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Canadian Central American

Relief Effort, Inc.


Annual Report













Canadian Central American Relief Effort, Inc.


Annual Report




Table of Contents






CCARE Vision, Mission & Mandate Statements                          3


Agenda for the Annual General Meeting                                       4


Message from the Director                                                             5                


Project Reports                                                                                6                                                                                                                                             

2006 Mission Report                                                                      7                                             

Fund Raising Committee Report                                                   8                                                                                                                          

Financial Report                                                                              9                                                            







Canadian Central American Relief Effort






CCARE is a community of Canadians working in partnership with a community of Central Americans resulting in improved lives in both regions.





CCARE focuses on initiatives that enhance the capabilities of communities to become self-sufficient.





To share our resources of skills, knowledge and funds to work in:

Ø    Relief effort

Ø    Education and awareness building

Ø    Partnership development

Ø    Fund-raising

Ø    Community Panning & Economic Development



Board of Directors 2006


Hilda Rossi                               President

Ana Paredes                             Vise President

Heidi Grover                             Secretary

Jan Davies                                Treasurer *

Rosie DeBiasi                           Fund-Raising Director


* Resigned

Canadian Central American Relief Effort



2006 Annual General Meeting


February 21, 2007





1.      Opening Remarks                                                    Hilda Rossi


2.      Approval of 2005 AGM Minutes                           Hilda Rossi


3.      Reports from 2006


·       Project Management                                            Ana Paredes

·       Mission 2006 Report                                          Ana Paredes

·       Fund-Raising Report                                           Rosie DeBiasi

·       Financial Report                                                  Jan Davies



4.      Election of Board of Directors                               Heidi Grover


5.      Membership                                                             Della Redwood


6.      Closing Remarks & Adjournment                          Rosie DeBiasi











Hilda sharing CCARE’s 2006 Calendar “Images of the Merendon Mountains

with the community of Volcancito in the new Multi Skill Center.

 April 2006




CCARE has attained much success as a recognized charitable organization in 2006 made possible through hard work and dedication from the Board Director, Ana Paredes Vise President and Project Director, Heidi Grover, Secretary, Jan Davies, Treasurer and Rosie DeBiasi, Fundraising Director, they have contributed tremendously to the growth of CCARE and its success.  The members and volunteers played an important part of our growth and accomplishment as well.    CCARE is in process of becoming a viable and recognized corporation registered in Guatemala. This has been possible with the financial support of Mr. Ricardo Castillo from the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce Canada.  Once the required legalities are completed, it is our hope this will enable greater cooperation and partnership with the government, private businesses and various associations in Guatemala. The incorporation will facilitate the foundation of a unified cohesive effort in helping the Mayan Chorti people living in the Merendon Mountains and other high-need areas in Guatemala. 


In cooperation with the Ministry of Health and University of San Carlos de Guatemala, CCARE through a generous donation, will be opening a permanent dental clinic in La Unión. This clinic will service over 25,000 people. Dr Russell Grover of Hamilton, Ontario, a devoted member of CCARE, donated the clinic and its contents. These items were shipped to Rutherford Global Logistics warehouse.  The owner been a member of the Rotary Club Mississauga-Airport who has supported our effort throughout the years.  For months, dedicated volunteer members and myself have been repacking and labeling the contents for the future clinic that will be send in a container to Guatemala. We hope to have this completed and on its way within the next month.


Our Mission in 2006 was intensive and extensive, covering work plans for community and economic development, providing dental care clinics, inauguration of the Multi-Skill Center in Vocancito, evaluating current CCARE projects, creating and strengthening partnerships with various ministries of the Guatemala government and many discussions with the Mayan Chorti people.  I feel the dedication, commitment, humour and cooperation of the twenty volunteers from Canada and Guatemala ensured a successful mission.  Much of this success is due to the continued efforts and support of our Guatemalan Coordinator, Francis Salguero. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his dedication to CCARE and his commitment to his community over the past 8 years.


Hurricane Stan, this was a new undertaking for CCARE, and CCARE went into action, a Stan Committee to aid the victims of this natural disaster was created.  CCARE’s started an ambitious fundraising campaign.  With the support of the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce Canada (GCCC) we visited, the Hurricane Stan disaster areas and a decision were taking to support a community project in the village of Churirin, Mazatenango. An agreement is in place now we are waiting for Revenue Canada for their approval.  I would like to express a special recognition to the Stan Committee for their hard work and dedication to the fundraisings for this project. 


As the President and founder of CCARE my dedication and enthusiasm has grown through the strength and support of so many exceptional people involved with this organization. The two loves of my life, my supportive encouraging family and CCARE, provide me with strength and purpose. I feel more committed and continue to work harder as I look back on all we have accomplished and realize the many lives we improved through our strong partnership. The continued support and growth of CCARE and its associates is the foundation of our success. Nothing is possible without a good dedicated Board of Directors, funding and members willing to help and volunteer their time, knowledge, skills and efforts on initiatives  that enhance the capacity of impoverished communities of the Merendon  Mountains  to become self sufficient .   


The positive effect from our work efforts to promote self-sufficient communities can only continue and flourish with adequate monitoring and financing. As an organization, we need to continue to recruit new members (Canadian and Guatemalan), facilitate team building within our organization, develop new and stronger partnerships with notable service organizations and re-establish our commitment and innovation to insure that CCARE meets the commitment of financial viability for the relief efforts.


I thank you sincerely for your dedication, your support, your enthusiasm and for sharing your life with CCARE.


Sincerely yours,





Hilda Rossi

President and Founder


Est. 1998                                                     









Prepared by Project Director

Ana Paredes


Fertilizer Project

The rotating fertilizer project continues to be a successful project among the three communities; Timushan, Peña Blanca and Volcancito and approximately 200 families have benefited. Each community has a body of elected community members and they coordinate the delivery of the funds for each family. The families’ register, they sign a contract and commit to pay the loan back by March of the following year, as the coffee harvest has concluded and the community had an opportunity to sell the coffee. Once payments have been completed, the funds are deposited into a bank account and these funds are used for the next year’s harvest.


Poultry Project

Approximately 176 families have benefited from this project; the families have worked very hard in the maintenance and success of this project. The families started out with five chickens each, CCARE has worked with them by given the support and technical expertise on how to care for the chickens, as a result some of these families sells up to 5 dozens of eggs per week, which results in having an income that is used to support the family, overall, the families are eating better and therefore, their nutritional intake has improved. It is important to mention that a small number of families have lost the chickens due to illnesses or they have gotten lost.


Sewing Project

The sewing project is one of the most successful projects in the Merendon Mountains. The three villages of Timushan, Peña Blanca and Volcancito continued to work very hard in making used of the sewing machines both for personal interest and for small business initiatives. It was wonderful to see members of these communities with clothes made by them as well as to see the children in uniforms.


CCARE has extended the sewing project to a forth village by the name of La Vegona, much like the other villages the needs are many, however, the women’s committee of this community emphasized that there has to be a starting point and they identified that a sewing project  would be of great support to them in meeting their needs. As one of the ladies, stated, “We went to Timushan and spoke with the women there and we know that we can do it as well”. CCARE’s Board of Directors approved the donation of two pedal sewing machines and the project got underway, by establishing basic sewing classes for the women of this community.


Corn Grinding Project

The communities of Peña Blanca and Volcancito are working very hard on this project. As CCARE heard from the women that used these machines, ” it has made a big difference” to them as job that took hours to complete, now it takes only a few minutes and therefore they can continue with their household chores. Challenges were identify and discussed, such as; coordination to have access to these machines and maintenance. CCARE facilitated this discussion and the community agreed to develop a scheduled and to assign tasks, the scheduled would be posted on the doors along with the task assigned such as buying the gas to operate the machine.





Dr. Russell Grover a visionary dentist from Hamilton has traveled to Guatemala with his wife Mrs. Heidi Grover leading the dental team. Dr. Grover has donated to CCARE a dental clinic to serve the community of La Union and surrounding villages.


CCARE met with government representatives, Ministry of Health, Community Health Centre of La Union, and the Director of the Dental Faculty of the University of San Carlos, the Rotary Club of Gualan, the Municipality and the dental team members. CCARE and the USC have been working endless to comply with the international cooperation protocol between the two countries. A partnership agreement was established with the University of San Carlos (USC) and CCARE to inaugurate this clinic in 2007. This project remains in process and currently is waiting for a response from the government of Canada for its approval.


Education Projects - Scholarships 2006

Education is an important component of CCARE’s work and the needs in this area are many, one of the needs identified by the community was the lack of financial resources for their children to finish their elementary and secondary education. In consultation with the community a scholarships program was established to financially support the children that were interested in pursuing their education. The scholarship covers tuition fee, uniform, shoes, school supplies and one snack. Recipients of these scholarships are children from the villages of Peña Blanca, Volcancito and Timushan.


CCARE is proud to inform to its members that for the last three years, CCARE has financially supported a young woman by providing the financial resources to finish her high school. This young woman graduated and has received her high school diploma and now CCARE has extended her scholarship and will financially support her to attend university and register at the Nursing College. Her application is in process and we do wish her the best. CCARE would like to extend our appreciation and a sincere thank you to all of you that have made this possible


CCARE Incorporation in Guatemala

After seven years of work in Guatemala, it has become evident to CCARE the need to be a registered organization in Guatemala. With the financial support of Mr. Ricardo Castillo from the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce Canada, CCARE was able to work with a lawyer and begun the incorporation process. The required documentation has been processed and CCARE is currently waiting for a decision by the government of Guatemala.


International Relationships

It is important to report that in the last year CCARE has met a number of challenges and also has achieved a number of accomplishments. As the Project Director, CCARE would like to thank government representatives, community partners, the private sector and agency representatives for taking an interest on common issues and sharing CCARE vision.


Project Coordinator - Guatemala

Mr. Francis Salguero has volunteer thousand of hour as a coordinator; his support has been instrumental in the success of CCARE’s work in Guatemala. Regrettably, Mr. Salguero has resigned from this position and CCARE extends its appreciation and a heartfelt thank you. We do wish him every success in his future endeavors.



CCARE Humanitarian Mission Report - March 30 to April 9 2006

Prepared by Project Director

Ana Paredes


MISSION: Twenty volunteers from Canada and Guatemala participated on this mission from March 30 to April 9, 2006.




  1. To provide a dental clinic in La Union and villages of the Merendon Mountains
  2. To inaugurate the multi skill centre in Volcancito
  3. To donate medications to the Community Health Centre of Gualan and La Union
  4. To provide professional development to the teachers of La Union, inauguration of 3 libraries and donations of school supplies
  5. To award scholarships to high school students of Peña Blanca, Volcancito and Timushan.
  6. To meet with government representatives, Ministry of Health and the University of San Carlos to discuss the initiative to open a permanent dental clinic in La Union
  7. To visit the disaster area by Hurricane Stan


Dental Clinic

Six full days of dentistry work spread out in La Union, Timushan, Volcancito and Peña Blanca. Approximately 20 villages received dental care services, totaling 434 extractions, 155 hygiene/cleaning and 45 restorative visits, a total of 278 people filtered through this process. 


Four portable chairs were attained to make our work possible and our thanks and sincere appreciation to the Rotary Club La Asuncion, to the University of San Carlos, to La Union Community Health Centre and to all the health care professionals and volunteers that made this effort possible.


Education Projects

Teacher’s professional development was facilitated by Maria Carmen Romero member of the education project. Topics approved by the Ministry of Education were:  Health and Education, Introduction to Psychology and Group Dynamics a rewarding experience of three full days of participation by the teachers. 


CCARE is happy to share with you the inauguration of the 3 libraries, an important donation for the children to access books and an opportunity to improve their literacy skills. 

School supplies donations were given by CCARE throughout the schools of much needed supplies for the children to do their academic work. 


Inauguration of the Multi Skills Centre of Volcancito

Thanks to the generosity of a wonderful lady from Mississauga who donated $ 15,000.00 towards the development and well being of a community in the Merendon Mountains, CCARE was able to make a difference by building a multi skill centre in the village of Volcancito to meet the needs of this isolated community.  


On Sunday April 2 the centre was inaugurated in an ambiance of brotherhood as everyone was celebrating this important occasion as a sign of accomplishment among all participants.

CCARE and members of the Volcancito community did the ribbon cutting ceremony that formally opened the centre.



Inauguration of the Multi Skill Center in Volcanacito, April 2, 2006


Donation of Medicines

CCARE donated two medical packs of medicines that are needed it in the region.

One package was donated to the La Union Community Health Centre and was received by Dr. Eric Hernandez. The second package was donated to the Community Health Centre of Gualan and the package was received by Dr. Antonio Salguero. These medicines are donated for very low income families and people in need of the Municipality of La Union.


Visit the Hurricane Stan Disaster Areas

 CCARE and the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce Canada (GCCC) on behalf of the Stan Relief Committee visited the area of Suchitepeque, the village of San Jose Churirin, with a population of 746 people; of this 422 are children, 150 women and 174 men. This village was hard hit as many other areas in the province leaving a devastating aftermath of destruction. Many of their houses destroyed others greatly damaged, sick people and their agriculture nil. CCARE spent time with the community, walked throughout the area and was able to do a first hand assessment. Needless to say the emotional impact on the visitors, however, this community was very communicative, eager to talk to us, friendly and took us to their houses as they wanted us to see everything.


The Stan Committee met with the community - COCODE and ADICO – Association of Integral Development for the Communities (adicogt.org), a register local NGO that is working in the area of Mazatenango, Suchitepeque and discussed community development initiatives.


CCARE on behalf of the Stan Committee established a joint venture agreement with COCODE and ADICO for a construction initiative. This project (joint venture) has been finalized and CCARE waits for a response from the government of Canada for its approval.





Acknowledgements and Thank You


We can truly say mission accomplished. Long hours of work, team work, commitment and a vision were key elements that made this mission a success. Our work was possible with the financial support of the people of Canada and with the support of CCARE mission volunteers both from Canada and Guatemala, to all of you our sincere thanks and a job well done.


Our sincere thanks Mr. Roberto Yanqui, Regional Manager Canada TACA Airlines for allocating extra free luggage space and facilitating the transport of the donations taken to Guatemala, school supplies, medical and dental supplies for the dental clinic, without TACA’s support the children and the communities of the Merendon Mountians would not have been able to access school supplies and health care services and medicines.


A heartfelt thanks you; to the members of the Hurricane Stan Relief Committee and the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce Canada for the support, commitment and vision on a successful fund-raising quest to support project initiatives in the disaster area.


Project management and having a thorough plan to oversee the many task and duties of a mission is a challenge and an adventure.  On behalf of CCARE and as the Project Director I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. Oscar Palma, President of the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce of Canada, his support and leadership during the mission made a difference and made my job much easier, gracias.


Thank you to the Toronto District School Board for financially supporting the three libraries and for the school supplies donated to the children of the Merendon Mountains.


Thank you to the Rotary Club of Gualan for supporting CCARE’s work and for facilitating resources to make the dental clinic a success.


Thank you to Dr. Fernando Ancheta Rodríguez, Director, Área de Odontología Socio Preventiva from the Universidad San Carlos, Guatemala, for supporting CCARE’s work and taking a leadership role in facilitating the process of the development and coordination of the permanent dental clinic in La Union.


Thank you to the communities, organizations and government representatives that allowed us to have an open dialogue in addressing common issues of interest affecting their communities and exploring  possible solutions.


I had the pleasured to work very closely with Mr. Jose De Jesus Garcia Solis from Mexico, as CCARE’s translator, with a degree in Business Administration; he was instrumental in getting the documentation translated on time, which facilitated the cross-cultural communication and of course made my job much easier, thank you very much.


Most importantly; a heartfelt thank you to the people of the Merendon Mountains and the community of San Jose Churirin for inviting us to share their lives.


I must share with you that at the end of the mission we had the opportunity to travel for the weekend to Antigua a beautiful historic city that opened its door and we had the most wonderful experienced, immersed in its history, culture and the people. Truly, an amazing experienced.

Fundraising Report

By Fundraising Director, Rosie DeBiasi

Main Photo















                             Courtesy of Correo Canadiense


CCARE’s volunteers contributed the enormous success

of our Grand Latin Dinner and Dance, January 2007



Fundraising is a vital component of charitable work and CCARE is no different.  

In 2006, our fundraising began on January 27 with our 6th. Annual Grand Latin Dinner & Dance held at Le Treport Banquet Hall.  Attendance for that event, at just fewer than 500, was remarkable and, once again, the event proved to be a great success.   Our main sponsor for this occasion was our enthusiastic supporter John Cipressi of Le Treport Banquet Hall, Dance Casino Rueda Co. by Terry Zaifman donated their time and talent for the spectacular evening’s entertainments.  


The year’s second big fundraising event for CCARE was the annual Run/ Walk for the “Children of the Merendon Mountains” held on August 26, at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, and it turned out to be grand success. Sherwood Digital Copy Centre our main sponsor supported CCARE for this event with the printing of roughly 4000 color pamphlets. VR-Pro and The Running Room added to this event’s success by contributing their help and expertise. CCARE Run/Walk’s T-shirts donated by Café Connoisseur Ltd. of Mississauga, wore by participates and as well were sold at the event, this added extra funds to this fundraising event.        


This year a new fundraiser for CCARE was the Victorian Dollhouse Raffle. This truly beautiful handcrafted dollhouse designed and built by Ricardo Rossi a member of CCARE and committed supporter.  The purpose of this raffle was to generate funds for our on going projects. The Rotary Club Mississauga-Airport chapter our dedicated supporters played an important role on this raffle, by helping CCARE, with the selling the raffle tickets. The Rotary Club resulted in selling the bulk of the raffle tickets, adding to our fundraising total and success of this project.


CCARE’s 2006 calendar “Imagines of the Merendon Mountains” it projected the region and its local people and the pictures showed some of the ongoing projects that CCARE has successfully implemented. This year, for the first time, the calendars have gone global and, consequently, word of the great need of the people of the Merendon Mountains and word of CCARE’s achievements and outreach program was spreading.  This generated some extra much-needed funds. CCARE’s new sponsors for the calendars was great and it spreader CCARE’s name and purpose even further.


The team of the Grover Dental Group, headed by Heidi Grover, our dental team leader, leads many fundraising in the Hamilton area to support our Dental Project, This is her statement “This year we had 7 individuals from Grover Dental Group go to Guatemala. It was the first time we have been able to supply much needed hygiene care for the people with hygienist on the team.  We were also able to supply restorative care for the first time. We achieved great support from our patients from our practice making financial donations towards toothbrushes. Many of our regular suppliers came through with monetary support as well as donated supplies, which helped make this fourth dental mission the best yet”


The media has become more involved with and more sympathetic to CCARE and its purpose. Word of CCARE and its work have been advertised in both newspaper and radio broadcaster, I would like to make just a few special recognition to the radio Voces Latinas, Latino America con Claudia and CBC radio, and to the newspapers Oakville Beaver, Mississauga News, Toronto Star, Correo Canadiense for their continue support throughout the years.  There are so many recognitions that deserve mentioning and I would like to express our gratitude to all of them.  Out sincere appreciation goes to St. Michael’s Church and its Women Catholic League, Blessed Sacrament Church in Hamilton who have supported and donated funds, and helped promote CCARE and allowed us the use of their facilities to sell items and promote our fundraisings.  


Lastly, numerous companies and sympathetic individuals have made monetary donations and gift donations for our raffle draws, which have greatly added to CCARE’s fundraising and outreach efforts. 


In the name of CCARE’s Board of Directors and from the humble people of the Merendon Mountains I convey their healthful gratitude for your support and contributions to our ongoing fundraising, projects and cause.