Gettin’ It Done In Guatemala

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Larry, Sherri, and others have been telling me how amazed they are by how much I accomplish on these trips. Being in the midst of it, I don’t see what they see. I’ll let you judge for yourself…

I promise to make a nice blog page with pretty pictures when I get home.


Day One
Arrive in Guatemala at 10PM

Day Two
Spend quality time in the morning with Amilcar Zea (the guy who reads to kids in his back yard, the inspiration for the training institute we want to create to put one of Amilcar in every community possible). Connect with Pilar, my employee here, about our work and our schedule for the week.

Day Three
Meet with two publishing companies to let them know about I Can Read, learn about them and their offerings (books, supplemental materials, trainings, discounts, donations, catalogs, etc). Work some more with Pilar on logistics of our developing Book Bank.

Day Four
Meet with another publisher and then with Jorge and Ryan and guests. Jorge is the founder of the school we provided with a computer lab.

Day Five
Meet with another publisher and then take Amilcar’s daughter Alejandra shopping for educational games and toys for their program (This happened to fall on the day everyone gets bonuses and on a Friday. Traffic was horrible and we spent 5 hours in traffic and shopping malls. Think of the kids! I kept telling myself)

Day Six
I led a daylong meeting of my advisory team to lay out the framework for the training institute — and we accomplished a lot! It really felt like we had birthed something important.

Day Seven
The second day of advisory team meetings.

Day Eight
Final day with Pilar, wrap up with her. Meet with one last publishing company and snap photos of Amilcar and Alejandra in action, reading to the kids. Present the kids with the new games! Arrange for meetings in Antigua.

Day Nine
Travel to Antigua — REST!!!

Day Ten
Meet with Sue Patterson of Wings (women’s reproductive health). She is a master networker who has lived and worked in Guatemala for 13 years, and she is my sage advisor and supporter. Connected with the two indigenous girls studying to be teachers at a school in Antigua to talk to them about supporting their efforts to build libraries in their communities when they return to teach. Meet with one of the directors of Safe Passage, an organization that works with kids who live in, around and from the dump in
Guatemala City. Talk about collaboration.

Day Eleven
Meet with John van Keppel of Child Aid, the organization that has served as an umbrella to us and has a similar mission as ours. Meet with Tamalyn Gutierrez of Common Hope a longstanding organization helping communities in very comprehensive way. Always good to share resources and ideas with Tamalyn. Travel back to the capital.

Day Twelve
Return to the US

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