In the midst of much that is challenging in Guatemala, the United States, and beyond, I bring you news of hope and healing. Because of your support, some very good things have happened in Guatemala this year, and more beautiful news is on the horizon.
In 2020, we have hopes of partnering with Rotary International on our biggest project yet, positively impacting generations of children in Tzanchaj, Guatemala. With PEG’s support, we hope that Rotary will be constructing a new building that can serve a school that we have been partnering with since 2005. And that’s just one bit of our exciting news!
Trips – past and future
2019 included four trips to Guatemala for David, and several for Sarah as well. Among those was a trip where David introduced his bandmates, Dawud Wharnsby and Billy Jonas, to PEG’s work in Guatemala, visiting some of our partner schools and programs, and offering several concerts on the way. The biggest of those was a benefit show in the Municipal Auditorium of El Tejar, where hundreds of people enthusiastically took in an Abraham Jam concert (David’s interfaith trio), after an opener by students and alumni of the music program that PEG and LEAF International have been supporting since 2007.
Now Billy and Dawud will be helping to promote PEG’s work in Guatemala as well, and another musician trip is in the works for the summer of 2020, so that we can get the word to their audiences, as well.
There is also an open trip planned for July 12-21, and we would love to have you join us! More information is at www.pegpartners.org/opentrips/.
PEG will also be organizing and leading Guatemala trips for Mars Hill University and Wake Forest Presbyterian Church in 2020. If you know of a faith community, college, or other organization that would like for PEG put together a trip for you, please feel free to get in touch with Sarah at PEG@PEGpartners.org.
Our Biggest Partnership Yet
After roughly a year of actively working on fundraising and preparing the application, Rotary District 7670, which covers Western North Carolina, recently submitted a Simple Schools Grant to Rotary International. Rotary clubs in the district have committed over $37,000 to build a new school on land that PEG bought two years ago in the village of Tzanchaj. If the grant is awarded, that money will be matched by the district, and then half-matched by Rotary International, so that they have sufficient funds to build a new three-room school building, bathrooms, a playground, and storage space. If the grant comes through, Rotary will build a school with sufficient foundation to add a second story if and when that is needed. Our goal is to begin construction early in 2020, and we are hopeful that this school, which was kindly named after David by the school’s leaders, will serve generations of children in Tzanchaj.
This school makes a powerful difference in the village of Tzanchaj. Parents constantly talk to us about the care their children get there, and the significance of truly bilingual education. Most of the students arrive at the school speaking only the local Mayan language of Tzutujil, and very little Spanish, but last year, two cousins with the opposite limitation attended — their parents only spoke Spanish in the home. Having learned to speak Tzutujil at school, they can now communicate with their grandmother, which they could not before.
How You Can Be A Part Of This Work
PEG Partners has ‘Partners’ right in its name. Thank you for your support, which allows this work to continue and grow. This year, PEG received generous donations in the forms of a remembrance of a beloved mother, an employee matching grant challenge at a financial company, and a large donation from a former trip participant to support the Brillaguate program, which provides educational and personal development support to teen girls in El Tejar. 2019 also brought PEG its first three monthly donors. If you want to consider becoming a part of the team that keeps this work sustainable, please visit www.pegpartners.org/donate/
A Special Announcement and Update from Sarah, our E.D.
This year has been full of transitions for our family, each bringing its own challenges, but all moving us toward a big and exciting goal: our family’s move to Guatemala! In January 2019, our friend and hotel owner, David Glanville, announced that he would be selling his beautiful hotel in Santiago, Atitlán. The hotel consisted of separate bungalows, so the land was subdivided and formed into a neighborhood. We carefully considered this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and decided it was worth the effort to make a dream come true. We bought one of the small houses and as of January 10, 2020, we will share a little piece of paradise on Lake Atitlán.
This move will improve some aspects of my work with PEG and may complicate others, but overall, it is a good and exciting move for my family and for PEG.
But our move to Guatemala is not the only big news I have to share! On October 31, we welcomed our second son, Andres Reynolds Bryan, into the world and into our family. We are excited to have a Halloween birthday to celebrate, and it’s also fun that Andy shares a birthday with Mason LaMotte.
2019 wraps up my 5th year working with PEG Partners. I am so honored and fulfilled by the work I get to do, connecting worthy and innovative projects in Guatemala with funding from inspired and dedicated people here in the US. I am also quite energized by the groups that have been traveling with PEG. This summer we hosted our 7th group on a trip to Guatemala to learn the history and current context of Guatemala, become familiar with the programs PEG supports, and to build relationships between people on the trip and our friends in Guatemala.
Thank you for your interest and support of PEG Partners over these past 15 years. Together we are making a big difference. If you want to see for yourself, come with us!
Sarah Robinson Bryan
Executive Director, PEG Partners
Thanks, friends, for the good work you do, and for your support of the work we are doing together. If you would like to donate to keep this work going, please consider being a monthly donor. Thank you for listening, and for showing up to engage with the work to make the world around us a little kinder, and a bit more just. We look forward to this exciting new year, and we are grateful that you are a part of it!
Founder and President, PEG Partners