We of the Developed World are so very blessed! This year,
Xela Aid is making it easier than ever for you to share your
blessings with those less fortunate.
As you consider a holiday or year-end gift to support
charitable work, we hope you will
consider Xela Aid and beginning or renewing a KCO Club
membership (KCO for "Keep the Clinic Open"). Your gift will
guarantee ongoing operation of this facility critical to meeting
the health needs of more than 10,000 underserved people in
the Quetzaltenango area. To make your KCO contribution, click
And now, you can give gifts that benefit those less fortunate
with Xela Aid's new Gift
Sponsorships. (Click to learn more or read below.)
Many thanks to those of you who gave generously in 2006
and have already made your KCO pledges to support clinic
operations during 2007.
After reading about two Xela Aid volunteers' adventure in
Guatemala, be sure to read about improvements to the clinic,
and -- if you're feeling adventurous yourself -- take a look at
the day calendar for our 15th Anniversary Trip
coming up next summer and consider joining us!
And, don't miss weaving sales and other events scheduled with
Luis Enrique de León and Amalia Vasquez who will be visiting
from Guatemala during December (see Calendar, right).
We appreciate your continuing support. Please use the link
at the bottom of this newsletter to share it with family and
friends who may be interested in an adventure in Guatemala
and helping others less fortunate.
Leslie Baer, Xela Aid Founding Director
This online newsletter is best viewed online and with html
enabled so you can see the images.
|AN ADVENTURE IN SAN MARTÍN
By Sheryl Fontaine
Unlike the past two summers, Debi Lyn Esquivel and I were
unable to arrange our schedules to fit into the planned Xela
Aid trip. So we made our own arrangements and still had the
chance to work at Xela Aid's Clinic. Each morning
for a week, Luis Enrique de León, Xela Aid's director in
Guatemala, dutifully and cheerfully retrieved us from the
lobby of Hotel Modelo so we could "carpool" with him an hour
to San Martin.
Once at the clinic, Luis went off to work in his office while
Debi and I, after greeting the clinic doctor and nurse/
receptionist, climbed the concrete stairs to the second floor.
We plopped down our backpacks on the table in the newly-
designed optometry area, and then, for four hours each day
cleaned and sorted donated eye glasses that have been
accumulating over the 14 years Xela-Aid has been in San
Martin: Big frames, bigger frames, metal frames, plastic
frames, oval, circle, rectangular, and granny frames-900 or
so pairs of glasses are now sorted into plastic baskets,
stored on new metal shelving, and ready for next summer's
And not to worry-if you think you missed out on some fun
work, there are probably just as many glasses still in the boxes
and boxes we didn't have time to open-in spite of working
non-stop each day. Well, maybe not non-stop...
One morning Amalia Vasquez gave us a tour of the new
"guardaria"-a preschool for local children that
also provides child care while parents are working. The
facility, housed in the Xela-Aid-built round house is
decorated with children's drawings, storage cubbies, and
colorful cut-outs of animals. The once-empty front yard is
now home to two swing sets and a slide that, at last count,
could hold five sliders at once! During our visit, we took lots
of pictures, got lots of hugs, and were served lunch in the
new kitchen adjacent to the playground.
While it's hard to pick favorite a moment in our week, I think
we'd both agree that getting a chance to see the girls we are
supporting through the PEX program was definitely among
the best parts of our trip. I had a chance to visit with Jessica
Iboy, my sponsored child, in the middle of her school day
was thrilled to be able to communicate with her a bit this
year-those Spanish classes are priceless! Estrella Vasquez,
sponsored by Debi, came by the clinic two days. The
second time she brought friends along to help us sort glasses
-and try on a few pair!
|MOVING UP: A NEW KITCHEN BRINGS TRADITION HOME
Catarina Guzman Bueda de Vasquez couldn't be happier.
Finally, she has a full kitchen and a traditional
stove again, and delicious cooking is not far behind. When
Catarina and her 16-year-old son moved into the Clinic in
August to become the new caretakers, the facility
lacked a traditional kitchen and stove. Xela Aid provided a
North-American-style electric stove for the short-term, but it
lacked the "plancha" for making tortillas. And besides,
when Catarina cooked in her quarters on the second floor,
the smell traveled throughout the clinic.
Thanks to funds from supporter Nancy Reckinger, the Clinic's
food preparation facility located on the third floor is now a
reality and in the future will be used not only by Catarina,
but also to cater trainings and events held at the Clinic-
Community Center. Thank you Nancy for your donation, and
Mel Dinkel for overseeing the sturdy construction of the new
facility. Luis de León and Amalia Vasquez saw the project
through to completion in November when the last item was
put into place: the outside door.
|XELA AID GIFT SPONSORSHIPS: SOMETHING MEANINGFUL FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Now you can give a truly meaningful gift for the holidays by
supporting a doctor, nurse, or midwife for a
month, or our pre-school for a week or more,
among other selections, in the name of
someone special! You will receive beautifully printed gift
cards featuring the children of San Martín (pictured
above, 1/8th size) with your gift selections noted
on the back. Each gift card includes space for
a personal note and your signature. The gift cards will be
sent directly to you so that
you may pass them along personally to family and friends as
|XELA AID BENEFITS FROM GOODSEARCH.COM!
Search the web frequently? Now you can support Xela Aid each
time you do a web search just by searching from "GoodSearch"
and selecting Xela Aid as your
First, just to GoodSearch (http://www.goodsearch.com).
Then, where it asks, "Who do you GoodSearch for?" select
Xela Aid. Xela Aid should appear each time you search as your
default benefactor organization. If you want to be sure you
GoodSearch for Xela Aid each time, you can set your home
page to GoodSearch in your browser's "Preferences."
Each time you search, Xela Aid will receive one cent for your
search -- and every penny counts. Tell friends and family
about GoodSearch and how they can support Xela Aid's
important work, and who knows how much we could raise
during 2007! Remember, just under $2,000 will keep the
clinic open an
CALENDAR & PROJECT UPDATES
Don't miss visiting with Amalia Vasquez, master weaver, and
Luis Enrique de León, Xela Aid's director in Guatemala at the
Sat. Dec. 9 -- Weaving Sale 1-4 p.m. Artisans' Exchange,
Sun. Dec. 10 -- Presentation (9 a.m.) and Weaving Sale
following, Claremont United Church of Christ 951.733.2588
Sat. Dec. 16 -- Weaving Sale 11-4 p.m. Artisans'
Exchange, Claremont 909.626.6772
Sun. Dec. 17 -- Weaving Sale 8 a.m.-noon Claremont
Farmer's Market 714.345.3087
Sat. Jan. 6 -- Farewell Pancake Breakfast (place TBD call
909.559.9711 Pat Florez to reserve)
JUNE RUSSEL-GLENNON CLINIC AND COMMUNITY CENTER
KCO Club members will be proud to know that
during 2007, the Clinic served more than 2400 people-most
of whom otherwise would not have been
able to see a doctor. This summer, repairs were made on the
roof and bathroom sinks and a new coat of paint was applied
inside. A wash basin was added in the dental room, and a
kitchen facility added on the rooftop (see related story, this
This summer, scholarship funds were delivered to 54
sponsored children. In previous months, funds allowed these
children and young adults to register in school and to buy
books, supplies and clothing required to attend school. PEX
children also received a medical exam and parasite
treatment paid for with sponsor contributions. THANK YOU
SAN MARTÍN TOTS PRESCHOOL
The "guardaria" opened in January during the third quarter
served an average of 34 children aged 3 to 6 each school day.
A teacher and three assistants tutored the mostly mám-
speaking children in Spanish, reading, writing and local history,
and served a hot meal for lunch.
SAN MARTÍN CLEAN
The program to install 30 permanent trash cans around town
got off to a great start with the first one being cemented in
front of Xela Aid's clinic to much fanfare. Many thanks to
those who have sponsored trash cans so far!
Support One of These Projects Now...