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Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.





International Youth Challenge

The residents of the village of Cerro Blanco in Sanarate, Guatemala, are very excited about the presence of a group of young people from the International Youth Challenge (Reto Juvenil Internacional) organization. These young university students arrived at the village for the purpose of building new classrooms for the local elementary school.

International Youth Challenge is a non-profit organization which promotes development through global leadership. They learned about Cerro Blanco village through the website www.sanarate.com, and that is how Sterling Miranda, regional project coordinator for this organization in Costa Rica; Tono Herrera Gudiel, webmaster for sanarate.com; and Candelario Garrido, President of COCODE (Committee for Community Development) for Cerro Blanco, communicated amongst them to analyze the feasibility of the project. Finally, the above-mentioned international organization planned and coordinated the presence of a group of students from the University of Windsor in Canada, who with lots of enthusiasm began the construction of new classrooms for the village’s school, in August of 2014.

The names of these young university students, their programs of study and their ages are as follows: Alex, 20 years old, Biology; Jill, 19 years old, Teaching; Diana, 21 years old, Biochemistry; Jessica, 21 years old, Biology; Lisa, 18 years old, Nursing; Josh, 20 years old, Chemistry; Claire, 21 years old, Biotechnology; Marco, 19 years old, Business; Kevin, 20 years old, Biology; Alexia, 19 years old, Biology; Jessica M., 20 years old, Biology; Karlie, 20 years old, Sciences; Prachi, 20 years old, Biology; Erin, 21 years old, Biology; Sam, 20 years old, Biology; Madison, 22 years old, Art; Natasha, 21 years old, Chemistry; Lauren, 20 years old, History; Kawmadi, 19 years old, Biology.

International Youth Challenge works in community projects in several Latin American countries, identifying the needs to execute said projects with a long-term vision. At the same time, this organization tries to not create dependence in the communities, but rather to integrate them into a constant and permanent development of self improvement. The main work areas are youth leadership, development of infrastructure, education, conscience for environmental conservation, support for women and gender equality.

This international organization has developed projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico and Belize; in the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Surinam. In all these countries, this institution has encouraged values of solidarity, persistence, honesty, discipline, gender equality, responsibility, innovation and order. The main goal is simply to build a world that is fairer and more united.

This improvement project for the village of Cerro Blanco will be completed in several stages, over approximately three years. The first stage will be completed in one month, with the Canadian youth being present for approximately 20 days before their volunteer period ends. During this time, the young volunteers are receiving the hospitality, collaboration and appreciation of the residents of the village. It will be an experience in which the language barrier (the young Canadians don’t speak Spanish) will not be a barrier to mutual understanding through solidarity and love for each other.

We wish to give a warm welcome to these young Canadian university students who are an example of human solidarity. Let’s hope that their stay in Sanarate and particularly in the village of Cerro Blanco will be a unique and unforgettable experience in their lives.

tono herrera gudiel

Report and Photos:
Jorge H. Herrera

Translation to Ukrainian and Russian:
Світлана Шинкарук

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