David shares stories of his 2008 Guatemala adventure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Welcome and Intro

Hi and welcome to the blog for my 2008 Guatemala trip. I am traveling to attend language school in Quetzaltenango (place of the Quetzal). Located in the central highlands, it is known for it's traditional connections to the ancient Mayan culture. Its traditional name is Xelaju (Pronounced "Shay-la-hoo'), or just Xela for short.

The language institute I am attending, Casa Xelaju, has adopted a poor Mayan barrio on a rocky outcrop on the edge of town, known as La Pedrera. This gives visiting students an opportunity to participate in community service as part of their language training.

While reserving my stay at the school, I asked them for assistance in arranging some occupational experience in my field of multimedia and Web design. They suggested that I work in the school at La Pedrera, sharing my skills with those students. My experience in 3rd world travel, tells me that I am going to encounter very severe poverty, with its related lack of education and health care. When I asked what I might bring to assist there, the suggestions were basic school supplies, vitamins and toothbrushes.

The fact is, that there is a fairly well established "La Pedrera School Project" to support the school. The project recently gained non-profit status to aid it in raising sponsorship for students at the school. In 1995, they were able to raise funds for 45 students to attend the school. the unfortunate side is that there are currently 36 children without sponsors. This would be a good time to click the "donate" button and start helping to sponsor a child at La Pedrera

This site will keep you up to date on my travel and the status of our efforts to support the school at La Pedrera. If you want to subscribe to updates or find out how to contribute to sponsor students at the school, please send me email to


David Thomas

[photo is from my1991 trip to Quetzaltenango and an early morning climb to watch the sun rise atop El Volcan Santa Maria]

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