Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We're not done yet!! Reflections on Guatemala Land, People and Purpose

Lots more pictures can be found at https://www.facebook.com/oldguysinaction

Although the trip is over, memories remain. Plus - we haven't quite reached our $40,000 goal, so here goes one more post from Old Guy Andrew Lawson:

Reflections on Guatemala Land, People and Purpose

Land: Privilege to transverse in Central America by bicycle from high 12500 feet near the Mexican border (where thin air causes one at times to struggle with sufficient oxygen intake) to sea level near El Salvador (where the thick humid 32 feels like 39 and sweat pours from every outlet).

Dramatic elevation shifts provide scarily fast downhill stretches followed by impossibly steep granny-gear up hills, punctuated with 29 volcanoes and 17 significant Mayan ruins.

People: The most populous Central American country at over 16 million clinging to hillsides; exporting coffee, bananas, and vegetables from rich volcanic soil. 60% Spanish speaking of Conquistador European descent and 40% Indigenous Mayan people speaking their own dialect. Historic conquest and prejudice hold some similarities to Canada's indigenous peoples. General impression of Guatemalans as being poor but friendly with a ready smile.

Purpose: two fold ~ personal desire to engage in physical challenge and adventure in a meaningful way and ~ draw attention and funding to a need we can tangibly impact: namely, Maternal Health and Child Survival.
5X as many babies die before age one than in Canada. 10X as many Moms die from pregnancy related causes than in Canada. 50% give birth at home without help from a skilled attendant.
CAUSE Canada has been making a difference among the most vulnerable sector with contributions
multiplied by our tax dollars at 6.5 times. Opportunity to donate through CAUSE Canada website and specify OGIA special project. 


Moving steadily toward our goal of $40,000 translating into excess of $300,000. Every bit helps. Thank you for generosity already expressed. 


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