Update on our work in Chajmaic


Greetings!

How are you doing during this crisis? Our hearts are heavy as the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases increase exponentially in the U.S. and worldwide. We hold those whose families have been affected in the light, and pray for resolution to this pandemic.








You may have heard that as part of the U.S. Stimulus Bill, taxpayers who do not itemize will be able to deduct up to $300 in cash contributions for the 2020 tax year. That is good news for nonprofits and for those who donate since previous changes in the tax law (2017). 


Travel Restrictions to Guatemala

On March 13 Guatemalan President Giammattei announced travel restrictions, prohibiting anyone who had spent time in the U.S. from entering Guatemala after midnight on March 16. Of course, this was disappointing, given Fern’s plan to travel to Guatemala on April 14, and especially Chajmaic and to meet with the municipal mayor of Fray Bartolomé de las Casa to discuss next steps for water filtration.  
Keeping our Mission at the forefront of our work
Initially, the Sowing Opportunities’ Board thought that our partner in Guatemala, Ricardo and our agricultural engineer, Antonio, would go to the village alone, but as news developed about the coronavirus, we realized that this would not be a wise decision. 

We needed to postpone the trip to protect both our own members and anyone with whom they might come into contact, especially the villagers of Chajmaic. 
 
Our mission :
Sowing Opportunities seeks to cultivate self-sustainability, education, and wellness in rural Guatemala
Guatemalan NGO
Fortunately, we were successful in sending the necessary documents to mobilize our Guatemalan NGO in process with our Guatemalan attorney. Thanks to Ricardo for making this possible.

Beds delivered

On a personal note, Ginny and Fern sent personal funds and Maya’s biological family of three now each have their own beds, for the first time ever. Previously, Maya’s 6-year-old sister and her mother shared a twin bed and her 12-year-old brother slept on the dried mud floor. See photos for before and after.
In addition, Sowing Opportunities is proud to announce that we just successfully received our Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar .
 
We are raising funds for our efforts in Chajmaic, Guatemala – to position ourselves for when things are safe – to do a needs assessment in the village, to meet with the village leadership, to learn from expert agricultural engineers in the field, and to meet with the municipal mayor.
 
If you and your family are feeling well, and looking to do some good in the world, we ask that you consider including Sowing Opportunities in your list of donations. Any amount is gratefully accepted.

And, if you shop at Amazon, please consider switching to AmazonSmile , and selecting Sowing Opportunities. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your purchases to the nonprofit.
 
During this time of crisis, we are grateful to you, our family and friends, for your continued support, and for believing in our mission.
 
We know we will get past this trying time and move our project forward, delivering safe water to the village of Chajmaic, and determining the villagers’ needs and getting their involvement in the next phase.
 
Thank you for your ongoing support .
 
Love,
Fern and Ginny Remedi-Brown
Sowing Opportunities, Inc.
21 Ivy Road
Malden, MA 02148