Our guests are often keenly interested in our local culture and ask how they might be of service to our community.
In order to best prepare all who may consider offering a helping hand to the children, widows or animals of our local villages, we have created the following list. Below you'll find a few organizations, hand-picked for their credibility and excellence, that Villa Sumaya has supported over the years.
Dollars go a long way in a developing country such as Guatemala. Consider the gift of books, healthy snacks and supplies for schoolchildren or educational scholarships that will help create wise leadership for future generations to come.
In recognizing our privilege, we may offer acts of kindness that enable our compassion to radiate out into the world. Thank you for your time and willingness to be part of the solution.
Together we can make a difference!
We'd like to bring your attention to a situation in our local community of Santa Cruz that is in need of our support. A road was improperly carved and has created the possibility of a massive landslide that will effect 30-50 indigenous households. We are teaming up with local organization Amigos de Santa Cruz to prepare emergency relief supplies. The most important things on our list are:
1. Raincoats in child and adult sizes
2. Blankets to keep people warm and dry during evacuation
3. Rubber rain boots
Here is a link for great emergency blanket sold at REI if you wish to bring one from there: https://www.rei.com/pro
We would be so grateful if you have space to bring any of these used items from your local secondhand store or your closet! We also are collecting these from our community and look forward to adding any of your contributions.
Amigos de Santa Cruz aims to improve the lives of the indigenous people of Santa Cruz and surrounding villages through support for education and sustainable economic empowerment. They are currently building a lending library for their primary grades. (Here is Amigos' Amazon Wishlist.)
Beyond working cooperatively with the local educational system, they support nutritional projects, community-based leadership and sustainable economic development. Amigos operates the Centro de Capitación (CECAP), a modern vocational education center with programs in sewing, computer education, culinary arts, carpentry, welding and foot loom weaving.
Many of our guests enjoy taking a tour and having lunch at CECAP. In addition to children's books, other suitable donations to Amigos include: children's toothbrushes, toothpaste, prenatal vitamins and cash donations that may be allocated to the project of your choice ranging from scholarships for education to after-school classes for mothers to learn Spanish.
Casa Milagro is an organization that has been dedicated to supporting widows, low-income mothers and their children for over 20 years. They opened a Waldorf preschool for the children of Santa Cruz in January 2017. They appreciate donations of school and art supplies, used children's clothing and money to support their project.
Escuela Caracol is a Waldorf elementary school in San Marcos that offers a intercultural model for educational renewal centered on serving the needs of the whole child: head, heart and hands. Over 65% of the children are indigenous and rely on the scholarships that produce the grants that support their education.
Ayuda Para la Salud de Perros y Gatos is a nonprofit animal welfare program that is committed to the health and well being of dogs and cats in the Lake Atitlan region. They run clinics to neuter local animals and provide feeding stations to support the street dog population.
Panajachel Colegio Internacional (PCI) is a high school that prepares Guatemalan and international teens to pursue a university education. Offering many scholarship opportunities for their 65% Indigenous/Latino student body, they allocate $45,000 a year to maintaining this vast educational goal. All donations go towards scholarships, supplies and operating costs for the school and are processed through AGES Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.