Saturday, February 28, 2009

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Bomberos Voluntarios -- Volunteer Rescue Workers - San Juan la Laguna February 27th, 2009 was a day of great celebration for the village of San Juan la Laguna, a Tz'utujil community on the western shore of Lago Atitlán. It is the dream come true of Seattle area firefighters, and especially Paul Embleton, who has spent the last two years to build and equip the new fire station. Paul brought ambulances, and water rescue vehicles and equipment from the United States, and built a water ambulance to transport patients from lakeside villages to Hospitalito Atitlán. Paul has a home near the Hospitalito. Bomberos from Panajachel, Sololá, and Santiago Atitlán shared in the event. There was marimba and lunch. Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc spoke about the imporyance of working together to provide the best healthcare possible, including the traditional midwives who also attended the event. Paul received recognition for his dedication and for bringing many Rotarians to help with construction. "Very muy Utz" is a combination of English, Spanish, and Tz'utujil to say... Volunteer Fireman, Very very GOOD!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


María and Victor Salvador are two of the lucky sponsored children who received a nice birthday gift from their sponsors. Most of the children at the Panabaj School don’t know when their birthday is because their families cannot afford a celebration. When Montse, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Sponsorship Coordinator asks them the date of their birthday almost all of them have to look at their birth certificate!

A big THANK YOU to María and Victor Salvador’s sponsors for remembering their birthdays!

Kathy Roach

Kathy's BACK!! And everyone is happy to see her well and happy!

Dr. Puertocarrera (back row) an Opthamologist from the Universidad de Valle, in Sololá brought visitors to Hospitalito Atitlán las week. The group represented various Guatemalan hospitals and organizations, including Hospital Roosevelt, the Fundación de Ojos (the Eye Foundation), Unidad National Opthamologia, and the Clinic Quemadas Infantiles (the children's burn clinic.) Another meeting is scheduled on March 13th.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It takes all kinds of people to work on the details of a new Hospital. Some of the volunteers met on Thursday at the construction site to discuss electrical system wiring. From L. to R. Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc, Jeff Lang of Ithica NY, Henry Mendoza, Ian Woofenden (Home Power magazine) of Guemes Island, WA, and architect Molly Molander. Not in the foto is Jimmy Hutchison, of Springfield, MO owner of a medical supply business, who is working with Jeff on future equipment needs so that Henry can design the circuits.

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What is going on at the Hospitalito??

Well, sadly, Narda is returning to Oregon… so the staff planned a despidida for Narda and her daughter Zarah and son Tai… AND combined it with a Valentines Day party. Mid day, everyone gathered in the education room for chuchitas (tamales) and mosh (hot oatmeal drink). Chenta planned a game. Everyone formed a circle, and a marker was given to Cristobal to start. We were instructed to put a DOT on the person next to us, and then pass the marker on. See Cristobal put a spot on Rigoberto’s nose (a large permanent spot). There were lots of dots on hands, earlobes, necks… almost everywhere. When everyone had their spot marked, Chento told us that we were celebrating Dia de Cariño, and to celebrate our friendship, we would start at the beginning of the circle, and KISS the spot where we had placed the dot on the person next to us. That’s when things got hilarious. The last person to place his dot was Ithan Peltan, the Harvard Medical Student who returned to Hospitalito in early February. Because he is serious about medical career, he thought like a physician… giving an injection on the backside, and that’s where he gave Cristobal his dot. See foto of Ithan and Cristobal. Wish you were here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

We owe a big thanks to Narda Sherman for her third trip to HA. The staff and patients LOVE Narda and are sorry to say “Chuac chik!” The day she left, she presented six bound copies of the updated Volunteer Orientation Manual. Narda also worked with Rebeca on updating the housing manual. He husband Ulysses coached soccer during his month here over the holidays. Zarah was enrolled in the Colegio Alfa y Omega near HA and looked great in her school uniform, a guipil and corte. We hope that they all return soon.

You may remember hearing of Ithan Peltan before, and congratulations are in order because the article he wrote was accepted for publication in a medical journal: "Disaster response and recovery at a small, rural hospital in Guatemala."

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Warm Welcome to Rosemary!

...and a Cheery Gracias to Ken!

Welcome to Rosemary Trent, PaP’s new executive director. Rosemary recently relocated to Washington D.C. after spending several years in Brazil. She brings with her a vast knowledge and experience working with community projects in Latin America and Africa. She has hit the ground running bringing fresh new ideas for fundraising and community outreach. We at Pueblo a Pueblo and the people of Santiago Atitlan are lucky to have you with us!

Thank you and welcome!

A very special Thank You goes out to our out-going executive director, founder of Pueblo a Pueblo and dear friend Ken Wood.
We thank him for his guidance, selfless support and tireless efforts in helping the people of Santiago Atitlan. Thank you Ken for all you have inspired. Don’t be a stranger!

-Kristen VanZandt
President of Pueblo a Pueblo

Saturday, February 07, 2009

WILDFIRE FIGHTERS helping to build the new Hospitalito
Three young men, taking a rest from the difficult work of fighting wildfires in Montana, traveled to Central America for a vacation. They looked for volunteer work and fortunately for us, found the Hospitalito. With their first inquiry, they were warned that the real work was beginning that week… the pouring of concrete for the footers. They showed up anyway. Phil Graeve, Ben Schlaub and Erik Andreassen were very impressed with the construction. They loaded buckets of sand and gravel for the workers and carried the 100-pound bags of cement when the truck arrived for delivery. They all agreed that they had never worked as hard in their lives… but they kept returning, and surprised the local workers. Erik commented on how hard the local guys are working. When he found out that they earned different pay per day, depending on skill and task, he felt that he, Ben and Phil would be at the low end of the pay scale.

To see more photos of the construction of the new Hospitalito Atitlán go to

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pueblo a Pueblo a Sundance!

Rosemary Trent, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Executive Director was invited to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah to raise money and awareness for the construction of the new Hospitalito as well as our efforts to maintain the temporary facility.

Pueblo a Pueblo’s partner, Oasis Entertainment put on a 3-day concert series with musicians from the Seattle and LA areas. Many volunteers traveled to Park City to support our efforts and put in a lot of hard work.”

Pictured above is Michael Williams and his band as well as Ryan Smith and Lance Ramesh from the Oasis Board of Directors and Rosemary in the center.

Above: Mark Cavener, Mateo Coletti, Rosemary Trent and Boris from Videolicious.

Super SO Far performing live!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kvinnosjukdomar Specialists

19 Swedish female gynecologists, or specialists in kvinnosjukdomar (femal diseases) visited Hospitalito Atitlán Saturday 24th of January. Many in the group had previous experience in working for Doctors without Borders, and have seen clinics in China, India and Oman among other countries. The group is traveling in Guatemala to visit clinics and evaluate health care during pregnancies, pre- and postnatal care, as well as female healthcare issues in general. We were honored to be their first stop during the ten-day trip. The doctors are part of Praktikertjänst in Sweden.