World Dance in partnership with Xela AID to help the village of San Martin Chiquita
World Dance Santa Barbara is partnering with Xela AID to bring assistance to a small agricultural community in the highlands of Guatemala. The project focus is the community of San Martin Chiquita, 60 miles from Quetzaltenango, locally known as Xela (pronounced “Shay-la”). In July 2011 several World Dance traveled with Xela Aid to work in the village, and establish the link between World dance and San Martin.
In October of 2011, World Dancers performed THRILLER as part of the international Thrill the World event http://thrilltheworld.com/ . Our dancers asked friends and family to sponsor them to dance, and all proceeds went toward the work in San Martin. Through October and November World Dance classes and Thriller donations, we reached our goal of raising $7,475 for San Martin, the amount needed for the following projects:
- Education Forever – Schooling for 10 children for a year – $3,250
- Children’s Health Clinic – Parasite eradication – $2,500
- Leadership Training – San Martin Clean project – $1,000
- Women’s Literacy program for one year – $725
A NOTE FROM XELA AID’S FOUNDING DIRECTOR
We at Xela AID are working to do something that has not been done before in the Guatemalan highlands—and beyond: sustainable community development. Here’s how:
We know that education is the key to overcoming poverty and to creating abundance. We also understand that children who are sick or hungry cannot learn, and parents with too few resources to provide for their family cannot support children going to school. So, ours is a fully integrated approach to community development: we aim to remove the health, environmental and socioeconomic obstacles to education so we can transform poverty into abundance. This has to be done systematically, with continuous effort, and with continuous adaptation to current conditions. This is a tall order, but we are up to the task.
Xela AID is unique in its integrated approach, but also, in its philosophy:
We firmly believe that that doing our work lovingly is as important as the apparent physical outcomes we achieve. For Xela AID, our end product is the sum of our “doing” and our “being.”
The combination of what we do, and the care with which we do it, create a uniquely powerful outcome that has to be experienced to be understood. This approach trades judgement for understanding, dependence for dignity, and separateness for unity. To hear what some past participants have to say, watch our introductory video accessible from our Home Page.
Admittedly, we have high ideals and seek Xela AID team members who aspire to work in a good way consistent with our “doing and being” philosophy. Over the years, we have been fortunate to cross paths with hundreds of willing volunteers who are up to the challenge, and we welcome others—like you. —Leslie Baer