Qualicum Beach charity hosts fundraiser for Guatemalan students

Aldea Maya has been working in the Central American country since 2012

Aldea Maya will be hosting a ‘Garden Party for Guatemala’ in Qualicum Beach next week to raise money for Guatemalan students going to university.

The registered charity has been working in the Central American country for 12 years. The group started a middle school in the village of Chuk Muk in 2012.

“When we started, nobody pretty well went past Grade 6,” said founder Louise Sosa.

Before the group came in and started working alongside Guatemalan residents who wanted to make a change, only one per cent of students in the village graduated from high school.

Now, the high school graduation rate is up to 25 per cent, and 20 students from the area were enrolled in university programs last year.

“These are the poorest of the poor … they can’t even afford a pair of shoes, and [now] they’re at university studying,” said Sosa.

The students study a variety of things, including music, systems engineering, business administration, lab technologies, English and accounting. The education makes a real difference in the lives of the community members.

“We have one boy who is the top student in math and physics in Guatemala. And he wasn’t going to go on to middle school,” said Sosa. “He’s already teaching at the middle school, because there’s such a shortage of math teachers… he also tutors all our students for free.”

Sosa says that the majority of students have parents that have never learned to read, write, or speak Spanish. Now, the next generation is attending university and giving back to the community.

“We’re trying to build the leaders. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build the leaders that have vision, and ideas, and are honest,” said Sosa.

The fundraiser is a ‘Garden Party for Guatemala,’ and features tea and music from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21. It takes place at 850 Flamingo Drive in Qualicum Beach, and entrance is by suggested donation of $20.

For more information on this project and others hosted by Aldea Maya, visit www.aldeamaya.ca.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas students help keep essential community services going

Club donates $1,000 to SOS Grateful Hearts campaign

Rebound recovery program helps more than 50 PQB businesses remain open

Nearly $90K in aid received through Oceanside Initiatives plan

Parksville-area family receives anonymous letters complaining children are being too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in the backyard is ‘unbearable’

PQBeat Podcast: Beloved Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine

Discussion includes childhood memories, receiving the key to the city and more

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read