Listening and making change

Two presentations surrounding Guatemala happening in QB

Two presentations surrounding Aldea Maya are happening at St

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

A presentation on local Canadian charity Aldea Maya’s latest adventures in Guatemala is taking place at St. Stephens Church in Qualicum Beach today, October 24.

People can also find out at that presentation how they can make a difference in that country.

This Sunday, October 27 the organization is presenting a human rights activist from Guatemala, Julio Cochoy, at the same location.

He is presenting Voices Breaking the Silence: Recovery after the Guatemalan Civil War.

His life’s work is to ensure that the atrocities that occurred during the civil war are never again repeated.  In 2006 he compiled the testimonies of 35 survivors in the book translated to Voices Breaking the Silence of Utitlan, which has been published by the United Nations.

He is the founder and director of Mayan Skills, an organization founded in 2007 to create decent employment for women whose husbands or sons were kidnapped and assassinated during the war.

Hand-made jewelry created by the women of Mayan Skills will be available outside the hall before and after the talk.

Aldea Maya is a grassroots organization working in the Lake Atitlan area of the Guatemalan highlands which focuses on assisting indigenous Mayans to help themselves through education, nutrition, garden projects and mirco-loans.

Locally Aldea Maya holds fundraisers, with help from many students in the local schools, selling crafts, Christmas cards and hosting events.

On October 24 a video will be shown of students from Guatemala who performed in masks and costumes, and discussions will happen surrounding the latest projects and ways local volunteers can contribute.

The presentation on October 24 happens at 6:30 p.m. in the lower hall.

On October 27 the presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more on Aldea Maya visit www.aldeamaya.ca.