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Category: fundraising

Walk-A-Mile Fundraiser SUCCESS!

We are so excited to announce that this year’s Walk-A-Mile Fundraiser was a huge success!

We set a goal of $26,000 and we are currently at $28,271!!

Konojel means “All Together,” and all together, we EXCEEDED our goal!

We have so much gratitude to our good friend Mallory Brown, who was in San Marcos last spring to film the mini-documentary about Laura, and the ladies of Konojel for inclusion in her Walk a Mile fundraiser. We are beyond thrilled to have been included!

The fundraiser will remain open through the rest of this year as Mallory’s other “miles” are revealed, one at a time. We expect that our final number will continue to rise, little by little, over time. If you know anyone who would like to join us in our work, please feel free to share!

If you want to smile and celebrate with us here’s one last look at the video, which still brings me to tears every time:


THANK YOU VERY MUCH! We truly could not have done this without you. And your gift will allow us to continue feeding the most malnourished members of our community. (Ingrid, our Director, told me that we added 12 new beneficiaries last month!) It will keep the doors of the computer center open, providing homework support for all the kids in the village and internet access as for the community. It will support the women of Sabor del Sol in building their micro-businesses forward and providing products for sale in the restaurant. And you’re creating jobs, and sustainable, dignified work, for women in San Marcos so that they can raise the economic bar for their families and empower themselves to solve the malnutrition crisis in Guatemala.


We welcome your words of encouragement, suggestions, and ideas for improving our work and we value your input!

If you find yourself in Guatemala, you’ve got a standing invitation to visit us, meet the ladies, and see the nutrition project in action! We’d be delighted to meet you!

Shoot us an email:

Walk-A-Mile Fundraiser: Featuring Laura

Walk-A-Mile Fundraiser: End Malnutrition and Support Women in Guatemala

A year ago, a big hearted woman walked into the village of San Marcos and up the big hill to visit Konojel for the first time. Mallory Brown brought with her a videographer and an opportunity. As an impact storyteller and fundraiser, Mallory was filming a series of 26 mini-documentaries of women-lead initiatives around the world to solve problems in their local communities.

Over the next two days there was a lot of laughter and more than a few nerves, as Mallory and her team followed Laura Sancoy-Perez through her work at Konojel and told the story of need and triumph that exist side by side in San Marcos La Laguna. What emerged is the story in the video above, and an international push to grow the reach of our organization and raise the funds the women need to continue their work creating jobs and opportunity for women, providing meals to the most at-risk members of our community, and educational support to the children.

Every time I watch the video it brings tears to my eyes.

We are on day 10 of a 30 day push to raise $26,000…

So far we have raised $17,227!

Here’s your challenge:

  1. WATCH the video
  2. DONATE!
  3. SHARE and ask your friends to donate!

Konojel means “All Together” and all together we CAN end malnutrition in our community… but we need your help!

The Land That Time Forgot

Sandra Levins, a Konojel partner for the last 2 years, recently wrote about her recent trip to San Marcos, in which she and her team brought donated goods from the Iowa Conference United Church of Christ.

“San Marcos la Laguna on Lake Atitlán is like the land that time forgot. There is a weird combination of the ancient and the modern. Here they fish in dugout canoes made from hollowed tree trunks and scavenge for firewood, but almost everyone has a cell phone. The women dress in traditional clothing and many weave their own fabric on backstrap looms in the early Mayan tradition. The language spoken in the home is Katchikal, but when the children enter school they learn to speak Spanish. Then we gringos came along and out of necessity some, but not all, became trilingual. In my grandson’s school, every lesson is taught three times: in Katchikal, Spanish and then English.

Mother Theresa said that each one of us is merely a small instrument. When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, often you see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive. Until the current passes through there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God.

Let us continue to light up God’s world and change lives.”

Read about Sandra’s visit and experience on her church blog.

PACE Foundation plants seeds of growth at Konojel


We had the pleasure of welcoming 16-year-old Robert Subtirelu and his father, Allen, to Guatemala last week. Robert founded the PACE Foundation, based in Long Island, New York, and funds it by boarding dogs with his mother at ComPAWnions, the highest rated boarding service in their area.

In 2014, Robert donated $7,000 to Konojel to start our enrichment programs, planting seeds in San Marcos that have been growing this past year to become the most important piece of our programming. After spending a week together in San Marcos La Laguna, I interviewed Robert to learn a more about this inspiring young man.

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SUNY and Konojel

State University of New York Brings Sustainability to Konojel

Luz Porras, Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, SUNY New Paltz

Luz Porras, Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, SUNY New Paltz

I’d been living in San Marcos for close to two years, and running Konojel for about half that time, when I met Professor Luz Porras, Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at my alma mater, State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz). While visiting my old stomping grounds one early spring afternoon, a friend in the Study Abroad office invited me to join a conversation practice session being held for a few of the class sections from the Department of Foreign Languages. After listening in for a few minutes, I was asked to introduce myself, and told the students and their professors a bit of my story. As a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, I’d earned my teaching certificate and used it to teach Spanish in at-risk areas of New York City. After explaining that I’d since moved to Guatemala, a faceless voice boomed from the other end of the table, and Professor Porras rose from her seat to learn more about how I’d gone from her department to her home country. So began the connection between Konojel and SUNY New Paltz.


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