Thursday, July 29, 2010

The school has been built!

Dear Friends,

It is my absolute pleasure to be sending you this email today.

On Monday, July 26th I received a final report from my contact at Plan USA informing us about the school construction project in Jalapa, Guatemala. The school is complete and the 500 plus children of El Camaron, Guatemala are using their 2 new classrooms to help continue their education. We all should be extremely proud to be a part of something so special. We came together a year ago to raise $15,000 for two new classrooms to help out the children in this small community. Attached is the report from Plan. If you have a moment please take a look at the report. Included are photos and testimonials from the children.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to help make this a success. Without your support this would not have been possible.

One Love,


Plan Guatemala

Primary School Construction

For SP: Mr. Aaron Zukoski
SC: 333-71408 Medardo Mendez Pérez

July 23, 2010


The Zukoski Grant Project to build two classrooms in the National Education Primary School in El Camarón community was implemented with financial support from Aaron Zukoski, to improve the conditions in which children from this community receive classes. The project originally included the construction of two classrooms; however, support from the municipal government, also made it possible for children in the kindergarten to benefit from the donation, replacing the kindergarten roof, which was in poor condition, and paving the student recreation area with concrete.

Provide a suitable physical space for educational activities in El Camarón community by building two primary school classrooms.

PLANNED: $ 15,571 Construction of 2 primary school classrooms

DISBURSED: $15,704 Construction of 2 classrooms
Kindergarten roof, pavement of patio

El Camarón is the largest community in San Luís Jilotepeque, with a population of 3,000 inhabitants; however, the illiteracy rate exceeds 50% in the adult population. There are only two primary schools and one kindergarten in the community. The largest of the schools has 370 students and 11 teachers. This school had three classrooms to attend to six grades, with some of grades having two sections.

The project began with a wonderful visit to the community by Aaron Zukoski in March 2009, when he met with inhabitants, especially children, as seen in the photograph.

During this visit, Aaron offered to promote fund-raising activities in his country for the construction of two classrooms. This was one of the community’s greatest needs, to give children a pleasant learning environment for their educational development.

Municipal authorities who were present during the visit made a commitment to support the project by contributing skilled labor, while community authorities agreed to contribute unskilled labor to accomplish what at that moment was still only a dream.

The first phase of construction project began on August 10, 2009. This photo shows the excavation of trenches for the classroom foundation, with the participation of parents and the technical assistance of an architect delegated by Plan.

In November, parents were much more encouraged by the project’s progress since construction had advanced to the point seen in the photographs. Parents, school children and members of the Community Development Council (COCODE), which represents the community, participated in the construction. The municipality of San Luís Jilotepeque contributed skilled labor with two masons and the COCODE, along with the school’s teachers, was responsible for coordinating and managing construction materials and labor, with Plan’s ongoing accompaniment

In December 2009, thanks to additional support from the donor and the kind-hearted people who supported the project, the school’s main patio, an unpaved area where children play, was paved with concrete.

From savings on the purchase of materials for the classrooms, it was possible to replace the roof on the little kindergarten. The roof had deteriorated because the structure’s lifetime had expired. This contribution gave the 98 children a safer roof that does not leak in the rainy season, as can be seen in the photos, meaning they are not at risk during classes.

This is a side view inside one of the four classrooms where the roof was replaced.

The next photograph shows the replaced roof from outside, along the small walkway.

In February, construction of the two beautiful classrooms was completed, as can be seen in the following photographs.

This photograph shows the walkway outside the two newly-constructed classrooms, currently used by first grade students.

The students are seen in the next photograph.

Children are now using the facilities thanks to the donation for this project. This section of the report includes some testimonials from children who have benefited from the project.

Eliazar (8 years old) is in the first grade. “I like the classrooms a lot. I am grateful to the people who helped make them.”

Hilda Marleny (8 years old) is in the first grade. “I like the classrooms a lot. Thank you for helping us make the classrooms. We feel good about studying in the new classroom. It is prettier than the other classrooms.”

Teachers are also grateful for this altruistic act from sponsor Aaron Zukoski and everyone who made El Camarón community’s dream into reality and contributed to the children’s educational development.

This photograph shows the four teachers from the kindergarten where the roof was replaced.

Medardo’s family is very grateful for the changes they have seen in their community. Mr. Santos Erasmo Mendez (the father) said, “I am grateful to the godfather for visiting the community. It was very moving to receive him in our home. Medardo was very pleased with the little presents he brought him and I am thankful for the support for our community by building classrooms to enlarge the school, fixing the school’s main patio and replacing the kindergarten roof. I hope the godfather is very successful in this work and that his visit will not be the last.”

Mr. Aaron Zukoski, you are always welcome to come back and visit our village and see your great project.

Plan Guatemala thanks you for your support and guarantees that many children, now and in the future will benefit from your kind assistance.

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