La Limonada - Guatemala City

  1. picture
  2. Language
  3. Lemonade International
  4. 3 to 6 students
    Target Number of Participants
  5. $10,000
    Total Budget ($USD)

Project Site Location

  1. City
    Guatemala City
  2. Country
  1. What community problem does this project address? Why have you prioritized this problem?

    The most glaring community problems in La Limonada (one of the poorest communities in Guatemala City) are a lack of quality education, poverty, sexual abuse, substance abuse, gang activity and violence. People in La Limonada are caught in a cycle of poverty without viable options of healthy, sustainable living for themselves and their families. Opportunities for quality education for the children of this community are rare. Educating and providing workshops for the children and young adults will provide them with options outside the cycle they are caught in.

    These problems are a huge priority because if nothing substantial is done children will continue to turn to drug abuse and life on the streets which will cause the cycle of poverty to spin out of control.

  2. Describe the population you will be working with.

    La Limonada is what used to be a natural ravine that ran through part of Guatemala City. It is now home to more than 60,000 native Guatemalans who began to inhabit the ravine in the late 1950's as a result of civil war and guerrilla warfare in the mountain villages. They escaped those regions to find refuge in the city only to build makeshift homes in this ravine which has now become seriously overpopulated.

    Children are the primary focus of the NGO we are working with in Guatemala City. "La Escuelita" provides meals, education and mentoring for more than 250 children every day in La Limonada. The programs reach out to children from ages 3-15. Parents of the children are required to attend parenting workshops that are held at the school on a monthly basis.

  3. Describe your proposed project.

    We are seeking for 3-6 college students who would help raise $8,000 to purchase a building for a new school that has stared in a neighboring barrio in La Limonada and who will spend 4-6 weeks of the summer of 2009 to help with the renovations of the building . The building we are looking at purchasing needs a lot of work, so an additional $2,000 will be needed for renovations to the existing structure to make it usable for children. Presently this new school is using rented space in the community that is already presenting overcrowding issues.

    These students would be joining a large group of volunteers from the community. It is important to us that the people from the community take ownership in this project and have a personal vested interest in the final outcome that will have long term benefits for the children of the community.

    This new school will help Lemonade International to educate more than 200 children living in poverty in La Limonada who presently do not have access to quality education. This school will not only provide opportunities for education, but will provide healthy meals, vitamins, access to healthcare, mentoring programs, and workshops for parents and students alike.

  4. Who are the project leaders and how are they suited to lead this project? Please detail your qualifications as well as your experience of working in the community.

    Native Guatemalan leaders would lead any project that takes place in La Limonada. Tita Evertsz is the Guatemalan Director of Lemonade International and would oversee all projects related to the work in La Limonada. She is a native Guatemalan and has been working in La Limonada for 14 years. Other leaders would be working under her supervision that would provide more day to day leadership of all projects.

    From the Stateside Operations side of Lemonade International, Bill Cummings (Stateside Director) will oversee the project and will be the point of contact leading up to the time the group is in Guatemala City. Should this project be selected Bill Cummings will be the person the Nourish chapter should be in contact with.

    If this project is selected, Bill will travel to Guatemala and spend the first week with the team to help them to get acclimated to the environment of the community and to introduce them to the local leaders and to others who will be working on the project.

  5. How can our student volunteers contribute to your project?

    Students would be expected to immerse themselves in the culture of the people of La Limonada by first becoming learners of the culture and winning the respect of the locals. They will be expected to energetically engage in assisting with the renovations of the school building by making themselves available to do whatever is needed to make progress on the building.

    The distance from where supplies will be dropped off and stored to where the school will be built is approximately a half-mile, so there will be a need to continually carry supplies to the building location. Also, general demolition of existing structures, basic carpentry work (hammering nails, drilling holes, stacking blocks, etc.) and painting needs to be done.

    Students will also be expected to lovingly interact with the children of La Limonada on a daily basis. The children of this community are the gateway into the hearts of the entire community. When you genuinely care for their children you win the respect of the community.

    Week 1-2: Demolition of Existing Structure (retaining walls and internal supporting walls will remain)

    Week 3-4: Construction of 3-Story School Building

    Week 5: Finish Carpentry and Painting

    Week 6: Celebration Week with Children Who Will Attend The School

  6. Our students usually speak English with some of them knowing other languages. Keeping this in mind, are there any language barriers which they might face while working with the community?

    Spanish is the language of Guatemala and of La Limonada. A few English words and phrases are known by the people there. It would be incredibly helpful for students to be conversational in Spanish or at least to have two years of high school level Spanish.

    Interpreters are available for those who have little to no command of the Spanish language.

  7. What are the general resources that would be required for this project?

    Time and energy would be the primary resources needed. All tools and resources for the physical work on the building will be provided.

    Finances raised prior to the summer project will be used to secure the purchase of the building for the school. The goal is to purchase the building by the end of April 2009.

    The general budget for this project will be as follows:

    Purchase of Existing Building: $6,000

    Employee Salaries (General Contractor, Plumber, Electrician): $1,500

    Construction Materials: $2,500

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