20140120_AVP_Basic_Workshop in Antigua 02In 2015, AVP Guatemala hired a Guatemalan Coordinator, Lorena Escobar, to take over from Saskia Schuitemaker, who is from New Zealand and led the program as a volunteer for the last five years. Saskia led the program to work with several national and international NGOs, and reached communities in many parts of the country.

Among the facilitators are leaders who hope to extend AVP in their communities and to other communities to which they have ties. One is closely connected to the community of Nebaj, in northern Guatemala, which suffered greatly during the Civil War in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Others are connected to Guatemala Village Health, a group that works in communities on the eastern coast, and has adopted AVP as part of their community development program. Quakers in the southeastern part of Guatemala have also held several AVP workshops.

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AVP Guatemala continues to work with an alternative middle school in a poor neighborhood of Chimaltenango where the director of the school has incorporated AVP into the school’s curriculum and dreams of extending AVP into all the schools in her Department/State.

AVP Guatemala’s vision for the future includes developing a sustainable organization with legal NGO status. They are working to receive funds from other NGOs active in Guatemala and from businesses, in exchange for AVP workshops in their communities. AVP Guatemala also hopes to build up a team of twenty active facilitators to lead AVP workshops and community-based Trauma Healing workshops.

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Contact: Guatemala Program Coordinator, Lorena Escobar