Top News

Thousands of miles from Truro, the Guatemala Outreach Project’s volunteers are heroes


Local aid group marks its 10th anniversary

TRURO, N.S. —

TRURO, N.S. – Allan Kennedy is just an ordinary church-going Nova Scotian but, in the eyes of a Guatemalan peasant woman, he was a God-sent “angel.”
The woman told Kennedy her country "doesn’t care about me." She went on to say people in the cities don’t know they are there, "and you come from Truro in Canada to help us. It’s like a miracle.”
Kennedy was part of a 28-member church team from Nova Scotia delivering cooking stoves, building playgrounds and erecting clinics for local villagers as part of the Guatemala Outreach Project in March , which has been helping poor rural people since 2010.
This year, the GOP team delivered and installed 300 cooking stoves for people living in the mountains around the city of Antigua, in southern Guatemala. The teams visited the villages of Hierbabuena, Cerrito, Violetas, Pacoc and Cerro Alto.
All told, the GOP has delivered 1,500 stoves, built nine playgrounds and one clinic. It has also delivered library books and water purification kits to the local people.
“The people in the Guatemalan villages help us install their stoves, making it a project not only about the stoves but improving their own lives,” said Kennedy.
He said the wood-burning stoves will replace the pit fires villagers light on the earth floors of their huts to cook food, reducing the risks of fires and health problems from smoke inhalation. 
The cooking units delivered this year were known as Leo Stoves, named for their designer and GOP member, Leo Rovers. They are designed to use wood more efficiently, reducing the amount of trees being cut down by villagers.
“We feel the community of Truro and the surrounding area has added to the success of this project and without their support, we wouldn’t be able to continue the work we’re doing in a third world country,” said Kennedy. 
More local businesses are also lending support to the GOP and are asking how they can help, according to Kennedy.
The GOP is led by people from Truro’s Immaculate Conception Church and includes members of other denominations from the surrounding region.
 

Recent Stories