How are you guys? Getting over a post holiday hangover? Or not yet? Does that come after New Years? It’s been so long since I celebrated all of it that I legit don’t remember. Well, I actually did celebrate New Years last year, and the experience made a big change in my life– but that’s a conversation for another day. Today I want to share a good cause you guys could consider supporting.
*If you’re not interested in supporting or learning about a good cause, no worries, just scroll down for pretty pictures <3
I already shared photos of El Paredon with you. A sleepy beach town. Seemingly in the middle of no where on the pacific coast of Guatemala. Only accessible by a long and bumpy 45 minute sandy road. No payment here. Three blocks (maybe) of homes on either side of the road. No grocery store or public market. The closest one? 45 minutes back on the road or a boat ride over to the next town. Little to no residents have access to transportion. Very little legal infrastructure. And the eduction system, well, it’s lacking and in need of help.
The hotel we stayed at (Paredon Surf House) connected us with La Choza Chula. A tiny organization. Trying to do big things for this tiny tiny sleep town. They offer different tours and things for the tourists who come by in hopes to raise money for the town, more specifically for the children of this town. Before heading out on our tour, we had a lot of questions for the man in charge, Ben. So many questions that he offered to give us a little tour around and explain even more.
It’s been a while since our trip, so forgive me if I’m fuzzy in my details, but the towns school has very little government funding. And because of the amount of kids (over 50%+ of Guatemala residents are under the age of 18) and lack of teachers, the school is split into two sessions. Leaving the kids with only 2-3 hours of school a day. The books available at the school… and the one finished room… a tiny library (the one pictured above with Marlowe) is there due to the help of La Choza Chula.
There is no playground, no lunch room, no chairs, there really is not much for the youth of El Paredon. But La Choza Chula is trying to change that. And again, they didn’t ask me to share this, but I’m sure they’d love your help. Whatever help you can offer.
They sell a few items in an informal shop and like mentioned, they offer tours to raise funding. They are always asking for books from tourists who visit too. But if you don’t plan on making your way down to the Guatemalan coast anytime soon, maybe you could offer some monetary help? Something for school furniture, or for school supplies, or for help to rebuild their completely unsafe and unusable playground. There are so many things these children could benefit from. And even just a bit of help, helps.
It’s just something to consider.
I wonder what the future would have been or where we would be now… had I not been pregnant when we stumbled on this magic place. Like I mentioned, we thrived there. Part of me feels like we would have packed up our things in Antigua to make a temporary home in El Paredon instead. But I’m not sure. We’ll never really know.
And so we went out, on a long and slender river boat. We passed miles of mangroves and saw hundreds of birds flying above. To finally land in a spot where sea turtles feed. This is not something you can come across often. There are very few spots in the world where you can witness sea turtles feed. But we were able to visit one of them. Giant heads popping up here and there in the distance.
This photo in no way does this view justice. A photo of where the river meets the sea. The river we were on was so calm and peaceful (thankfully… since Marlowe still has a fear of wavy boats). But in the distance you could see these GIANT waves crashing in.
I’m pretty sure I mentioned this somewhere, but it’s so awesome to show Marlowe different ways of living. Ben showed us a few different homes along the river. And a families that live with no running water, electricity, or anything else. They live off fish from the sea and whatever else. It’s so easy to forget how so many people across the globe live without electricity. What’s the number? Something like a third the world’s population? We’re all so connected to our iPhones, laptops, tablets, and whatever else, but a good third the world doesn’t even have a power switch for a light bulb at the end of the day. I feel like I’ve talked about this before. Maybe after the hurricane hit us. I’m not sure. But it’s something to keep in mind for sure.
We also had the opportunity to visit a salt farm on our tour. None of us had ever visited a salt farm before. It was definitely an interesting sight! I definitely hope to visit mountain salt fields one day, but this’ll for now 😉
A blurry, sun-shiney us.
I’m off to bed, friends. I hope you’re all well. That you’re all cozy and warm wherever you are. That life is going well, and easy considering how difficult life can sometimes be. Please do consider giving a bit to this small, but mighty cause… whatever you can. Even a tiny bit of money can drastically improve a child’s life in rural Guatemala <3
Have a wonderful weekend friends.