Qualicum Beach resident Louise Sosa has a big task.
She needs to raise $20,000 for the non-profit organization she supports to educate kids in a poor village in Guatemala. Sosa has been fundraising for Aldea Maya and its efforts in the Guatemalan highlands that assists indigenous Mayans to help themselves through education, nutrition, garden projects and micro-loans.
Most students in Chuk Muk are hungry and ill-equipped but a primary school that sponsors the kids is changing all that and this year funding helped start a middle school in the village.
For six years now Sosa has been raising funds to help pay teachers salaries and buy school supplies.
At Christmas she sells cards handmade by students from various schools in District 69 with proceeds going towards educating villagers.
Sosa said Aldea Maya supports a lot of projects in the village including teaching kids and adults how to grow a garden and make nutritious meals from the fruits of their labour.
Every January she to travels to the area to help train students and villagers and brings donations collected in Oceanside.
While in the village she pays fair trade prices for beadwork bracelets, and other items, which she sells locally to raise money for the students she has grown to know and love.
When the middle school opened this year, Sosa said she was hoping to get 20 students and 40 showed up.
“Normally they don’t go past Grade six. I have known a lot of these kids for a long time and the thought of them not going on to middle school is sad,” she admitted.
She said with more students moving on they might have 70 students in middle school next year so she will need to raise a lot of money.
Beautiful bead work by Mayan villagers will be sold outside of Dolly’s Home Hardware during Qualicum Beach Fire and Ice Festivities tomorrow.