Performers to donate time, talent to Guatemala Outreach Project

Raissa Tetanish
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‘The smiles on their faces were from end to end’

 TRURO – The work a group of local people has been doing in Guatemala during the past few years will be the focus of a musical event here on May 22.

Stoves for Guatemala’ will feature a number of local musicians donating their time as a fundraiser to the Guatemala Outreach Project.

“We will have information on what we’ve been doing,” said Leo Rovers, of East Stewiacke, who has been travelling to Guatemala frequently since 2009 to help build stoves and playgrounds. “We will be showing a video of what we do. We’ve done a video for each year we have been there.”

Rovers said a group last went to Guatemala during March Break. The group of 20 installed 100 stoves and two playgrounds this time around.

“In January, I travelled down to pre-plan everything and to meet with the villages to put the stoves in,” he said. “When I got there, there was another village wanting to meet with me.”

Between the two villages – Tona Yuyu del Centro and San Antonio de Las Minas – there were 220 stoves requested.

“We decided to build them in two trips, with half in each village this time and half in each next time,” said Rovers.

The local musical event, which beings at 7:30 p.m. at the Marigold Cultural Centre, will feature the sounds of Flashback (consisting of Duncan MacLeod, Frank Organ, Pete Gogan and Stan Foote), The Woody’s (consisting of Mike Kilburn, Jim White, Dave Skinner and Pete Gogan) and Odd Men Out (consisting of Keith McInnis, Phisch Fancy, Bobby Keel and Darren Cameron).

Donations are being accepted, and tickets cost $25 each. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Rovers intends to travel to the two villages before Christmas to finalize plans for the remaining 120 stoves, but will also plan the next village to benefit from the project.

“We found that we weren’t as busy as we wanted to be in March, so we are going to build 120 stoves in the two villages, plus another 15 to 20 and a playground at another village.”

By building stoves inside the villagers’ homes, the stoves decrease the amount of wood the natives burn by about 75 per cent, while also allowing for better living conditions inside the homes.

While it’s important to help provide the stoves, the group continues to build playgrounds each and every trip they make.

“Some of these children have never seen a playground before. They’ve never seen a swing,” said Rovers. “The smiles on their faces were from end to end. One of the teachers said it’s important for them to play, because without play, they don’t learn.”

Tickets for Thursday’s event can be purchased at the Marigold box office on Prince Street or online at marigoldcentre.ca.

 

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Stoves for Guatemala

WHO: Featuring Flashback, Odd Men Out and The Woody’s

WHEN: May 22, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Marigold Cultural Centre, Prince Street

WHY: A fundraiser and information session for the Guatemala Outreach Project

TICKETS: $25 each and available at the Marigold box office or online at marigoldcentre.ca

Organizations: Marigold Cultural Centre

Geographic location: Guatemala, East Stewiacke, Prince Street

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