Tomorrow I will be putting on my traje, perhaps for the last time in Guatemala, and heading up to Tzibal for the certification ceremony. After five years of hard work and three generations of PC volunteers, Tzibal will be certifying their Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta as a "Healthy School" on part of Peace Corps Guatemala and the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. The bottle school, the pilas--this certification is a culmination of all of this. This certification will also be my going-away party, and will mark the end of Peace Corps presence in the community (at least for a few years). It is in many ways an end, but also a beginning. The ball is rolling in Tzibal, in more ways than one.
Remember when Operation Groundswell visited Tzibal last year? OG, an amazing voluntourism nonprofit based in Canada sent eleven equally amazing people out to help with the construction of the bottle school and get to know life in a rural village. Little did any of us know that the Tzibal community would win over the hearts of these eleven travelers, and vise versa. The seeds of an idea were planted, and there began the planning process of "La Cancha:" a paved sports field meet covered community meeting center, all in one.
Thanks to the extremely hard work and devotion of a few of these wonderful volunteers (check out group leader Ben's blog on the project here), the Cancha Project has turned from an idea to a plan, and construction is planned to begin in April. My leaving early has presented a challenge for the project, but nothing a little brainstorming and rehashing of responsibilities can't solve. This project is going to be incredible, and come hell or high water I'm going to do my darnedest to return for its inauguration.
Please, all you wonderful folks out there, read the project details here, help spread the word, and consider donating to the cause!