Middle school students Grace Manga and Ada Butcher make bookmarks in Spanish to exchange with students in Guatemala. (Louise Sosa)

Help Cedar Hill Middle School students make a difference in Guatemala this Christmas

Proceeds from Christmas cards made by CHMS go to the Aldea Maya charity

Christmas time is not just a time to think about what you might get, but also an opportunity to think about what you might give back. Canadian grassroots charity Aldea Maya and Cedar Hill Middle School students are making that a little easier this season. One-of-a-kind cards made by CHMS students will be for sale – with all proceeds going to the charity – at the Victoria Global Village Store and at VIDEA starting on Saturday, Nov. 23.

For the last five years, Grade 6 French immersion students at Cedar Hill Middle School have been designing and making Christmas cards to help a village called Chuk Muk, in the highlands of Guatemala. The handmade cards are sold to raise money for education, nutrition, cooking, health, and water programs in the village.

READ ALSO: Christmas lights appear on Oak Bay Avenue

Louise Sosa, who started Aldea Maya 12 years ago, said the project teaches the students in both Guatemala and Cedar Hill compassion and kindness as well as history.

“It shows them, even though they’re seeing negative things all day long on the news, that you can actually make a difference,” Sosa said, “I think of it a bit like water in a bucket, you can think you’re too small to make a difference, but if you get enough drips it does.”

Sosa said the card sales have enabled several hundreds of students in Guatemala to continue in education. When Aldea Maya started, she said, no student continued past Grade 6. In 2020, there will be 22 students from the village in university.

READ ALSO: ’Tis the season for holiday cheer with a Ken Lavigne Christmas

Along with the Christmas cards, the Cedar Hill students will be making bookmarks in Spanish to exchange with students in Chuk Muk. The Guatemalan students will send back bookmarks to their buddy in English, and exercise Sosa said challenges both groups in a positive and educational way.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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