Paul Pitcher – Guatemala
ACG is moving on as usual. There is always something going on and some economic difficulty to face.
We are gearing up for the 17th anniversary of ACG on august 8th. We will have two celebrations. One on the 6th with ACG's scholarship students who can't make it on Tuesday the 8th. This celebration will include a Mayan ceremony at the Mayan ruins of Gumaarkaj, a luncheon and possibly a little marimba dancing. On the 8th we will just celebrate with the 35 or so people who spend most of the days at the office, this includes the artisans, weavers and staff of ACG. It is an exciting time in that respect. But once again, we are strapped for cash to pay the employees especially our account/secretary. We lost another one in the two months I was gone and we know have a new account/secretary named Justina who is learning the ropes. We also are looking at the loss of two major funders next year who have been providing support for our scholarship program among other things. But these things seem to always come up and we find a way to struggle on! The fish project on the granja (organic farm) is moving forward in leaps and bounds. The tanks are built, the water has been diverted from the well, the drains are in and currently the builders are working on a building which will house the mill where the organic fish food will be ground up. I spent two days working on the organic farm helping to sew elderberry trees below the fish tanks to prevent erosion during the rains. It was great to work out in the country and get my hands dirty. Otherwise things proceed as always, the weavers are weaving, the artisans are painting, and the sun is shining over Santa Cruz del Quiché.
I, along with my traveling partner Vicki, headed out into the mountains this last week to visit the village of Saq Ja' which I have been going to for the last 3 years now and have ties to from my home church. We spent 2 days and two nights after the 3 hour bus ride, 30 minute pickup ride which got stuck in the mud and hour or so hike in the village. I had a number of meetings to attend regarding the state of certain projects in the village, I sat in on a couple 8th grade classes (even taught a bit of math for a minute), had long meals with good friends out there, played 2 hours of soccer with the kids, took lots of pictures, got very dirty from traipsing around in the mud and took a dip in a very cold waterfall. All in a good day's work.
So that is a short little summary of my first 8 days in this 16 day trip here! Hope that this message finds everyone well and happy.
Paul Pitcher is a former missionary with the Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG).