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CEPA Foundation gives back: helping families and children in Guatemala

Situated in the heart of Sacatepéquez County, the Mayan village Vuelta Grande is located a few miles away from the town of Antigua, which is an hour away from Guatemala City. The indigenous population of Vuelta Grande is extremely impoverished, and the living standards fall far short of those in more developed areas. Through our cooperation with local volunteers, we strive to increase the basic standard of living for this community, which is made up of 300 large families.

Over 70% of the children in Vuelta Grande suffer from malnutrition, and every third child will remain illiterate throughout his or her life. By the age of ten, most children are expected to contribute towards sustaining the family, which results in a chronic lack of education. The combination of these unfortunate factors leads to lifelong negative health implications and places further limitations on the opportunities available to younger generations.

By providing opportunities for education, our goal is to enable the families and children of Vuelta Grande to develop a self-sustaining community. Through both early-childhood education as well as vocational and continuing education for adults, we are working to foster a culture of learning. To this end, the CEPA Foundation is working in cooperation with a local non-profit foundation, Corazones Libres (Free Hearts Foundation), whose founder has been active in advocating for the Mayan community for over 20 years.

Our Long-term Goals

Helping people to help themselves is the key to success. This goal can be achieved by providing education to children and vocational training to young adults. To this end, we work together with Corazones Libres on the following initiatives:

  • Introduce a love of learning to children from the preschool years and onwards through various school activities and educational projects
  • Send young people to secondary schools and to enable them to receive vocational training
  • Fight hunger by providing meals at school and thus keep children from having to learn on an empty stomach
  • Improve housing by building simple, functional houses
  • Procure energy-efficient, low-smoke cooking stoves for every family
  • Eliminate unhealthy hygienic conditions by installing dry toilets
  • Operate a small infirmary with reliable medical care 1-2 times a week
  • Provide a reliable and safe water supply through the construction of wells and pipes
  • Raise awareness about health and nutrition
  • Provide vocational training for women
smoke reduced stoves for families in Vuelta Grande

We are happy to report that 50 eco-friendly stoves donated by Humber College were delivered to the community on July 28, 2018.

With a total donation amount of 10,000 CAD, Humber College and the Rotary Chapter in Etobicoke, Ontario supported the purchase of 50 low-smoke stoves for the families in Vuelta Grande. The stoves come with a chimney that extracts the smoke from the cooking area, thereby reducing the smoke inhaled by the family members. Additionally, the efficient stoves consume 60-70% less combustible material, thus greatly reducing the amount of firewood that is gathered.

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