Humanitarian Mission Trip to Guatemala, 2010


By Cecilia Bardsley , Sewing Project Coordinator The Sewing Co-operative located in Volcancito, continues to be a viable close knit group. Although smaller in number from last year this group has commitment to one another. The group has had some success selling their items in the village markets and is encouraged by this. CCAMRE has a young women from Timushan Irma Gutierrez Suchite, who travels to Volcancito twice per week to assist with sewing skills, machine maintenance, provides needed direction and support to the members of the sewing group. Through encouragement, suggestion, dialogue and direction the groups creativity, colour and texture sense, detail finishing and general group dynamics have flourished. Over the past couple of years the group has made hand and shopping bags of various sizes, cell phone carrying cases and baby blankets. This year we worked on baby booties with matching small stuffed animal toys, zippered make-up/ carrying bags and fringed shawls. The group has almost earned enough money to purchase another treadle machine. The Sewing Co-operative in Volcancito is on the right path, with a solid group leader, new and improved skills, roup commitment and a growing self confidence. It is my hope on our Mission in 2011 to start up a new sewing group in the village of Peña Blanca.

By Brian Todd , Plumber, my trip to Guatemala with CCAMRE was quite a learning experience for me, it was almost surreal to see so much harsh poverty in such a beautiful country. The people of the Merendon Mountains had so little, yet they were so friendly and gracious for our help, they made it easy to want to help them. Being a plumber I was able to fix the plumbing at the community center and modified the village storage tank so that overflow could be used for irrigation. In a way, by making their lives better, I felt it made my own better as well.

By Dr. Richard Morris, Dentist, for the past two years, I have been privileged to work as a volunteer dentist for a tremendous organization called CCAMRE. I have performed oral surgery on hundreds of poor and destitute men, women and children -part of the Mayan Chorti people of the Merendon Mountains of Guatemala. CCAMRE, under the compassionate, relentless leadership of Hilda Rossi and her highly qualified Board of Directors, have done a great deal over the last number off years to help these people in terms of health, education and self sufficiency.

By Heidi Grover – Dental Group, this year our dental team travelled to Guatemala and performed dental services for the people in need of care. Over a two week period Dr. Morris, Dr. Grover and Evan Pine a Dental Assistant from the Grover Dental Group in Hamilton, and 4 dental students from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala saw over 360 people and there were 652 teeth extracted. However, the great news is that we were able to add 2 new villages to our mission. This was due to the fact that our dental clinic in La Union, donated by CCAMRE has been able to support some of the need throughout an eight month period, the natives have healthier teeth because the education provided to them.

By Lina Rodriguez – Medical Group, this experience to me was a “wake up” call for all that we can do to make other people’s life better. I cannot use only one word to describe my experience because it was a package of life experiences. My primarily work was with the Women. I was able to meet their needs, their experiences as women in a Country where the “macho” is in power, to hear their doubts, ideas and to share their feelings. I meet great women that allowed me to enter to their most intimate aspects and share what they like and what they want. But most important I was able to show them, to teach them that we have the right to a Healthy Sex Life. I want to thank those hundreds of women for giving a meaning to my workshops, for opening up to me and for accepting that “pleasure” is also for them. This experience was complete thanks to the great people that worked together not as a team but like a family. I definitely will be back because my work with the women in Guatemala just began.

Andy, Joe and Brian - Agriculture and Construction :
Andy, Joe and Brian helped the natives to fix the Multi Skills center’s window in Volcancito and with Brian’s expertise they fixed all the plumbing. Andy as well was busy with the agriculture; he introduced a new seed called Moringa (Tree of Life) that is new to the natives in those mountains if successful it will be a great source for economic development and health benefits.

CCAMRE board of directors and the residents of the Merendon Mountains would like to take this opportunity to thank all mission members for your support and commitment to make this mission a success