Friday, May 15, 2015


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UPDATES:  Friday,  May 15th & 18th 
HOME FOR ELDERLY WIDOW & GREAT GRANDSON FINISHED being inaugurated RIGHT NOW on Izabela's 78th photographs any minute!
Note:  Initially the inauguration was to be on Mothers Day, but for several reasons it wasn't possible.

Following is the photo history of the project

by Cordell M Andersen, Executive Director of the Guatemalan Foundation

Meet Izabel Cho......

....she is the  elderly woman below in front of  her very poor 
home.  Izabela, now  in her 78th year,  lives in the home .........

....with her great-grandson we see here in the purple sweat shirt.  The young girl is a neighbor who helps her some during the  day. 

In the two pictures below we see her in her typical Indian home with dirt floor, the kitchen in one corner with cooking fire on the floor.........

....then  a crude wood platform for a bed with a straw mat and inexpensive blankets, and  table. The entire home is about 10 feet x 10 feet.  The walls are formed by wood uprights with thin bamboo called "carrizo" tied on to the uprights with vines, inside and out, and then filled in with mud.  This is the real life of most of Guatemala's Mayan  Indians.

Federico feels she is worthy of our help to improve her living conditions. Look into her eyes and face and notice she could be any of our mothers or grandmothers.    These are humble hard working people who need us--and my father, who I wrote about in my last photo/essay,  would in turn say WE NEED THEM...needing the blessings that come from  forgetting ourselves  and finding a way to help all such people we can.

 Federico  proposed building her a simple home for which $1,324 was  sent to Guatemala   providing at least a secure roof over her head.    She isn't asking for much, and it's more for her  great-grandchild and his future.  

The simple home we are building  is underway and will have 3 small rooms with cement floors:  A kitchen with an elevated platform for her cooking fire, a table with chairs, and cabinet for her dishes and cooking utensils;  a small bedroom with a formal bed; and a small entry or living room.  It will have wood walls, with a window for each room, and a secure door.  She will continue to get water from a neighbor, and also be able to use the neighbors outhouse.  Before the end of April we will post pictures of the finished home for Izabela and her great-grandson.


The neighbor boys pitched in to help unload the lumber, and roofing.

Those who have been following our work will know that our volunteer Director, Federico Veliz, had the misfortune of his 1987 4x4 pickup's motor giving-up-the-ghost.  But you see it working in these shots hauling construction materials to the construction site.  Federico borrowed money from the bank to get a rebuilt diesel motor installed.  As we have extra funds the Foundation will help him pay off his loan.  He is deserving of this help as he is in his 43rd year as a volunteer for the Foundation helping his people.

In the photograph below we can see on the left the construction under way.  We are using basically the traditional method of construction using wood uprights like fence posts inserted in the ground, but of a native wood that will not rot in the humidity of the ground.  The walls will be of wood planks you see being carried to the site. There will be 3 rooms:  Entry room, bedroom, and kitchen, each with at least one window. It will have a cement floor, and a secure front door.  We are anxious to see and show you the finished product.

To the left we see Federico with Izabela's cute little great grandson who will soon have a secure and healthy home in which he can grow and develop.  Federico will do all he can, following the custom of the area taking on the roll of "godfather"  to help this little boy get an education and grow up to have a happy, prosperous life. 

Below Federico is visiting with the great grandmother, Izabela Cho who feels as though she has just won the lottery.  As a friend has said, "We can't save the whole world, but we can make a huge difference changing the world for one at a this case for two."

Even as we see these updated photographs when the construction began, a group of friends and neighbors will be gathered, on May 15th,  to inaugurate the simple home on Izabela's 78th birthday.

We have moved forward and below see the finished home being painted.

GOT THE PICTURES....go to the end to see the "GOOD LIFE"
UPDATE:  Monday, May 18th...We'll insert new ones just received.

We are on our way to Chilocom
On the right we see the suspension bridge we helped the villagers built a few years ago, but since some progress has come to the area with a road and bridge for vehicles built by the government.

Doña Izabela's neighbors begin to gather on Friday afternoon, May 15th, to see the inauguration of the home built by the Guatemala Foundation for this elderly widow, doing her best to raise her great-grandson.

Benches for the celebration were borrowed from a nearby Nazarene chapel

 Doña Izabela greeted all dressed up in new clothes donated by friends for this day, her 78th birthday.

The festivities began with the Nazarene pastor greeting all and giving some words of inspiration from THE BIBLE.

 The home was then blessed  with Catholics and Evangelicals all participating.

Our volunteer Regional Director, retired teacher, Federico Veliz Pacay, then was invited to speak explaining what the Guatemalan Foundation was, and reminded them that years ago it was the Foundation who helped build their school, and thereafter the school kitchen, as well as the suspension bridge  that made access to the village easier, until the recent road built by the government.

Aura Marina Andersen, my adopted daughter on the left, represented the Andersen family that for many years lived and worked among the Maya Poqomchi Indians in the rugged mountains of Santa Cruz Verapaz, Alta Verapaz.  
She recently learned that her U.S. resident's visa,  she has been waiting for,  now for 10 years, in some kind of confusion and mix-up at the U.S. Consulate, will require her to make a new application--and I'll be frank in making public that we need help to make it work.  Anybody interested in helping?

Federico affectionately meets Doña Izabela in front of her new home to present to her the keys.

Very likely these are the first keys to any home she has ever received.  Now, when out in the fields working, or walking to market, she will be able to lock up her home.

Then, as is the tradition among the Maya Poqomchi of Santa Cruz Verapaz, the typical food was served to all present.  It is called, "SAKIC" seen as a thick soup-like dish made with ground up corn, with special spices and other ingredients, accompanied always by turkey or chicken,  corn tamalitos, and very hot chile seen in the upper left. 

Aura, congratulates Doña Izabela with a Happy Birthday hug.  Aura represented the Foundation as the official photographer and got these photographs to me very quick.  More were  added later from Federico to give us  "the rest of the story." 

Izabela's great-grandson, happy that he will now be living in what we have called in the Foundation a "HEALTHY HOME,"  the 3rd of the Principles of the Good Life we have based our work on for nearly half a century.  I wrote the following while we are waiting for pictures  of the remind everyone  what  guides our work, called:


1.  The Mayans are descendants of a once righteous, prosperous, happy & progressive people.

2.  Their sacred book, THE POPUL VUH, relates...a time came when a "great darkness" came upon them, bringing all the tough conditions they still live under.

3.  Ancient prophecies foretell of a time in the last times when they would "come out of the darkness into the light"  and "blossom," with crucial help from prosperous peoples designated to help those prophecies be fulfilled.

NOTE:  This isn't a "band-aid fix," rather teaching & helping them overcome the root problems and achieve a new, permanent & self-perpetuating 

"Believe in & follow faithfully the God of this Land, in the religion of their choice." 

Then apply the....

1.   CLEANLINESS mind, body & environment
2.  PROPER NUTRITION............ beginning  in the 1st 3 years & on throughout life
3.  LIVE IN A HEALTHY HOME...... that is cleanable & a stimulating environment
4.  UNITED FAMILIES............. with good, loving  parents, and respectful children
5.  EDUCATION for ALL............ from cradle to grave, both formal & self-educated
6.  BE INDUSTRIOUS--HARD WORKING.......... but learn how to work  effectively
7.  SHARE FREELY WITH OTHERS .......................the "GOOD LIFE" being achieve

We will now  go forward with our next big project,  helping village schools build kitchens they need for the daily Nutrition Program,  that contributes significantly helping the children be more alert and capable of learning more effectively, along with a continual bunch of small  projects giving Emergency Aid. 

Of course we continue very successfully with the "Ariel & Ines Andersen" Chuluc Village School, near Patzicia.

 Please help all you can.

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P.O. Box 1296
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