Monday, April 30, 2007

A Child With Leukemia

This is Jorge. About a year ago, Jorge, at 4 years old, was diagnosed with leukemia. The only doctor that can attend to his treatment is from Guatemala City, a 12 hour bus trip from here. Jorge was put on strong doses of steroids and told to return every 2 - 4 weeks for blood tests and changes in the medical regimen ... a trip that costs Q600 (about US$80, CAD$100). With support from family, friends and a couple of small donations, they were able to take him 5 times to the city. On those trips, the high doses of steroids were dropped bit by bit, from 7 pills per day to 4 pills per day. Since October of 2006, (7 months) they have not been able to afford another journey to the city.

Now, the family doesn't know if he is on the right dosage of steroids, and although they have taken it upon themselves to drop his dosage even further, they are understandably afraid to stop altogether without the blood tests and doctors "say-so". However, they realize that there is a serious problem with long term steroid use, and are now worried that he may be taking them when he shouldn't.

The only answer is to get him back to the city for another battery of tests and consultation with the specialist.

Dr. Bob Dickson, coordinator of "Friends of Ix-canaan", from Calgary, Alberta, says that they will fund half of the cost ... Q300. We are looking for someone who can make the trip reality, before a more serious problem develops, by donating the other Q300. If you are able to help Jorge, please contact
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Forest Garden Update

The Forest Garden that the women planted a few months ago with the support of Trees for Life is doing well ... and it will soon be the season for ripe juicy papayas!!
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Construction; Progress Report 1

By the end of the day today, the "preparation crew" had completed the foundation holes for two sides of the main structure ...

and had dug about half the needed hole for a temporary bathroom ...

while the first of the main construction crew .. two of Don Sebastian's sons (aided by several grandchildren) begin the "armatura" (who knows what that is in English).

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Friday, April 20, 2007

A Celebratory Dinner

This year my oldest son Darcy, with his wife, Ann and son Keith joined us for three fun-filled weeks in the jungle. Here we are out for a special celebratory dinner with Gonzalo Galindo (friend and fellow Ix-canaan supporter as well as proprietor of Casa Roja) on the left, and Enrique and I on the right.
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The Students

Adelaida and Mayra, the 2 young women that have been seeking support/funding to attend Collegio, have their new uniforms. They have been learning computer skills, and come to the library every afternoon to do their homework.

With heartfelt thanks to the following people,

Kathleen Gleeson
Dina Hanson
Laura Bunting
Mrs. Valerie Rothwell
Linda Kiernan
Ruth Bieber

we now have sufficient funding to cover the tuition and transportation for them for the rest of this calendar year.
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The Grandmother Drum

We were recently hosts to the Grandmother Drum Tour ... a group that was travelling from Alaska to Tikal, Guatemala, doing ceremony along the way with the Grandmother Drum ... 7 feet in diameter, covered in buffalo hide and set in a bed of crystals. In this photo you see White Eagle, the keeper of the drum, playing for the Sacred Mayan Fire.

For more pictures of the incredible Spring Equinox Ceremony they held in Tikal, go to

For more information about the Grandmother Drum, her history and her schedule, go to
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The Contractor - Don Sebastian

Don Sebastian, the contractor who is in charge of the project, and who also built the clinic and the library, was on hand last night as the first load of material (iron bars and gravel) was delivered to the building site.
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Site Prep at New Women's Center

By Thursday morning, the stakes were set, delineating the outlines of the new building with its corridor, and the workers were finishing the land prep ... taking out the last couple of large trees with their root system, and levelling off the hill on the far side. They also began digging the holes for the "bodega" (storeroom) to keep the tools and cement safe and dry.
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Women's Center Construction Begins

Yesterday, Friday the 13th, the paperwork giving legal title for the land to the Women's Group of El Remate, was finally passed through the morass of municipal politics and corruption, thus allowing us to begin the work on the new women's center for the village. Doña Juana, the president of the group, worked long and hard on her mission to legalize their ownership ... she made over 30 trips to the offices of the mayor and governor of Peten over the last couple of months ... she persisted through challenges that would have waylaid a less determined person. Amongst other adventures, she tracked down government employees for signatures in the middle of demonstrations ... she followed the mayor and his staff to their jail cells when they were arrested for fraud ... and she managed to insert a duplicate set of the paperwork when the original set disappeared from the municipal offices.

Today, the women have turned out in force, many of them with husbands and children in tow, to begin the work of clearing and levelling the land so construction can commence.
Posted by PicasaDoña Juana is working with a pick ax and iron bar to whittle away the rocky protuberance on one end of the area where the building will be ...

while Alba wields a machete, making quick work of the tree felling job that she has undertaken.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dance Classes

In Mid-December Ixeeya (top left of top photo and middle of bottom photo) came to help two groups of young women to learn a couple of dance routines that they could perform for the particpants of Activation Maya or for other groups visiting the village.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Contacts and Coorespondence

It has not proven possible to liberate our domain name, "" from the limbo to which it was consigned when the holder of the holder of the domain name that holds our account ( went into cybernation ... therefore ...

Thanks to Stephen Schaff of Gridworx ( in Calgary (who is also the hoster of our webpage), we now have a new domain name and webpage.


New Website Address: (note that the new address is .com NOT .org)

New E-mail Addresses:;; (also .com instead of .org)

Eduardo's address is still the same:; and website at

To top that off, cyberspace has now absorbed the last vestiges of my entire history of cooresponding via internet. I have resurrected an old mailing list, but many of your e-mail addresses have been changed or added since this list was saved. If your name was recently added to our mailing list, or recently changed ... or if you have not received a reply to any e-mail that you have sent, please contact me at the new address
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