Many Mayan families still cook on an open, wood-burning fire that produces smoke-filled homes. The result is respiratory and eye disease, serious burns and deforestation. Volunteers help clear the air by providing the funding and labour for the installation of fuel-efficient vented stoves. Hearts & Hands has installed more than 6000 stoves in 73 communities.
Hearts & Hands builds basic education from the ground up. From building new schools with classrooms, kitchens and lavatories to providing scholarships and translating and publishing textbooks into the Mayan language, we are raising the bar on education in Guatemala. Hearts & Hands has built 65 classrooms in elementary schools in Uspantan & Chicaman, San Andres Sajcabaja as well as two junior/senior high schools in El Pinal and Quizachal, Uspantan.
Once per year Hearts & Hands holds a dental clinic. Dental personnel pay their own expenses to volunteer and work long hours to bring much-needed care to the Mayan families. They treat and perform procedures on an average of 125 patients per trip. Over the years, Hearts & Hands has sponsored 12 dental clinics and Dr. Lloyd Evans has extracted 6000 teeth.
Hearts & Hands initiated the Comprehensive Education Committee to raise the quality of education in Uspantan and Solola’. A teacher training program called Escuela Ideal (Ideal School) was the result. Working with recognized educators in Guatemala as well as a team of professors from the University of Puerto Rico, six teacher training conferences have been held for the 24 schools with which Hearts & Hands is involved.
Hearts & Hands began the Secondary Scholarship program in Solalá (Colegio Maya) in 2008 to help students extend their studies past the primary school level to high school and university. The program began with three students and has since grown to 65. The program includes the cost for each student for tuition, library fees, computer courses, uniforms, books, supplies, and a tutor. In 2010, in partnership with the Municipality of Uspantán, the program expanded to the El Pinal area.
In Guatemala, school playgrounds are community gathering places. With the support of Rotary Club International, Hearts & Hands has constructed playgrounds in Tulilche II, Tulilche IV, and San Francisco in the Municipality of Chiche’. More are planned in the Municipality of San Andres Sajcabaja.
The Hearts & Hands Foundation
Canmore, AB T1W 0B9
Photo Credit: Paul Sylvestre
HELP THE MAYAN PEOPLE
Our next trips to Guatemala are scheduled for:
February 21 - March 5, 2020
March 20 - April 3, 2020
October 16 - 29, 2020
PLEASE JOIN USﾠ
If you love adventure travel, join us for the trip of a lifetime. We promise you it will be life changing.
With our voluntourism program, you will visit beautiful, colourful Guatemala to install wood burning stoves in remote Mayan communities, improving the quality of life for many families. Then you will enjoy a week of sightseeing with local and Canadian guides. Through the Hearts & Hands Foundation, you will turn your vacation time into a meaningful and rewarding volunteer experience -- a purpose-filled journey.
As one of the leading non-governmental organizations in Guatemala, we give Canadians the opportunity to provide humanitarian aid through safe travel in Guatemala. Our team leaders pave the way for a safe, enjoyable and productive visit. Our two-week journeys to remote villages located in the department (province) of El Quiché in the central highlands of Guatemala will include one week of volunteering alongside the Mayan people followed by one week of cultural sight-seeing, including Santiago de Atitlán, colourful Chichicastenango, beautiful Antigua, and possibly Tikal.
You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture in ways that few people ever get to experience. You will meet Mayan families, work alongside them, laugh with them, and sometimes cry with them. There is only one thing we promise you when you go on one of our trips. You will never be the same afterwards.
Volunteers cover the cost of airfare, hotels, local transportation, accommodation, meals and tours and receive a tax receipt for the costs incurred during the week of work.
All monetary contributions over $25.00 are acknowledged with a Tax Receipt (registered Canadian Charitable Organization #862267788 RR0001)