CFCA needed only $31,000 (just a rudimentary structure compared to our schools) but ended up raising over $77,000! We traveled to Guatemala to meet Evi for the first time and witness the dedication of that school, plus another building being constructed elsewhere with the extra money!
Inside a completed elementary school room in San Ixtan.
The plaque placed on the school in San Ixtan.
It was a thrill to finally meet Evi, our sponsored child, who was born just one day before Christie. Evi was brought to the school dedication by her aunt, because her mother was out picking coffee.
Evi suffers from epilepsy (it's somewhat under control with medication), and has other health problems that have held her back. Her father died a few years ago, and her family is very poor. She is very shy, is very far behind in school, and is now receiving training as a seamstress.
A new library!!!
We then traveled a hundred miles away, to the city of San Lucas Toliban, which lies on Lake Atitlan.
There we saw the other structure being built with the CFCA funds. It was not a school, as we had assumed: it was
a LIBRARY!!! What a pleasant and symbolic surprise for us, given that Daniel's life ended in the Columbine library.
And how pleasing to know this is the first library for this city of over 20,000 people!
The library is adjacent to the parish school and church. They held a Mass for us in the church (built in l572!). After the Mass they presented us with gifts, including a beautiful embroidered shirt, an embroidered blanket, and a wonderful wood carving of "Daniel in the lion's den" carved by a villager. It was all quite moving. Afterwards, we visited each classroom, and the children brought us handmade cards. They were so appreciative and friendly. We were particularly impressed with the spirit of the schoolchildren we met. They seemed so energetic and enthusiastic, not downtrodden, despite their poverty.