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Computer Center for Cloud Forest

In the highlands of Guatemala, at the edge of the cloud forest, small villages dot the mountainsides and meadows. The mist hangs heavy in the air. The trees we just saw are suddenly gone as the clouds close in around them. This is a land where the Mayan traditions are still alive in the local language of Kiche and in the colorful woven clothes worn by the woman.

This beautiful region is the site of massacres and profound suffering during Guatemala's long civil war in the 1970's and 80's. The survivors are rebuilding their communities and participating fully in its civic life. They are now looking to provide opportunities for their children to become contributing members of their ancestral villages and in the community life of the region.

The largest of these villages, Caracol, constructed a new Junior High School where the students in this region trek miles over the mountains each day to attend classes. The leaders of Caracol met with United by Friendship to ask for their assistance in constructing an internet computer center that will provide their students with computer training and access to the outside world so they can compete on equal footing with other Guatemalans in their chosen vocation.

UbF selected the construction of a computer center in Caracol as their primary project for 2009. As with most its projects, this was a partnership between United by Friendship which provided the construction materials, the regional county government which provided the engineering and the village of Caracol which provided the unskilled labor.

On March 4, 2010 a team of volunteers with United by Friendship joined the people of Caracol and the other cloud forest villages in the celebration of their new computer center. It was an exciting day of music, folkloric dances, speeches and touring the new facility. Thank you for generously supporting this worthy project.



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