As I mentioned in my last blog post, we currently have a volunteer working for our foundation from Ireland. His working situation is slightly different form ours in Peace Corps. His contract is for six months as opposed to 27. He isn't funded by the government or his organization. He doesn't deal with any of the beuracracy that we do, but he has to pay for everything out of his own pocket. Joe Mclean is making a sacrifice that is far greater he would admit. I receive a monthly paycheck that is sufficient to live on and then some. In terms of dollars and the American mindset, it's nothing (roughly $300 a month), but here my monthly salary is more than many families earn (and I only need to provide for myself).
Joe is working in construction here in the cumbre, and has been helping the foundation build our eggshell water tanks. He has another project which is seperate from the work of the foundation called Proyectos Sanitarios (Sanitary Projects). He is raising funds from Ireland through his blog, but is short on what he needs to commence the project. Let me pull at your heart strings for a second. I have talked about the differences in life in the cumbre and life back in the States, but I can't stress enough the need for latrines and bathrooms. Many of the families in the cumbre who cannot afford the materials to build these necessities are left with only one option. The unsanitary and (to my friends from the States) unimaginable option of going to the bathroom in the open air.
This is a beautiful project, and with the limitations I have with my work in the Peace Corps, this kind of project is an impossibility for me at the moment. I encourage you all to visit - joesguatemalanexperience.blogspot.com - and assure you that the smallest of donations to Joe's project can make a tremendous difference here in the cumbre (trust me, the exchange rate is in your favor). If you want to help, it's as simple as a few clicks (Look below the map for the "Donate" button).