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Maya Jaguar Carpentry and Math Project

March 17 – April 7, 2022

This exciting new project at Maya Jaguar will serve girls and boys both, by restoring the math skills lost to them these past two years because of COVID-19. In the accelerated hands-on learning program at the woodworking shop, the students will work with angles, measure lengths, use fractions, and calculate square feet or meters and so much more— all the while having an opportunity to learn some basic carpentry skills.

Ron Grue, a master carpenter from Alberta, Canada, led a team of four volunteers from the Sow Seeds of Kindness organization to Maya Jaguar to build a classroom and workshop at the site. His team committed to provide $12,000 if matched by Adopt-a-Village donors – a challenge that was eagerly met and surpassed.

The project began in earnest in mid-March with the selection of a site on the Maya Jaguar campus – a difficult task because of the uneven and rocky terrain.

After footings and posts were installed, framing for the floors began. One of the challenges is the uneven-sized construction lumber.

Once a level frame for the floor was completed, the flooring itself was applied.

Flooring done, construction, and raising of the walls was next. Note the first truss for the roof.

After the roof trusses were built and installed, the installation of the tin roof was next. We have a completely walled and roofed structure.

Now the focus becomes the interior of the building.

The interior is beginning to take the shape of woodworking shop and classroom.

The building was painted, doors and shutters all made on site.

The team then turned its attention to the earthquake-damaged former shop and storage building. They decided to salvage and renovate as much as possible.

Parts of the floor and most of the roof were replaced. Walls were reinforced and shelving added. Thanks to their efforts, the building is now a safe and usable storage area.

The payoff: Students learning hands-on practical skills. Now the students are experiencing practical uses for the mathematics they’ve learned.

Our heartfelt thanks to (left to right) Sharolyn Pederson, Lise Grue, Dan Yeatts, and Ron Grue. Ron and Sharolyn hail from Alberta, Canada; Dan from Arkansas, USA; and Lise from British Columbia, Canada.

These four volunteers traveled to remote northwestern Guatemala on a mission to better the lives of the Indigenous children by constructing a new building to be used as a classroom and workshop, renovating an existing earthquake-damaged building, upgrading existing residential spaces, and finally, and perhaps the most important, beginning instruction for basic carpentry and practical mathematics.

Not only did they plan, build, and finance the project, they donated all of the tools they brought for the construction, providing Maya Jaguar a fully-equipped classroom and workshop.


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