DREAMS REALIZED

COURAGE TO LIVE THE DREAM

“We are happy to achieve the goal but the truth is that it is a new experience and takes a lot of courage to be living this dream.” “We are Maya Ixil. Our home and community is Chajul, el Quiche, Guatemala. We are childhood friends who started planning for a farmers’ co-op when we were 8 years old.”

“We are now 34. Our dream was born in the year that we sat by the river bank, in a high mountain jungle, and started our planning with how to survive the armed conflict raging in our home town, and for a way to get enough food for children and old people. Our childhood dreams for the farmers’ association for Maya Ixil are now a reality.

In 2011 Manuel Laynez Anay, started the organizational work of forming a non-profit association for economic improvement, to eliminate malnutrition in the Ixil area of Guatemala, support well- being, and create job opportunities in the Maya Ixil region. They wanted to create opportunities that their parents did not have. As young people their parents were organized with a similar vision, but armed conflict prevented their achievement. They were afraid to follow their dream. They were forced from their lands where they had worked and harvested a variety of agricultural products by the fear of being beheaded, burned, hanged, shot or in every sense of the word, massacred. They fled to the jungle mountains to hide, all as a result of the internal armed conflict. One misfortune of all this is that there were many young orphans without schooling and no government support and nongovernmental organizations to support the people.

  • Manuel Laynez Anay’s father was killed in the genocide massacres. 

DREAMS OF MEMORIES

Lauire Levinger, published author

Laurie Levinger, retired social worker living and writing in Vermont, between her travels to Guatemala and Spain. Laurie’s website has information about her other books, videos, and on-line testimonies. Laurie’s website

Guerra inconclusa: La voz de los sobrevivientes (Unfinished War: The Voice of the Survivors) by Laurie Levinger is a book of testimonies published in Guatemala in September 2015 (in Spanish). The book is a collection of 30 verbatim testimonies from 2005–2013. Guatemalans from many different parts of the country, from different language groups and of different ages contributed their personal stories. The book is in Spanish and is available by emailing the publisher Editorial Maya Na’oj:Sr Daniel Much, mayanaoj@gmail.com  In December 2015 books can be ordered by emailing laurie levinger: laurie@levinger.net

Bright Star Grant Consultants, Inc. serves a wide variety of clients on a global scale. For more information about our services and Bright Star Philanthropy Partner’s initiative in Central America, please contact us at: Janet @ brightstarconsultants.com

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Step Aside Bill Gates, Family Philanthropy is Possible for Everyone

WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY?

Philanthropy  means “love of humanity” in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing “what it is to be human” on both the benefactors’ (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and beneficiaries’ (by benefiting) parts. The most conventional modern definition is “private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life”. citated from Wikipedia.

Bright Star Philanthropy Partners  (BSPP) is a shared value community development initiative of Bright Star Grant Consultants. BSPP identifies and supports  leaders to realize solutions that they design and execute with BSPP collaborations, technical assistance, and grants.

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Tools and seeds donated for family gardens. Bright Star Philanthropy Partners volunteer Alex Larkin Chajul, Guatemala

WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT POVERTY?

  There doesn’t seem to be any when every day there is a news story about suffering in Africa, homelessness in our great cities, the working poor who work multiple jobs day and night to keep families together. In the face of such overwhelming problems, we tend to go numb, glaze over, and move on to the celebrity or comics page.

 The good news is that there are ways for you to reach out and create a life changing difference with a small amount of money. This is fabulous for people who have never felt able to donate to causes that they believe in. Parents of all social strata are now able to teach their children the ethic of philanthropy by making it a family project, or by making gifts of volunteerism in lieu of material gifts. Those in need benefit from lifting themselves out of poverty with pride, and thereby changing their communities for the better one person, one family at a time. The time for, “someone should do something about this” is now.

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WHAT IF YOU ARE WITHOUT A DOLLAR TO SPARE?

More and more, middle and high school students around the country are being required to perform community service hours as part of their learning experience.

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