Holiday 2021 Updates from New Dawn Guatemala

Thank you so much for your interest in our all-volunteer, grassroots non-profit, New Dawn Guatemala. We are dedicated to working in solidarity with the social-justice-based, ex-refugee community of Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn), Guatemala, and the surrounding area. For more detailed information about our organization, or to donate or volunteer, please visit our website.

First Phase of Life-Sustaining Water Project Almost Completed!

Water Video
Please watch this short video about why our water project is so important

We have been working for the last three years to support the completion of a vital water project to provide many benefits to Nuevo Amanecer. These include continuous, clean, and potable water source to the community, as well as the revitalization of the area around the natural spring that will provide it.  

The first phase of the project, which is scheduled to bring clean water to the community for the first time, will be completed in early March of 2022. For more written information on this transformative project, please click here.

Vital Scholarships Keep Kindergarten Open, Kids in School, and Lead to Decent Jobs

The community kindergarten, which almost had to close due to the COVID-related financial difficulties of their Guatemalan sponsor, was able to stay open and provide regular education and snacks to 15 kindergartners during 2021 because of your super generous solidarity of over $2,000.

We were also able to provide $9,100 in scholarship support for 31 young people from Nuevo Amanecer and the surrounding community. This included elementary, junior high and high school students, as well as those studying at the nearby technical college in areas such as accounting, pre- law and pre-medicine, criminology, elementary education, nursing, computer science, and culinary arts. Many previous graduates have secured decent paying jobs with career ladders thanks to your generous support, which often provides the only alternative to back-breaking, very low-paid work in the coffee and banana fields and fruit processing factories.

To provide more essential solidarity for these worthy young scholars, kindly contribute on our website.

Community Works to Capture Carbon and Restore Nearby Forest with Your Solidarity

This year New Dawn Guatemala backed Nuevo Amanecer’s efforts to eliminate invasive species such as rubber plants and restore the land around the natural spring, which they have acquired thanks to your contributions! We provided over $1,400 to help them purchase 270 native tree seedlings and support work parties to provide training, refreshments, and small stipends to community youth to carry out a pilot tree planting project.

This initial effort is part of a long-term plan in which the community hopes to restore the entire parcel around the spring, as well as other parcels they will need to complete water project. In addition to capturing carbon, the project intends to bring back native birds poisoned by the non-native species and help attract solidarity visitors to the beautiful area around the spring. They have successfully enlisted the support of ECOS, a Guatemalan based NGO specializing in forest restoration. Beginning in April of 2022, the community will work with ECOS to develop a comprehensive forest restoration plan for the whole area.

To help Nuevo Amanecer plant more trees to capture carbon and employ local youth, please donate.

COVID Education Helps Community Stay Safe

Working together with the Guatemalan based nonprofit Wuqu' Kawoq (The Mayan Health Alliance), New Dawn Guatemala funded the visit of Dr. Maxbeny Waleska Lopez Canu, an indigenous woman and Guatemalan doctor. She traveled from the capital to Nuevo Amanecer and conducted a culturally appropriate COVID workshop attended by many in the community.

Working together with community leaders, including the local nurse Mari Jiménez, Dr. Canu helped encourage and coordinate vaccinations, masking, and social distancing measures. We are happy to report that all 99% of the community’s adults and youth have been fully vaccinated and no one has been diagnosed with COVID. During 2022 we will continue to partner with the community’s elected leaders, all of whom strongly support vaccine and social distancing measures, to promote COVID safety in every possible way

Monthly Support Continues During COVID Crisis

Nuevo Amanecer remains very challenged economically as numerous businesses in nearby towns remain partially or totally closed. Many have even lost their jobs or had their hours reduced due to the continuing COVID crisis. As a result, we have continued our monthly economic support to the community. The funds are used to pay young people from different families on a rotating basis to maintain COVID rules regarding those entering Nuevo Amanecer and to purchase essential supplies for all.  The community has expressed their deep thanks for this vital support, which has prevented many families from slipping into the deepest poverty.

We So Appreciate Your Support! Here are Ways to Get Involved

Our links of solidarity with the democratically run, social justice-based community of Nuevo Amanecer deepened this year thanks to your very vital support.

In addition to making life giving donations on our website, here are other ways you can help us partner with this amazing community:

  • Volunteer – We can use help with social media work, translation, editing, phone reminders, and other vital tasks.
  • Donate a laptop. We will partner with the community this year to make internet service available to all in the community, including school students, for the first time. If you have a laptop you can donate, please let us know- it will make a huge difference.
  • To volunteer or donate a laptop, please contact Joe Szwaja at (206) 523-3278 or joeszwaja@earthlink.net
  • Make Your Support Monthly – Even a few dollars a month gives us a more solid financial foundation, help us plan, and avoid time-consuming fundraising calls. If you can donate even $5 a month, please do so at our website.

Happy holidays and thanks so much for your life changing solidarity!!!!

–New Dawn Guatemala Board of Directors in Partnership with the People of Nuevo Amanecer

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