From left: Emily Einarson, Jordan Murphy and Anadaisy Hayley show off some of the Chistmas and Hanukkah cards that they and other SD69 students are designing for a charity that sells them to support a Mayan village in Guatemala. — Submitted by Louise Sosa

Parksville Qualicum students creating cards for Mayan village

Aldea Maya charity selling Christmas, Hanukkah cards

Local students are putting their colouring skills to work to help raise money for a Mayan village in Guatemala.

The charity Aldea Maya has been fundraising for the past six years by featuring the artwork of School District 69 (Qualicum) students on Christmas and Hanukkah cards sold at local craft fairs.

However, the charity was not able to secure a table at as many fairs as previous years, and is hoping to sell more cards through local businesses, members said.

Aldea Maya was launched after a massive mudslide in the Santiago Atitlan area of Guatemala in October of 2005 killed hundreds and left many people in refugee camps, according to the charity’s website.

The majority of the victims of the mudslide were relocated to the new village of Chuk Muk, but there were many necessities lacking. Aldea Maya focuses on supporting gardening and nutrition projects, as well as helping children to continue their education, including opening up a middle school.

The Mayan students’ counterparts in SD69 continue to help them continue their education, and various other projects.

About 240 students are involved in designing the holiday cards, said Louise Sosa, a member of the charity.

The students, from Arrowview, Springwood and Kwalikum schools, learn about Third World issues and that individuals can make a difference.

“When Aldea Maya started 10 years ago, no student (in Chuk Muk) continued past Grade 6,” said Sosa.

“The card sales have enabled several hundred students to continue their education. In 2018, there will be 15 students from the village in university.”

The cards can be purchased at Our Glass in Parksville and Arbutus Fashion in Qualicum Beach, or by emailing aldeamayaca@gmail.com.

Each card has a different picture of a Tzu’tujil Mayan helped by Aldea Maya.

For more information, go to www.aldeamaya.ca.

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