of the group was to drill wells to provide water to the people in the eastern highlands of Guatemala in the department of Jalapa. My involvement was to use my expertise in water distribution once we were successful in establishing reliable water sources. As well, I initiated a programme of school construction, building 3 schools of 3 classrooms each during our initial stay from Oct 2004 to April 2005. I was co-chair of the board for several years and made numerous trips to the area. I have also volunteered with a group called the Guatemalan Stove Project and have spent time in the Mayan villages in the Xela (Quetzaltenango) area. Although certainly not fluent, I have sufficient Spanish to be comfortable in Guatemala.

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JUNE 23 Craft Sale.

Paso Por Paso will be at the Orillia Farmers’ Market at the Library this coming Saturday, June 23rd. Doors open at 7:30 and the market ends at 12:30. There is still a good selection of original Guatemalan crafts including scarves, table runners, table clothes, jewelry, pottery, purses and much more. All proceeds go towards helping the Guatemalan Mayan people in the Lake Atitlan area.

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Paso AGM June 10th

Paso Por Paso’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday June 10th, 2018 from 12 noon- 2 p.m. in the Parlour of St. Paul’s United Church/Centre, 62 Peter St. North in Orillia, ON. Please feel free to join us as we look at the activities of the past year and continue to support Mayan Families living in Guatemala. Light refreshments will be served.

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Successful Plant Sales

Paso’s annual and perennial plant sales were a tremendous success. Approximately $4500 was raised from the sale of plants, with $3000 coming from the annuals and $1500 from the perennials.
Guatemalan crafts were also sold at both sales with Paso raising another $850 to support its efforts in Guatemala.

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