Paso Por Paso COMMITTEES

The Membership committee keeps track of all members and donors. It produces mailings as part of the annual fundraising activities and other mailings as needed. Fred Fallis handles this responsibility.

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Anastasia is congratulated by Fred.

Student Sponsorship committee is headed by Dale Duncan, Fred Fallis and Garry Fell. They are responsible for the 31 students sponsored by Paso.

 

Micro Loans are provided to 54 women in the village of Tierra Linda. Judith Rapson and Wendy Goodearle head up this committee.

Publicity is co-ordinated by Garry Fell. The web site, blog, Facebook page, brochures and newspaper articles are some of the methods used to inform the public about Paso.

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Paso sponsors students in the Canada Maya Scholarship program. Doris Middleton is in charge of it and is assisted by Linda McDowell, Fred Fallis and Paul Grainger.

Fundraising is a critical committee and is co-ordinated by Marj Tomlin. Dale Duncan also plays a critical role raising money and purchasing goods while in Guatemala.

The Community Liaison committee attempts to increase our visibility in the Orillia area. Fred Fallis heads this up. Howard Raper and Jim Hanwell will assist.

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The Projects-Infrastructure committee works with Mayan Families to decide on projects which need attention in Tierra Linda. Fred Fallis works on this committee.

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CANADA MAYA SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE

This committee operated separately from Paso Por Paso until the June 2013 AGM when it formally became a committee of Paso Por Paso. It’s task is to select, monitor and fund deserving students at the college and university level in Guatemala.
Recent graduates are: Rudolfo Perez in Tourism, Anastacia Ajanel with a Masters in Social Work, Diego Pazan with a Mathematics teaching degree, Oliva Lopez with a Business degree, Luis Alberto with a Medical Doctor degree and Maria Isobel Churunel with a degree in Social Work.
Paso currently is sponsoring Max Tinney who completed his medical degree course work in Cuba in July 2015 and is now back in Guatemala doing a one year internship.
Paso Por Paso is pleased to announce that 2 new students have been awarded scholarships effective January 2015. The Patricia-Jean Scholarship has been awarded to Juana Rosselia Cosigua. Brenda Morales has been awarded a Canada Maya Scholarship effective January 2015. More information about these outstanding young women can be found in the post on our home page. Patricia Gutierrez and Maria Isobel Churunel administer the scholarship in Guatemala.

Max graduated in July 2015 with his degree as a Medical Doctor.

Max graduated in July 2015 with his degree as a Medical Doctor.

Diego graduated with his teaching degree in Mathematics in 2015 and is now teaching in Panajachel.

Diego graduated with his teaching degree in Mathematics in 2015 and is now teaching in Panajachel.

CMS students, past and present, with Paso directors and friends at the 2015 gathering in Panajachel.

CMS students, past and present, with Paso directors and friends at the 2015 gathering in Panajachel.

Rudolfo is our first graduate and cuts the cake to celebrate.

Rudolfo is our first graduate and cuts the cake to celebrate.

Brenda started her nursing program in January 2015.

Brenda started her nursing program in January 2015.

Juana is a nurse and is now working on her Social Work degree.

Juana is a nurse and is now working on her Social Work degree.

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PUBLICITY COMMITTEE

The publicity committee focuses on providing information in as many formats as possible while trying to inform as many people as possible about our projects.
Our Web site can be viewed by entering http://www.pasoporpaso.ca in the address bar. It contains a great detail of information about Paso Por Paso and is linked to the blog spot.
This blog spot will be the major source of current and past information. It is updated as needed.
The Facebook group site, Paso Por Paso Orillia, is also being used to post current information and photographs.
A video presentation is also created each year and is used at most group presentations.
A brochure is also produced each year as part of our fundraising campaign and is distributed at all events held by Paso. It outlines all of the major activities and accomplishments of Paso.
Articles are also submitted to the Orillia Packet and Times and Orillia Today for publication on a regular basis.
A large poster board has also been updated and is used at all fundraising events.

Garry Fell (Vice President) is in charge of publicity. He is photographed here with Carlos, one of Paso's sponsored students.

Garry Fell (Vice President) is in charge of publicity. He is photographed here with Carlos, one of Paso’s sponsored students.

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PROJECTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE

Paso Por Paso has adopted the elementary school in Tierra Linda as its main focus for infrastructure improvements. Over the years, Paso has donated monies so that 7 classrooms could be added to the school. Ongoing improvements to the washrooms and interiors of classrooms have also been invested in. Major improvements to a retaining wall added extra insurance against the possibility of a major mudslide. Four steel doors and two reinforced windows with protective grills were added in 2013. All improvements are carried out by local residents rather than by Paso members. This results in the local residents taking more pride in their school and therefore keeping a closer eye on its security. We also supported the school by providing educational resources and materials that were needed.
Paso funded the first ever graduating class (grade six) trip to Guatemala City at the end of the school year in November 2013. This very successful trip has become an annual event. Photos of this trip can be seen in the “recent posts” section.
In 2014, Paso invested in a clean water project at the school, which involves the installation of a filtration system. The other significant project that Paso Por Paso invested in at the Tierra Linda School is a Nutritional Program. Paso finances a vitamin drink supplement for each student and a de-worming program. This is in response to a recent Pediatrician’s report citing a significant number of malnourished children at the Tierra Linda School.
The main projects in 2015 involve improvements to some windows, septic system, toilet facilities and a roofing issue. Another classroom is needed but will need to wait until funding is available.
Occasionally, and on an emergency basis, monies are used to support local families (of the students we sponsor) to help deal with a crisis situation involving their living situation. In 2013 for instance, we responded by providing a new septic system to a family whose home would otherwise be classified as condemned. In 2014, we have provided necessary dental work and nutritional support to one of our sponsored student’s family living in San Jorge.

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Nutritional drinks are provided to all Tierra Linda students.

Nutritional drinks are provided to all Tierra Linda students.

Linda McDowell presents photocopies of classroom material.

Linda McDowell presents photocopies of classroom material.

The annual grad trip is a highlight for all of the students in grade 6.

The annual grad trip is a highlight for all of the students in grade 6.

Wendy Goodearle at the new water filtration system.

Wendy Goodearle at the new water filtration system.

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FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE

Fundraising initiatives are so important to any non-profit charitable organization and Paso Por Paso continues to raise monies through ongoing annual activities and new fundraising events.
The annual PLANT and BOOK sale, the PANCAKE BREAKFAST, sale of MAYAN HANDICRAFT and PEARS FOR PASO have been very successful fundraisers. The BOAT CRUISE aboard the MS GEORGIAN proved to be an extremely successful new event in 2014 and the Island Princess tour of Lake Couchiching in 2015 continued that success. New in 2015 was the very successful Santa’s Village Coupon Fundraiser.

Directors aboard the Island Princess.

Directors aboard the Island Princess.

Island Princess entertainment.

Island Princess entertainment.

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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

The goal of this committee is to continue to build “bridges” through active partnerships with different groups and organizations in Simcoe County. Currently, Paso has a very positive relationship with Warminster Elementary School. Students make valentines to send to the Tierra Linda school and also provide a partial sponsorship for a student attending the Tierra Linda school. Thanks to Beth Kudar (Paso director) at the Warminster school for her ongoing support.
New in 2014-5 was the addition of the Mnjikaning School in Rama. Most of the students made valentines for Tierra Linda and directors Fred Fallis and Garry Fell had an opportunity to speak with the Mnjikaning students about life in Tierra Linda.
Paso is also hoping to make more linkages with post-secondary institutions in Simcoe County.
In the past, members of Paso’s Board have spoken at different Service Clubs and Organizations throughout the region. Our goal for the year is to increase the number of these speaking engagements.

Beth Kudar, far left, with Warminster students.

Beth Kudar, far left, with Warminster students.

Most of the Mnjikaning students made valentines for Tierra Linda students including this class.

Most of the Mnjikaning students made valentines for Tierra Linda students including this class.

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MICRO LOANS FOR WOMEN

50 MICRO LOANS of 1000 Q (Quetzals) worth about CDN $160 were distributed to 27 women from Tierra Linda and 23 from San Antonio at a presentation at the Mayan Families facilities in Panajachel in February and March 2015. Paso’s loans are interest free and the money raised also covers the banking and administrative costs.
The loans are administered by Mayan Families. A management fee is paid to Mayan Families. They provide employees who speak the local language as well as Spanish and English. They also provide legal documents, make out and distribute the cheques, photograph each recipient, take the recipients to the bank and help them with the process of depositing and withdrawing money, keep track of payments and investigate and solve any shortfalls as well as provide 10 compulsory sessions about planning, managing and growing a business.
Paso members visit as many micro loan recipients as possible each February. Mayan Families provide the transportation and translation from Kaqchikel or Tz’utujil as well as Spanish. One woman visited started out selling packages of mixtures of ground corn, cinnamon and other spices to make a hot drink which many Mayans consider essential to begin the day. She had made enough profit from that enterprise, so that after feeding her family of seven children, she had enough left to invest in threads to weave into the cloth used to make the traditional huipiles and cortes (blouses and skirts) worn by the women in the villages, or sold in the market. With these 2 products she was able to have a profit of about $12 US a week!
Micro loans recipients are selected by a committee based on their need and the needs of their families. Unfortunately some very poor families do not apply or refuse a loan because they do not have the confidence in their abilities to be successful. It is hoped that the new program of 10 sessions to assist the women with business planning will pay off in the near future.

Tierra Linda recipients 2015

Tierra Linda recipients 2015

Judith and Jess help at the presentation.

Judith and Jess help at the presentation.

San Antonio recipients 2015.

San Antonio recipients 2015.

A new store in Tierra Linda.

A new store in Tierra Linda.

Blanca makes custom ordered jewelry.

Blanca makes custom ordered jewelry.

Baleriana has a weaving business

Baleriana has a weaving business

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