PASO POR PASO
Greta Clarke and Garry Fell were friends for decades. They shared a love of travel and photography. After many years of seeing Garry’s photos and listening to his adventures, Greta joined Garry on a trip to the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala as part of Paso Por Paso’s annual trip.
While there, Garry and Greta explored the many villages in the region, saw Paso’s projects, met with sponsored students and their families, and - of course - took hundreds of photos. Since then, their amazing photos have been used in cards and prints for fundraisers, newspaper articles, and various publicity projects.
While 2020 was a challenging year for many, Garry and Greta both fought their own battles with cancer with Greta passing in May and Garry in December. As long-time supporters of Paso Por Paso, funds were donated in their honour and Paso was left with the big question of “how do we honour these two amazing people.”
During Paso’s Annual General Meeting, Erin Mooney, the Executive Director of Mayan Families, joined and spoke to members about the ways in which Guatemala has been affected by the pandemic.
One of the biggest challenges has been access to nutritious food and health care - something that has been an ongoing challenge, but has been made far worse throughout the pandemic.
Non-profit organizations have been forced to pivot their services to focus on nutrition programs. With this in mind, Paso began to explore the ways in which they could honour both Greta and Garry while making a long-term impact.
Since the organization has a long-standing relationship with the community of Tierra Linda, Paso looked to support families in that area through the Nutrition and Health Program. This program will treat 20 children who have acute malnutrition, and train and support their families in healthy nutritional practices, as well as offering workshops on women’s health topics (i.e. breast cancer and family planning) for women living in Tierra Linda.
Paso Por Paso continues to fund raise for their other projects, which includes microcredits to Mayan Women in the Tierra Linda region. Many farmers lost a significant amount of their income over the past year and a half as selling their produce has been challenging.
With this in mind, additional resources will be required to support farmers as they transition out of covid life. For more information about Paso Por Paso, click here and for upcoming events and fundraisers, please visit the Facebook Group “Paso Por Paso Orillia.”