Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Us (pronounced oose) means bueno/good in the local Mayan language, Q'eqchi'.  Past volunteers from Chirrepec have visited and indicated that it is one of the words they have kept in their vocabulary.  Letting out the occasional us to good news will likely remain a part of my vocabulary and will surely result in weird stares at the guy who seems to be making some sort of animal noise.  I am pleased to let out an 'us' that the Hope 4R Youth Project has been completely funded and will commence in mid-January.  Thank you to all the donors!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sanimtaka Solar Panel Project

          Forty-two families in the remote indigenous village of Sanimtaka invested 1000q each (about $130) to purchase their own solar panel kit: a solar panel, two lights with extension, and a phone charger.  The remaining funding was provided by USAID as part of the renewable energy initiative.  Each family will now have light at night for the first time in their lives.  Children will be able to complete homework without candles and families will no longer purchase copious amounts of batteries to use in flashlights.  The solar panels were provided by Quetsol, an NGO which specializes in solar panel projects throughout the region.  Check out their work here:http://www.quetsol.com/

Monday, December 5, 2011

I’ll Take the Ricky Martin Special

A younger co-worker and his brother have decided to start their own barbería or barber shop.  In an effort to help support their business and entrepreneurial spirits I made a sign for the new shop they will be constructing in the coming weeks, set to include a cement floor.  As a thankful gesture they offered me a free cut.  The walls are lined with pictures of celebrities; David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin.  With fifteen weeks remaining in my service I took a leap of faith and asked for the Ricky Martin fo-hawk.  When in my life will I live in a society where fo-hawks are socially acceptable again? (Enter New Jersey joke). Here are a few photos, although blurry, of just another day livin la vida loca.