Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Recycled School Building

Old Mactzul Area elementary school building,  with new doors, windows.
For a long time now we have had our eye on an old abandoned school building out in the Mactzul area here in Chichicastenango. It used to be the elementary school for the entire Paxot and Mactzul region and was constructed probably 75-80 years ago, with newer construction about 70 years ago.
Many of the towns' elders have told us they studied 1st or 2nd grade there until they had to start working.
First elementary school (the old, old school) building--in the process of demolition in preparation for new classrooms.

 It caught our attention because it's very centrally located to 7-8 communities and has great drive-up access and sturdy construction with windows on all sides of the building for good lighting.  We decided to approach some of the area church members to see if they could bring up the idea to the local town council about letting us use it for a weekly clinic in the area. After several months of deliberation, the school committee, made up of representatives of 7 different communities decided to let us use it.
 We also got enthusiastic support from the area churches in the form of money for remodeling and representation at the the committee meetings. In December we were informed that they had also given permission to a Catholic organization to use the space for a much needed junior high school.
These guys know how to decorate!

 At first we were concerned that we would lose our space, but they assured us that we would be able to share, and that the School administration would be building additional classrooms to accommodate their needs.
So yesterday we had a joint inaugural prayer service led by the area churches of Christ, the Catholic church, Health Talents and the local council members in an effort to show unity in our desire to serve the Mactzul area.
School Council and new teachers.

Kemmel addressing the crowd and giving thanks for the the use of the building.

Area Priest thanking the council for the use of the building for education purposes.

Our beloved brother Pedro Calel testifying to the ministry/service of  Health Talents in the area.

Nice day for a inauguration
 It was well attended by several families of Mactzul I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII and Rio Mactzul.  And this Friday we will attend our first clinic out there.
We were given the keys to one large class room space and another smaller room which will be perfect for private medical consults and dental attention, with a covered porch where patients can wait.
The junior high has also begun enrolling students, and already we have been informed of two young ladies who were going to drop out of school after 6th grade, as the nearest junior high was 1 1/2 hour's walk, but have decided to take advantage of the new opportunities here in their town!
We are honored to be a part of this re-purposing of a historic building and pray that God is honored by both the health care and educational efforts going on here.
Local church leaders who helped us get access to the building

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