In the central highlands of Guatemala, Plenty is funding Asociacion Desarollo Integral de Belen (Association for the Integral Development of Belen) (ADIBE) to deliver needed food and supplies to Kaqchikel Maya families and especially elders in the community of Molino Belen in the Department of Solola. ADIBE began as the “soy dairy” Plenty helped build and equip in 1979 as part of our response to the 1976 earthquake that devastated Guatemala killing over 22,000 and leaving over a million homeless.
The Kaqchikels are the second largest of Guatemala’s 23 indigenous groups. The families and elders in Molino Belen are receiving cooking staples and household essentials like black beans, oatmeal, salt, cooking oil, sugar, detergent, soap, and toilet paper, as well as milk and tofu from ADIBE’s soy processing facility.
In Guatemala in there has been little to no government support provided to individuals and families during the Covid-19 crisis. People over age 60 have also been restricted from going to outdoor markets or indoor stores. Elders who live alone rely on family or others to provide essentials.
12/31/15: In 2015 the Wellmark Foundation donated $21,000 to support Plenty’s work with the Pine Ridge Gardens Program, which started in 1986. The Foundation sent a video crew to record the work. See the video at Pine Ridge Reservation Gardens Project
“As you know, Nepal has suffered a terrible earthquake – in fact two earthquakes, one on April 25 and the second on May 12th. Our son Vajra was in Kathmandu, where he was born, for both quakes and witnessed some of the terrible destruction and loss of life in the Durbar square of Kathmandu where he has an apartment, thankfully in a modern, earthquake-resistant house. Like many people, we immediately responded to the earthquake by giving donations to various institutions dedicated to disaster relief. It soon became apparent that much of the most immediate and elective relief work was being done by small groups of Nepalis and expat foreigners who were supplying relief to communities they knew and had a connection with.
One friend in Santa Fe, John Vavruska, set up a mini relief project for the village of Chupar, ancestral home of other mutual Nepali friends in Santa Fe, Uttam and Budu Rai, funneling donations through a small non-profit: Plenty International http://plenty.org/news/ His effort has inspired us. Just after the first quake, Vajra visited Halcok, the village where we lived for over ten years in the 1980s and 1990s. While he was happy to report that his best friend in Nepal, Sukri Putwar, and his family were safe, there had been widespread destruction of the poorer houses of the village. Vajra wrote us on April 28, “I went up to see Sukri at the village. 56 houses collapsed (out of what maybe 100?). All the old houses, gone. It’s as if an entire memory has been erased. Sukri incredibly lucky to be alive. Made me realize that the real destruction in Nepal must be up in the little mountain villages, in the stone houses.”
We decided that we wanted to help, and with the eager participation of the Nepali staff in the office we work with in Nepal, we were able to send up a shipment of food and essential supplies to the homeless villagers encamped below the ruins. We are now planning to provide supplies for more substantial temporary housing, food, sanitation and other priorities.
The not-for-profit organization Plenty International has graciously agreed to allow our Halcok relief e!ort to run donations through their organization, thus making donations tax-deductible in the US. 97% of donations will go directly to Halcok relief. We will be paying our own expenses for travel to Nepal and o”ce sta! there. If you would like to join this e!ort focused on helping one needy village, please send your tax-deductible donation (checks only please – we are not set up for credit cards or Paypal), made out to Plenty International and write on the note line “Halcok Relief Nepal”. Send your donations, made out to Plenty International, to us at:
Lois and Ian Alsop – 38 Old Galisteo Way – Santa Fe, NM 87508 USA
Please consider adopting Halcok and helping “one village at a time” survive now and rebuild in the future. Thank you.
Ian, Lois, Vajra, and Vasundhara Alsop”
In May Plenty Board Member Robert Reifel traveled to Pine Ridge Reservation with volunteer Alex Miller to help with the garden project. As is often the case weather created problems. Initially heavy rains flooded the newly tilled gardens and then they had seven inches of snow. Nevertheless, tools and plants were purchased and distributed to dozens of gardeners along with plants from the greenhouse and fresh compost. Milo Yellow Hair is the project Manager.