The Friends of Guatamala — a charitable group out of Lacombe’s St. Andrews United Church — is organizing a fundraiser to help the Mayan people of the Central American country, which has gone through periods of civil war and violence.
Gospel 792, a local country-gospel band, will be play a concert at the Church on April 17th at 7:30 p.m., with all proceeds going towards a project to help a village in Guatamala gain food security.
Friends of Guatamala Committee Chair Donna Pierson hopes that they can sell out the Church, which would lead to $3,000 to $4,000 going directly to the project.
“It is a food security project and it is being run through Fraternidad de Presbiterales Mayas,” Pierson said. “That is a group who is working with the Mayan indigenous people and it is helping them become self-sufficient with their food source.”
The project helps the Mayan people grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens with the help of an agronomist.
“The goal is for them to be self-sufficient, so that are producing enough for themselves to eat and also able to sell some of their produce in order to buy the supplies they need to continue,” Pierson said. “That includes, seeds, feeds, wire for chicken coops and other supplies.”
Pierson said this project is important due to the Mayan people being a very marginalized community in Guatamala.
“They have been pushed into the hills off of the prime farming land,” she said. “They don’t get much support from the government and there is a lot of turmoil.
“They have been disconnected because of the civil war and all the killing that has gone on. They have been displaced and moved around, so this helps them to reestablish and be able to feed themselves and their children so that their children can go to school, learn and ultimately have better lives for themselves.”
Pierson said anyone wishing to join the group can do so by contacting St. Andrews. They can also make direct donations to the project in this way as well.
“That will go directly to the project and if they donate through the Church — they will get a tax receipt,” she said.
Pierson said they are also currently planning a trip to visit the project site, which is also something the public can inquire on.
“Initially we thought we would go in July of this year, but it will be likely moved to November,” she said. “We will go there and visit that specific project, as well as another project in a different village that is now complete.”
She added, “It should be a good show. It is a local group that plays country-gospel. It is always a good time with them.”