- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: TRANSITION TIME II

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


We have been going through a difficult transtion time for the last 3 weeks and now that it has settled down some, we have the time to write about it. First, Pedro has "resigned". We will miss some of the ways he has helped in the last 3 years.

We hired a new director, Robert Morris. We met him at church when we lived in Panajachel. He tutored our kids during that period and we got to know and trust him. He currently runs his own educational foundation helping with scholarships for Mayan kids, and we think he will facilitate getting ours in order. He seems to have a heart for the programs that we are currently running and the new ones we plan to initiate.

After research we have decided to postpone reopening the orphanage and concentrate on the community programs. With the country wanting to reopen adoptions there is much pressure to present a good face on the current hogars. This means a lot of regulatory and financial pressure on us. We have been professionally advised to do a boarding school instead as this goes thru the Minister of Education.
We have decided instead to focus on the chldren livng at home with their Mayan parents. For half the amount of money it takes to care for 30 children in a hogar we can help two to three times as many children that go home to their parents at night (and without the government hassle). The local children go to school in the mornings then eat lunch with us and get after school tutoring. They also get lessons on health and hygiene along with donations of clothes and shoes. As we have seen from recent visits from American volunteer doctors, the general health of the community is VERY poor. We have our hands full helping these children and their parents increase their level of subsistence. We have always felt a little guilty about spoiling a few orphanage children with an American-type lifestyle in a hogar while the community children were so needy. And most of the children that are in hogars are not true orphans. They are children whose parents place them in the hogars to give them the advantages that we are giving to these community children.

With the decreased costs we can increase the lunch program and the incaparina / formula programs. We plan to add prenatal and child development classes that also feed the mothers and their children. We would like to start a preschool / daycare that would run everyday. And Spanish and English classes. We believe that Guatemala will have to pull itself up by its own bootstraps. We want to provide the energy--i.e. food and other nutritional programs--and educational background--tutoring and scholarships. We have found that the school next door loves our volunteers and will utilize your volunteer time. There will be plenty of work for volunteer teams to provide the time and material donations these programs will need to get started and to keep them running.

Much thanks for your faith in us and your continuing support
Vicki and Jody Dalia

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