September 2021 Updates from New Dawn Guatemala

Thank you so much for your interest in our all-volunteer, grass-roots nonprofit, 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 or to donate, please visit our website.

Retirement Party Update

We were very sorry to have to cancel the retirement party planned for our founder and current president, Joe Szwaja, to honor his 28-year tenure as a teacher in the Seattle Schools. If you haven’t already done so, we hope you will donate to New Dawn Guatemala to commemorate Joe’s service and support the amazing community of Nuevo Amanecer with which he has been working since 2007.

Donations will support our new climate justice fund which is paying local youth to plant trees and remove invasive species, scholarships which help youth to stay in school who otherwise could not afford to do so and help complete the first ever clean water project which will provide potable water 24/7 to the community of Nuevo Amanecer.

To support the vital projects listed above please donate on our website, or on our Facebook fundraiser in honor of Joe’s retirement.


Two of Joe’s former students, Sarah Reyneveld and Ciron Wade, did short video clips to commemorate Joe’s retirement, please see and click on them below:

Ciron Video
Watch Ciron's Video

Community members from Nuevo Amanecer also shared in celebration. Pedro shared his memories of working with Joe and Hector David performs a song dedicated to Joe! Please click on the images below to watch and enjoy!

Water Project Update

The water project’s first two phases the catchment and storage facilities have been completed. The final phases of burying and installing the pipes which will transport the water from the natural spring to the community have been put on hold due to the unusually heavy rains. Recently, the community was able to secure a donation of materials from the municipality which will help defray the costs.

Once the project resumes each family unit will perform the labor, supervised by the women indigenous water engineers with who they have contracted to direct the project. Each family unit will dig and install a section of pipe proportional to their family’s size.

This is some of the vital water related work your generous donations make possible.

Thank you for your solidarity and support,

New Dawn Guatemala Board of Volunteers

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