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Greetings from Guatemala

Wanted to catch you up on our progress with the Women and Children's Center in Guatemala. Linda Henke, Betsy Wack, Stephanie Constantine (hundreds of yards of fabric and equipment), and I headed to El Salitre for an intense 5-day sewing class the last week of June. A young woman from Guatemala City (Sofia) did a wonderful job as translator. Why didn't I take Spanish in high school or college instead of French?!

Five women from the El Salitre community worked very hard to learn new cutting, pressing and sewing skills. They are creating re-useable menstrual kits. This growing movement in developing countries where girls and women don't have access to sanitary products is a big cause of school dropouts. Girls stay home often for 1 week/month, can't keep up with their studies, drop out and the poverty cycle continues. Hopefully, these kits will help girls get the education they need to grow into productive self-supporting adults. They deserve it. Linda and Betsy also devoted time each day to building leadership skills in a collaborative setting.

Each woman in our group made a kit for herself to learn the techniques. They rotated duties and loved learning about rotary cutters. Interestingly, one of their favorite techniques was the French seam I taught them to construct the drawstring carry bag.

Linda will return to Guatemala in late August or September to track progress and troubleshoot any problems.

We're looking for an affordable source of underpants. Each kit contains at least one pair. If anyone knows a retailer, or manufacturer who would work with us to reduce the kit cost, please email me.

All proceeds from the kits go to paying the women who are sewing and for supplies as well as ongoing expenses. The El Salitre Women Women and Children's Center is a registered 501C3 project and our Board members do not receive any compensation other than tremendous satisfaction and gratitude.

PS: Am currently in Florida for the American Sewing Guild National Conference. It's at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista 1751 Hotel Place Blvd. in beautiful Lake Buena Vista, FL. Looking forward to seeing lots of you in classes or at my booth #507. Stop by and say hello!

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