Newsletter December 2022

Check out New Video and Support New Dawn Guatemala!

Hi friends! Your support the last few years has helped Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) Guatemala complete a new clean water system! Check out this short preliminary version of our clean water song, more versions to come in 2023!

Clean Water for All

Over the last several years we have provided funding for the acquisition of nearby land containing a natural spring. We also funded the design/construction of a clean-water system that will bring pure, potable water from the spring to the community 24/7 for the first time ever. The system is designed by local women indigenous engineers and is being built by community members themselves. The final push to bring this pipeline from the spring to the community has been delayed due to unusually severe rains the last few months. However, it will be completed sometime in the first half of 2023. Your generous support will facilitate a new clean-water system, which will be truly transformative for the community of Nuevo Amanecer!

Upcoming Water Video

The exciting benefits that the new water system will bring to the community have inspired a music video. These benefits include the ability to drink clean water without boiling it or buying plastic bottles, to bathe anytime (rather than within a 2-hour window every other day), and to wash clothes without going to the nearby polluted river. The video will feature  musical performances by members of Los Supersones, Seattle’s great Cuban music band. The song was written by New Dawn Guatemala co-founder Joe Szwaja and performed by community members. More to come in 2023!

We are in the process of creating a video with the community performing the song which will be available soon!

Scholarships and Job Training

This year we provided almost $9,000 in support for 36 secondary and community college/career path students who otherwise could not stay in school. Many students we have funded since 2013 have gotten decent jobs as nurses, chefs, mechanics, and many other professions. These jobs offer far better opportunities than the back-breaking work in the coffee and banana fields that is the only alternative for most. We also continued to support the community-run kindergarten with over $4,000 to fund COVID-safe preschool instruction and snacks for several dozen 4–5-year-olds

Starting Solar Energy in Nuevo Amanecer

We are partnering with the community and the Guatemalan indigenous nonprofit, Poder Luz Maya, to introduce solar energy to Nuevo Amanecer in 2023. We have received a grant from the Seattle International District Rotary Club to fund an initial solar project. Poder Luz Maya will provide technical support, and the community will provide the labor to deliver solar-derived power to the women-owned tortilla mill and one community building in the coming year. Working with the grassroots Poder Luz Maya, it is hoped that the community will be able to expand solar capacity little by little and reduce both harmful emissions and the high electric bills they currently pay.

Internet for Nuevo Amanecer by 2024

We have made a commitment to provide internet throughout the community within the next two years. This year we sent them four donated computers and helped train a few community members to use them to communicate with us and each other. In the coming year we will work with those already trained to train others, build more capacity, and prepare for the introduction of internet throughout the community by 2024.

Preparations for New Community Buildings in Nuevo Amanecer

Recently we have embarked on a partnership between the community and University of Washington Professor of Landscape Architecture Daniel Winterbottom. The goal is to enhance two public buildings and a green area in a way that will help meet existing needs and pave the way to showcase the community’s unique history and structure to help attract solidarity visitors. We will report more details on this exciting work after Professor Winterbottom’s spring trip to the community.

People’s lives improved this year in Nuevo Amanecer because of your support

In addition to making life-giving donations, here are 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. To volunteer, please contact Joe Szwaja at (206) 523-3278
  • Make an end-of-year donation. $250 allows a student to go to school for a whole year. Whatever you give is greatly appreciated.
  • Make your support monthly. If you can donate even $5 a month it gives us a more solid financial foundation, helps us plan, and avoids time-consuming fundraising calls.

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