Dear Friends of Mundo,
Thank you for your support of Mundo Exchange. As we write our annual report, we are happy to let you know Mundo is thriving and actively involved in community projects in Northeast Thailand and Guatemala. Thanks to your help, we had our best fund-raising year yet, and the funds you give to Mundo go 100% to our projects and scholarships.
In Thailand our top project for the year furnished about five hundred school uniforms to elementary school students whose parents could not afford them. Our Thai partners were so touched by the students’ expressions of pride at “fitting in” that they have committed to fund-raising among their friends in the coming year so we can provide uniforms to even more students.
Among other major projects in Thailand during the past year:
—We focused on preventive dental care for children whose parents donot have the means to take care of the family’s dental needs. Mundo would welcome donations of educational material, toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, etc.
—We have provided adaptive equipment and partnered with the Bueng Kahn community hospital to help train blind and physically disabled people to navigate successfully within their communities.
—We have trained educational leaders in providing learning and social opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.
—Mundo volunteers have helped Buddhist monks with elder care and hospice work, alleviating pain, increasing independence, and providing comfort care.
—Ongoing are projects partnering with environmentalists—among others, the World Wildlife Fund—to protect the local wetlands, a major wintering area for flocks of rare birds headed for Siberia.
Many of our Guatemala projects focus on supporting schools and education. Recently we’ve been engaged in a rescue of Educativo Maya Ixil Ka’Che (CEMIK), the school in Chajul, which recently lost its funding. $3000 per year pays three teachers’ salaries, rents the location and pays for a daily free meal for about 60 preschool and elementary students. We have recently sent down the $3000 that will sustain the school for another year as the students learn literacy skills in Ixil and Spanish, Maya history, care of the land, community responsibility, health, and human rights. The students are children whose parents cannot afford the $25 per year in school fees for public schools. Right now, we are searching for ideas about sustaining grants or individual sponsorship.
Other projects in Guatemala include:
—The semi-annual Catlin-Gable high school trip, during which fourteen sophomore, junior, and senior students met and got to know Maya youth and their parents and better understand the reality of living with dignity in poverty – hopefully opening up their hearts and minds to helping make the world a more just and fair place for all.
—We continue to provide scholarships, primary through college levels. Among Chajul students who have gone on to university are a law student, a secondary education major and a nursing student.
—An organic gardening project is helping to solve the problem of malnutrition.
—Mundo also supports the work of Sister Evie and her sister Immaculate Mother of Christ (ICM) (an order originally from Belgium) nuns. Her work includes nutrition programs for babies, toddlers, and pregnant women; adult literacy; and human rights advocacy. We also helped Evie put together a pictorial book of her remarkable life in the Sierra (NW Guatemala Highlands).
Mundo is fortunate to have two young women volunteering in Thailand, starting this September. They will start out teaching English in rural schools, and staying with local families. Their students will learn English through content areas like ecology, animal rights, health, etc.
We hope you will continue to support Mundo’s projects with suggestions, fundraising, giving what you can, spreading the word—for example, to dentists or ecologists you think might be interested in these projects. We are always interested in talking with you about volunteering or about ways you can support a specific project. Meanwhile Mil gracias! Tan tiush! Kop kun kah! We’re so glad you’re with us.
The Mundo Team
Explore, Experience, Exchange