From Oceanside to Guatemala

Fundraiser aims to give succor to children in Central America

Qualicum Beach resident Louise Sosa travels to help a village in Guatemala every year.

Qualicum Beach resident Louise Sosa travels to help a village in Guatemala every year.

Raising $20,000 is an ambitious goal but Louise Sosa hopes an event on May 23 will bring her one step closer to raising the amount for a non-profit organization she supports to educate people in a poor village in Guatemala.

For six years now Sosa has been assisting indigenous Mayans who live in the village of Chuk Muk. In October 2005 a colossal mudslide wiped out over 800 people in the village of Panabaj, Guatemala.

It destroyed most of the livelihood of the local people, leaving many widowed mothers and orphaned children

Sosa and her organization have been working tirelessly to bring hope along with basic needs back to the Mayan villagers. In the last few years, the new village of Chuk Muk has been developed for those who lost their homes and Sosa has been fundraising locally to buy things like water filters, garden growing materials and school supplies for children.

She sells Christmas cards handmade by students from various schools in District 69 and beadwork she pays fair trade prices for from the villagers in Guatemala. The money she makes goes towards the non-profit organization Aldea Maya, which sponsors many projects in Chuk Muk.

On Wednesday, May 23 partial proceeds from an event at Morningstar Golf Course will go towards Sosa’s goal of $20,000. Tickets for the nine and dine are $60 and include a round of golf, a buffet dinner, door prizes and a swag bag, including a beaded key-chain handmade in Guatemala.

For those who don’t want to golf, a ticket for the dinner only is $36.  The golf start is at 4 p.m. with the dinner underway at 6 p.m.

There will be a silent auction and Sosa will make a short presentation on some of the work being done in the village including teaching people about nutrition, health and how to grow a garden.

Sosa will be traveling to Guatemala in January and by then she hopes she has enough money to go towards educating students in the new middle school that opened in Chuk Muk this year.

She said when the Grade 7 class opened, she was hoping to get 20 kids but over 40 came.  She said Aldea Maya paid for 20 scholarships and much more money will be needed to accommodate the students who will move on to Grade 8 and those who will be moving up from Grade 6.

“We might have 70 students in middle school next year.  I will have to raise so much money,” admitted Sosa.

Normally the students don’t go past Grade 6, Sosa said, but she is hoping to change that.

For tickets to the Morningstar fundraiser call Coastal Essence Day Spa which is hosting the event at 250-927-1511.