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Guatemala


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STUDY LOOKS TO PRESERVE ENDANGERED HABITAT AS BUTTERFLY FARM

In Guatemala, thousands of years of traditional Mayan culture have destroyed pristine habitats with slash and burn agriculture techniques. This project studied the feasibility of raising butterflies to sell from forests that would otherwise be destroyed for production of lesser valued crops. José Monzon, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, requested the assistance of veteran FAVACA volunteer Dr. Robert Woodruff, previously with the Florida Department of Agriculture, to assist in the planning and coordination of a feasibility study for the use of insects to save endangered habitats. Dr. Jack Schuster, Head of Entomology and Ecotourism at the university worked closely with Dr. Woodruff on the project August 3-18, 2005. The idea stems from a successful project in New Guinea. It is most successful where little monetary income is a normally available, and the forest is seen as the only resource. Providing another income source is requisite to conservation of habitats. This project was designed to use insects (a renewable resource) as that source.

GUATEMALAN PARAMEDIC TRAINING STRENGTHENED.

As part of ongoing training provided under the US Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program Miami Dade Fire Rescue Captain Maria Figueroa Rodriguez returned to Guatemala City, Guatemala, February 4-7, 2003. She was joined February 5-7, 2003, by Dr. Juan J. Remos, regional medical director for Inphynet Medical Management and a trauma physician. On February 5, Figueroa taught two classes to over 60 volunteer firefighters in the local EMT program. The first class covered patient packaging and the second infection control. Figueroa and Remos then spent the remainder of their time in Guatemala in consultation with local physicians who are guiding the Volunteer Firefighters in the design of the EMT training course. Figueroa and Remos reviewed the current curriculum and will provide a list of recommendations along with an action plan for developing patient protocols. This project received financial support from the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program.

HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM PROVIDES COMPUTER INSTRUCTION IN GUATEMALA.

The Municipality of Guatemala City created a network of community computer centers, MUNITEC, to offer basic computer skills to young people in marginalized neighborhoods. Now that the program is getting established MUNITEC's director, Sara Urruela, wants to offer courses in more advanced computer applications. Urruela, through contact with the National Cristina Foundation, requested FAVA/CA's assistance to train trainers in several new applications. Volunteer Corps veterans and husband and wife team Diego Barrera Picado and Nerci Brenes de Barrera, Hialeah Gardens, conducted a series of workshops in Guatemala City December 14-21, 2001. The team covered several topics including Internet browsers, Adobe Photoshop, Flash, Dream Weaver, and basic computer repair and maintenance. Both volunteers hail from Central America where they worked as educators. Today Diego works as a Lab Manager at Miami Dade Community College and Nerci is a Customer Services Representative for Financial Recovery, Inc.

GUATEMALA ARTS GROUP BUILDS STRONGER FOUNDATION.

Fernando Paiz, president of the Fundación Paiz, requested two-pronged assistance in fund raising. The foundation’s first need was a one-on-one consultation with a fundraising executive and Patricia Solé, the foundation’s director of development, in order to develop a strategic plan for a new arts center. The second part was a fund raising workshop for local nongovernmental organizations hosted by Fundación Paiz. Fund raising expert Nestor Rodriguez, Miami, completed both tasks July 1-4, 2001. Rodriguez consulted with the foundation staff and conducted a one day workshop for 25 representatives of local institutions including the Guatemalan Museum Association and a home for children with cancer. Mr. Rodriguez is the executive director of Voices for Children and also has experience working with the Miami City Ballet and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Fundación Paiz promotes the arts and Guatemalan culture.

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