Guatemalan Fashion Show and Sale
A Fundraiser to Provide Access to Education for Marginalized Guatemalan Youth
A Rotary Club Project - 2021/2022

On November 27, 2021 Central Vancouver Island Rotarians will hold a sale of authentic backstrap hand woven Guatemalan scarves and clothing to raise money for Access to Education in Guatemala’s Mayan Villages. Rotarians and Interact Students from LSS will host a Guatemalan Fashion Show. There will also be a slideshow of our work and the people of the region, Mayan music and Guatemalan cider in the Eagles Hall on First Avenue in Ladysmith. 
This is a great opportunity to buy an authentic backstrap hand woven scarf or clothing, made by the Guatemalan women in the communities that Rotary supports. Over 150 items will be on display for sale. 100% of the money from the sale will be used to support the projects in Guatemala.
For the past 2 years most of the children of Guatemalan Mayan families have missed school due to the Pandemic and lack of access to online education. Recent figures suggest that only 3% of Mayan homes have access to the internet. Access to schooling is dependent on access to the internet during the Pandemic. Thirty years of war, ongoing malnutrition and the impact of the pandemic have devastated Guatemalan Indidgenous communities. 
A group of Rotarians on Vancouver Island are working on mitigating these impacts in the Lake Atitlan Region. In 2020/2021 Rotary and Disaster Aid Canada (a Ladysmith Rotary project) raised and donated over $16,000 to provide food for indigenous families locked down due to Covid and another $4,000 for nutritional supplements for the children suffering from malnutrition. Rotary Club of Ladysmith in cooperation with the Mid Island Group of Rotary Clubs has also financed the construction of a Women’s Centre in the Town of San Lucas Toliman as well as providing electricity and access to drinking water.
This time we are partnering with a team of local women's groups, teachers and Rotarians from Guatemala, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley. We are planning to create learning hubs in these communities to facilitate access to educational tools, medical information and other essential knowledge bases. 
In areas where the internet is accessible the team will set up solar and grid based systems that include a wifi hub and computers to access Guatemalan school curriculum. Where internet is not available we will set up a local wifi server and computers preloaded with a comprehensive library of teaching tools and a local database of Guatemalan school curriculum. 
Using new and refurbished materials we can set up a learning hub with 6 stations and educational software for a cost of between $2,000 and $3,000 per site. Costs will fluctuate based on electrical and/or solar requirements and access to hardware. Larger and smaller sites can easily be scaled.
Project Coordinator Jacqueline (Mealing) Sheppard is a Chemainus Rotarian who has worked on community development projects in Guatemala for over 27 years. Her list of accomplishments is too long to describe here. 
Jacqueline and Rotarians David Sheppard and Tom Andrews of Rotary Chemainus and Gerry Beltgens and Don Mercer of Rotary Ladysmith will be in Guatemala January and February 2022. They will work hand in hand with the Women’s Directiva in San Lucas Toliman, the Mayan Family Foundation and the Rotary Clubs of Vista Hermosa Satellite Uwara and Panajachel, Guatemala. 
Guatemalan Fashion Show and Sale
Eagles Hall - 910 First Avenue, Ladysmith
November 27, 2021
11:00 to 3:00 pm
Contact Gerry Beltgens for more information or to make a donation:
250-739-3887 -