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Lake Atitlan Magical Mystery Tour: Day 4

Sit back and enjoy another wonderful post from Shari Ranney, member of the Rotary Club of Petaluma CA and attendee of the 2019 Guatemala Summit.


Today we got an early start to visit several schools in the Cuenca. First stop was Santa Lucia School, where Todd Thompson entertained the children with a lively singalong, aka "The Todd Show". Turns out he is not a guitar player as previously stated, but rather plays a mean mandolin! The kids loved it! We noticed how short and small many of the children were for their age, due to malnutrition. Agua del Pueblo and Rotary work alongside another NGO- Mil Milagros. They provide food and nutrition to the children at school.

One main objective of the visit was to assess the current water and sanitation situation, which are inadequate, and to plan for improvements. A government representative, who happens to be a well digger, and Carlos and Juanita, of Agua del Pueblo, were on hand. A location for a new septic was chosen.

We then went to a second school, Chocol, to speak to the director. We learned about how local politics play a significant part in these grant processes. They honored us with a school assembly with an impressive keyboard recital by a young man and some dancing by a group of young ladies. We were able to show our gratitude through "The Todd Show" again- the kids loved it!! Music is indeed a universal language.

Our entourage continued on to the government headquarters of Santa Lucia Utitlan for a meeting with the mayor to discuss next steps. He was not in, but the meeting with a government representative proved fruitful and a meeting with the mayor will take place at a later date.

Gustavo then skillfully drove us to the site of a septic installation for 10 very rural families. The families were hard at work and the project was well under way. As we headed back to Panajachel, it was decided to take the scenic route. It was quite an adventure as signage is scarce, but Gustavo was able to query several locals along the way and we eventually made it, though fog obscured some views.

Looking forward to the next day's adventure of this Magical Mystery Bus Tour!

Todd Thompson, star of "The Todd Show"

Working with Juanita Hernandez, center, Director of Agua del Pueblo, while standing below a water storage tank.

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