Posted by John Ester on Aug 28, 2018
Our own Dave Wynne told us about the non-profit he and his siblings formed to provide homes and education for indigenous Mayans at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
At a memorial service at Michigan Shores in 2009 Dave and his siblings were looking for a way to honor their mother's memory. Following Guatemala's big hurricane in 2010, they decided to form a charitable non-profit known as the Guatemala Housing Alliance to address the country's  housing and education needs. They visited the country's colonial capital of Antigua but found a greater need away from the city out in the highlands around Lake Atilan.
The local residents are hard workers but are paid very little for their labor. Their homes are small, with no doors and little protection from the elements. Since 2011 GHA has built 36 homes, the first of which were made of cement block. Now homes are "bajareque"--a superior construction that resembles adobe--and all homes have lockable doors and waterproof walls.
In addition to building homes, GHA has laid floors, replaced roofs and built classrooms. In the long run education is the biggest thing, in that only 42% of the kids finish elementary school--the worst rate in Latin America. GHA has supported the education of many kids (65 in this year alone). This has included support for tutoring, enrichment classes,a ukulele orchestra and a beading cooperative, among other things.
GHA is always looking for help from both individuals and other non-profits. More information is available on the GHA website.