Alex Kusturok will be playing at St. Andrew’s United Church on Oct. 20th, 2018 to support the Friends of Guatemala fundraising efforts to provide food security in the highlands of Guatemala. Photo Courtesy alexkusturok.com

Alex Kusturok will be playing at St. Andrew’s United Church on Oct. 20th, 2018 to support the Friends of Guatemala fundraising efforts to provide food security in the highlands of Guatemala. Photo Courtesy alexkusturok.com

Fiddler Alex Kusturok headlines Friends of Guatemala fundraiser

St Andrew’s United Church hosting Grand North American Fiddler Champion

St. Andrew’s United Church will be hosting Alex Kustoruk, the Grand North American Fiddle Champion, in support of the Friends of Guatemala efforts to fund a food security project in the Guatemalan Highlights.

Organizers of the show, which runs Saturday, Oct. 20th at 7:00 p.m., say they are hoping to raise awareness of the struggles of Guatemalans in the highlands — particularly that of hunger.

“We have done one project and we are working on another regarding food security in a town there. The group is helping people better work the land they have, which is often very little. They learn how to grow a variety of crops — carrots, cabbages and other food crops. They also provide some chickens, mushrooms and other things,” Organizer Bob Settle said.

This project — the groups second — is a three year fundraiser and the Friends of Guatemala hope for similar results as the first.

“It is tremendously important,” Settle said. “Guatemala has had a long period of civil war. It has displaced a lot of people and there is a lot of cases of single women raising children — so we are trying to teach gardening and so on to enable their children to eat well. We are also doing teaching of nutrition along with the growing of foodstuffs.

“There is an agronomist who works with the families and provides seeds and so on. They also work on developing a knowledge of the work they are doing, so they can harvest their own seeds for sustainability.”

Issues of poverty, war and hunger in Guatemala go as far back as Spanish Colonialism but modern issue can be more closely associated with a 1954 coup de tat which lead to decades of civil war.

The Friends of Guatemala hope their fundraiser efforts can improve the lives of people who have been severely impacted by hunger and displacement through war.

“We fit about 300 people (in the venue). We need to break even in order to have a good start, which is around 150 people. We have sold around half of that,” Settle said. “Tickets are available at the Church Office; Don Fraser has tickets; members of the Friends of Guatemala group has some tickets and their will be tickets at the door as well.

“Children are 18 are free, so anyone under 18 — bring your parents.”

todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com