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News from Xela Aid
Winter 2006

Greetings!

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 here.

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.

Warm regards,

Leslie Baer, Xela Aid Founding Director

This online newsletter is best viewed online and with html enabled so you can see the images.

in this issue
  • CALENDAR & PROJECT UPDATES
  • AN ADVENTURE IN SAN MARTÍN
  • MOVING UP: A NEW KITCHEN BRINGS TRADITION HOME
  • XELA AID GIFT SPONSORSHIPS: SOMETHING MEANINGFUL FOR THE HOLIDAYS
  • XELA AID BENEFITS FROM GOODSEARCH.COM!
  • PEACE AND JOY TO YOU THIS HOLIDAY SEASON FROM ALL YOUR XELA AID FRIENDS!

  • AN ADVENTURE IN SAN MARTÍN
    Debi and Sheryl

    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 eye clinic.

    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 and 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

    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
    Xela Aid Gift Card

    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 your gift.


    XELA AID BENEFITS FROM GOODSEARCH.COM!
    GoodSearch Logo

    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 benefactor organization.

    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 entire month.


    PEACE AND JOY TO YOU THIS HOLIDAY SEASON FROM ALL YOUR XELA AID FRIENDS!
    Happy Holidays!

    $


    CALENDAR & PROJECT UPDATES
    Amalia Vasquez

    DECEMBER CALENDAR

    Don't miss visiting with Amalia Vasquez, master weaver, and Luis Enrique de León, Xela Aid's director in Guatemala at the following events:


  • Sat. Dec. 9 -- Weaving Sale 1-4 p.m. Artisans' Exchange, Claremont 909.626.6772

  • 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 edition).

    PEX SPONSORSHIPS

    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 PEX SPONSORS!

    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...
    Quick Links...

    2007 Trip Application Now Available!

    Support Our Clinic...go "KCO!"

    Sponsor a Child

    More Ways to Participate



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