Cedar Hill middle school Grade 6 students Keeley Eggiman, Alayna Middleton and Claire Manga show off the class’ Christmas cards that will be sold for up to $40 to benefit Guatemalan youth and women. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Cedar Hill students draw upwards of $40 per Christmas card for Guatemalan youth

For six years Lori Blouin’s class has raised money for Guatemalan students

In the highlands of Guatemala it is uncommon for students to continue in school beyond Grade 6.

For six years students of Lori Blouin’s Grade 6 French immersion class at Cedar Hill middle school have been designing and making Christmas cards to help villagers of Chuk Muk, Guatemala, who fled the village of Panabaj when it was hit by a mudslide 12 years ago, killing 1,400 people.

Within each card is picture of the Tzu’tujil Mayan child that will benefit from the purchase of the card.

The Cedar Hill students create a card to sell at local markets, including the Dec. 16 Cedar Hill Market and Silent Auction at the school, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The students even choose who the money from their one-of-a-kind card will benefit. It can support education, nutrition, cooking, health, water and energy efficient stove programs in the village of Chuk Muk. The cards cost up to $40, though many are much less than that.

“I chose one that costs $40, which is worth a year’s school supplies for one student,” said student Alayna Middleton.

“We like drawing, so it’s more fun and even better knowing it’s for a good cause,” said Keeley Eggiman, who’s also hoping her card sells for $40.

Claire Manga’s cards are priced for $20 and will support young women’s cooking and sewing classes.

It was Louise Soza who founded Aldea Maya as a registered Canadian non-profit following the 2005 disaster. She’s been working with students in her hometown of Qualicum and now makes the annual trip to Saanich to work with students at Cedar Hill middle school.

While Aldea Maya helps many initiatives, Soza couldn’t help but notice students didn’t continue past Grade 6. The card sales have enabled several hundred students to continue their education.

At the same time, the students learn about developing-world issues and that even though the problems are huge, one person can make a difference, Soza said.

In 2018, there will be 15 students from the village in university.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mature Garry oak fell onto Richmond Road on Oct. 13 near Camosun College Lansdowne campus. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Garry oak crashes down onto Richmond Road

Saanich responded to 59 tree-related calls

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

The Kildonan mansion at 931 Foul Bay Rd. is part of the Oak Bay heritage registry. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay declines Kildonan House permissive tax exemption

Council briefs include new transformer for Oak Bay Rec., strata policy

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

The Saanich Teachers’ Association is calling on the local provincial election candidates from all parties to commit to making schools healthier and safer for all. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich teachers call on election candidates for improved health, safety in schools

Increased funding, reduced class sizes among required changes, says association president

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read