Saturday August 19th 2017

Rotary Club of Perth Welcomes Clara Colop

Guatemala is a country struggling with an unfortunate spectrum of injustices affecting the most vulnerable and marginalized of the population: indigenous people – more specifically indigenous women. Further, with seasonal weather often progressing into extreme climactic events, deeper loss and hardship is experienced for those already functioning with the bare minimum.

We have globally experienced the trials of current economic times yet populations in the South, like Guatemala, are particularly affected due to the rising costs of very basic commodities and staple needs like corn and beans. The uncertainty of sufficient food and water day to day is actually a certainty for many families throughout Guatemala.Clara Colop

For these reasons, work carried out by the Ixchel Association in the rural highlands of Guatemala is so very important. The Ixchel Association is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) working with rural indigenous communities focusing primarily on income generation, training, and health for women and children. Ixchel works with both men and women coordinating with local leadership, other NGOs and even UN agencies to bring about change in their communities. Ixchel also assists communities in times of urgent humanitarian need. Clara Colop, director of Ixchel, is herself an indigenous women having worked for years with her community having an intimate understanding of the needs and struggles of her people.

As many in the Perth community are aware, the Rotary Club of Perth is a strong and loyal partner of the Ixchel Association having supported various humanitarian and development projects for over five years. The foundation of this partnership and good programming is based on respect, understanding and collaboration. Throughout this partnership Rotary and Ixchel have provided support to farming, water and sanitation, income generation and health projects in the region of Xela (Quetzaltenango).

For example, in April 2010, trained members of Rotary traveled to Xela hosting an eye clinic, “A Better Future is in Sight”. This trip helped provide basic eye care, and when necessary medical referrals, to hundreds of rural villagers. Ongoing, however, are projects such as community chicken cooperatives and crop irrigation and seed distribution.

Eye ClinicThe Perth Rotary Club is proud to sponsor the upcoming travel of Clara Colop from the Ixchel Association to the Perth area. Clara will be visiting Canada in September and October speaking about development and humanitarian programming in Guatemala. Interested audiences should contact The Rotary Club of Perth.

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