Supporting the Guatemala Mission in 2022

Posted: Sat, Oct 29, 2022
Dear Friends and Partners in our work in Guatemala, As we emerge from the isolation of a worldwide pandemic along with multiple natural disasters suffered by our southern neighbors during the past three years, we remember the strong spirit and partnerships we’ve shared in San Lucas Tolimán. We wish to join our friends as they [...]

Sue Nell Phillips

Dear Friends and Partners in our work in Guatemala,

As we emerge from the isolation of a worldwide pandemic along with multiple natural disasters suffered by our southern neighbors during the past three years, we remember the strong spirit and partnerships we’ve shared in San Lucas Tolimán. We wish to join our friends as they rebuild their lives, livelihoods, and futures. 

First Presbyterian has a long history of supporting students who would not otherwise continue with their schooling through San Lucas Tolimán (SLT) Scholars. We also work with the First Presbyterian Church Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Guatemala, and Rotary International to provide both labor and funds so that the poorest of the poor in the area of Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan Highlands will have access to clean water, sanitary latrines, smokeless stoves, and homes to withstand the frequent natural disasters.

Along with the pandemic, recent hurricanes, flooding, and landslides have destroyed crops, causing many to lose what little income they have had as day laborers. Others have lost their businesses with the collapse of tourism. Rita Chajíl, the new executive director of SLT Scholars, reports that over 160 students are waiting for sponsors. May we continue to respond generously to the suffering and needs of our friends who have in turn enriched our lives over the past two decades. 

Our work in Guatemala includes:

  • Annual support of over 250 students, out of a total of 1126, enrolled in middle school, high school, and even college!
  • Provision of funds for Healthy Home Kits, consisting of a smokeless stove, sanitary latrine, and water filter, along with on-going training in their use and maintenance
  • Construction of new “hybrid” homes, two-room starter homes made of concrete block, adobe blocks, wood, metal, and sweat equity, at one third to one half the cost of the traditional Habitat homes in Guatemala
  • Emergency funds in the face of volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and Covid to supply health kits and basic food through all our partners: Habitat Guatemala, Hotel Tolimán, and SLT Scholars
  • 2-3 team trips a year for both construction through Habitat and cultural exploration—currently suspended due to Covid. We hope to take a new team in 2023-2024.

For more information, contact:

Deb Klotz for SLT Scholar sponsorships at [email protected], 541-385-3109

Sue Nell Phillips, [email protected], 541-817-3131 or

Susie Brewer, [email protected] for information on building trips and other projects

Gretchen Williver, [email protected], 541-418-5087 for cultural trips


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