My excitement is rising as my trip to Guatemala nears in less than three weeks. I am looking forward to this experience as I never thought I would be participating in any type of mission to a third-world nation. Due to my association with the Rotary Club of North Raleigh and Rotary International, I will soon have that opportunity.
As children, we learn in school of Central America and the many countries, but as adults, many cannot even name the countries that make up this area of the world. As an U.S. Citizen, we do not often think of those suffering in less developed nations. We think of poverty as households making in the tens of thousands in income, but in many of these countries, poverty is making less than $1 a day. These people do not think of vacations and days off work as they cannot afford to take a single day off as it would mean they would not eat that day. This is the environment where I will be heading soon!
Some amazing statistics concerning Guatemala include a high infant mortality rate of 29 per 1000 births compared to only 7 for the U.S. 12% of the population earn less than $1.25 per day and the illiteracy rate in the rural areas is 75% compared to less than 5% in the U.S.
The Guatemala Literacy Project organized by Rotary Clubs in North America is trying to change this issue. Since 1996, we have provided 128,600 textbooks in 191 communities and established 49 computer centers that benefit more than 16,000 students. We have established 20 Culture of Reading Programs (CORP) and 49 libraries.
I am honored and privilege to personally participate in this project as a Rotarian and look forward to a rewarding experience. I plan to communicate to those interested via this blog as Internet capabilities allow. Sign up for the RSS feed to get updates on the trip and to see pictures that I will be sharing along the way.
Some ways you can participate are with your prayers for a safe trip as it is a dangerous country. Also, donations can be made to Cooperatives for Education as they will use the money for much needed school supplies.
Thanks for your interest in this project and please let me know if you have any questions. I can be contacted at Steven@BackNineHomes.com.