Monday, June 24, 2013

{a world of good} the mayan eco homestead

i am constantly amazed at the choices and changes people make in their life to dedicate their time to doing good in this world
to causes and people they are passionate about
who see a need and dive in to fill the hole with their heart and hands
i am thrilled to begin today with a feature i am entitling
a world of good

inspired by my dear friend Greg and his beautiful family’s incredible quest
in 2011 he and his wife lucy decided that they wanted to do something different 
they sold all of their possessions, loaded up their car with their four children and started driving south from the US to Guatemala
there he met another American family, another Greg and his family of 7 
together their love for the Guatemalan people grew

in living amongst them, they discovered that they could help fulfill a real need
they became passionate about making a positve, permanent difference by teaching the Guatemalan people new skills instead of giving them handouts that only fulfill temporary needs
they founded the 

the challenges:

Guatemala is the 4th highest malnutritioned country in the world, and the highest in Latin America
despite the abundant landscape and year round growing season, the average Guatemalan diet is unbalanced, consisting of mainly corn. 
their diet lacks a variety of healthy foods, resulting in stunted growth, and slowed development.

compounding the problem of malnutrition is the poor living conditions of many of the indigenious people. They lack clean water to drink. 
litter, human waste, laundry water and dish water go back into the land where food is grown.
ultimately, the problem is a lack of ideas and resources. the Mayan people need knowledge about what and how to grow more nutritious food to improve their diet, and how to implement systems that can improve living conditions.

their first success:
they successfully orchestrated a Self-Reliance Project with a local family, helping them to start their own small homestead with garden boxes, chickens, vermicomposting, tilapia and pigs, as well as a composting toilet and solar hot water. this project has helped them to improve their nutrition and living conditions, and become self-reliant.

rachel dennings, the wife of greg #2, shared the words of this sweet Guatemalan on her blog discover, share, inspire

My son was saying to me,” he continued, “This is what you always wanted. This is what you dreamed about, and now it has happened. Bless God.”
“And we have big plans, my son and I. We want to buy more chickens. The neighbors are asking to buy our lettuce and radishes, so we planted more. We sell 40 eggs a day, and have 30 baby chicks we hatched ourselves. One day,” he says with a huge smile, “I will have my own pick-up.”
for a man who previously made $129 a month, this is a whole new life for him, a new hope, with brand new and exciting possibilities.

they've helped one why stop there?
Now we want to take this successful model to the next level.

the solution:

the Mayan Eco Homestead. it will be a 'model farm' -- a living, breathing 'YouTube video' -- to show the people how, what, and why.
as a natural, environmentally friendly farm, it will provide hands-on training at no cost, and education on things such as square-foot gardening, vermicomposting, permaculture, animal husbandry, grey water filtration, drinking water filtration, composting toilets, alternative energy, and more. We will also teach skills classes on things like soapmaking, food preservation, hygiene, recycling, and emergency preparedness.
the locals will have the opportunity to 'learn-and-earn', exchanging time spent working and learning on the farm for seeds, garden boxes, chickens, grey water and drinking water filtration and composting toilet systems, among other things.
Not only are we teaching skills, we're also providing necessary resources, without giving ineffective or inappropriate handouts.
once families have 'learned and earned', we'll be working one-on-one with them to provide individualized solutions -- we'll visit their home and help them implement what they've learned on the homestead

they have already purchased a two acre property with water rights, electricity, and an existing, unfinished structure
they plan to do much of the labor themselves, as well as hire local laborers to help the local economy

watch this short 5 minute video and hear straight from Greg and Greg the impact this project is making on the lives of the Guatemalan people
you will fall in love with their families
and their tremendous heart and vision

how we can help:
as you can imagine the list of items they will need to purchase to get this homestead project fully functioning is lengthy
to see a complete list visit here
we can help by making a donation of any amount
click to donate right here

your contributions will have a positive, immediate impact on the indigenous Mayan people
to read more of exactly where your donation will go read here

in return for your donation you may choose to receive an authentic craft from local artisans and support the local community
here are the beautiful items you will receive as well as what you are helping to buy with your donation
you could even have a queen bee or rooster named after you
queen bee briana
i like the sound of that
did i ever tell you i had pig named after me in high school
i guess i should have been flattered, as it was intended
having a hen named briana laying eggs for a Guatemalan's breakfast sounds sweet

can't wait to have a chatty hen house with all my friends
$5 - your name praised & a fish named after you

$15 donation: woven bracelet & a hen

$25 donation: beaded bracelet & a rooster
$50 donation: guatemalan scarf & a rabbit
$75 donation: shoulder bag & queen bee
$100 donation: burlap coffee bag & worm box
$150 donation: woven iPad bag  & bee hive
$250 donation: small painting & toilet
$500 donation: Huipil pillow case & chicken coop
$1000 donation: large painting & pond
$2000 donation: leather laptop bag & classroom
$5000 donation: the whole enchilada, you receive one of everything & housing

so lets help my friend Greg and his crew 
in doing good in this world
like their facebook page, share their donation page,
and help spread the word to others who would join us in this most honorable quest
giving someone the means to provide for their family and creating lasting health and skills for generations to come

*if you know of someone that is doing a world of good and would like them to be featured here at Sweet Dreams are Made of These, please contact me by email, just click on the mail icon at the top of my sidebar
there is so much good being done by courageous people
let's show them our support by helping them spread the word and donate to their causes


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