Category Archives: Lucy

Project Somos Fundraiser

About 10 years ago, while living in Vancouver, I had my workspace in my dining room which faced the street. From the outside you could look in and see all the dolls in different stages of production. One day, I heard a knock on the door and my neighbor ,Heather, told me that  she just HAD to see the dolls that she had been looking at while walking by for months and months. Her partner, Greg, used to be a Waldorf teacher and she had quite an affinity to this style of doll. Heather is one of those people just just love from when you meet them with a warm heart and a twinkle in her eye. As time went on she told me of their dream, to build a children’s village in Guatemala and they called it Project Somos. As a fun adventure we even made a doll, Lucy/Lucita for Heather and Greg to take along their journey’s back and forth to Guatemala – you can read them here (I can’t link them all but if you search Lucita you can find them!) I’ve been following her dream  and am so happy to see it come to fruition and especially now as they have just taken in their first few families.

What I felt that was so beautiful is that Project Somos takes on families with widowed or single mothers. Over tea last week with Heather she shared some horrific stories of the poverty and abuse inflicted upon the women Project Somos is helping. So, Project Somos take the mothers and their children in – provide them a safe and loving space to live in, teach them nutrition, healthcare and skills. Instead of the mothers having to give up their children (Unicef has stated that 90% of orphaned children have one parent alive) the children are taken care of by their mothers. It’s amazing and beautiful and makes my heart swell.

Heather asked me if I could give her some dolls to give to the children at the village and of course I was beyond thrilled to do so. I also wanted to find a way to spread the story of Project Somos and help them out in some way. I had an idea that would bring together families and children from here to Guatemala via the dolls.  I decided to do a fundraiser and we made 7 twin sets with one of the twins going to Guatemala with Heather early next week and the other twin to go to the winner of the auction. Heather will be posting pics of the twins in the new homes  and it will be sweet to see the ‘lives’ of both sets of dolls unfold.

I will make this auction live on MONDAY. I just wanted to give you all the heads up about what is happening. And for many of my longtime follower/friends who know about Project Somos I thought you would like to hear an update. I’m just so proud of Heather and Greg – these two have really given their lives to this cause and to see it happen is such a thrilling event. After pouring their hearts and souls into this, their dream has come true.

Lots of love to you all – I’ll post the info all over when its up and running!

xo
C

Laura Luyt - May 28, 2014 - 10:58 pm

this is one of the most fantastic things I have ever heard of. well done, sweet ones! well done.

Ruth Hoad - May 29, 2014 - 8:47 am

Your dolls are beyond adorable and while I don’t know Heather & Greg as well as you do, their love for Project Somos & their adopted country touched a special place in my heart from the moment I became acquainted with their work.
I’m no doll maker by a long stretch, but years ago after the Haitian earthquake I designed a little doll to send to the children there. My daughter’s class made them & it was so touching to see the joy they brought when they arrived at their destination.
The children of Project Somos will be blessed by your babies.

M - May 29, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Just another reason why I just adore you C. I loved hearing about this story from you & you never stop amazing me with how quickly you make things happen. <3 You too make my heart swell. Many blessings to you on all your endeavors and added blessings for your dear friends and the lives they touch. XOXO

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Lucita’s New Adventure

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Lucita and Tika – back in Canada..

As many of you know, Project Somos is something that is near and dear to my heart. Project Somos is in the process of creating a self sufficient eco village for orphaned and abandoned children in Guatemala. A dear friend of mine , Heather, and her partner Greg are the visionaries behind this amazing undertaking. This will be a village in which the children will live permanently in a safe and nurturing environment. A few months ago Heather and Greg went to Guatemala to scout the area, set up contacts and try to secure some land and I gave them Lucy (Lucita when she arrived on Guatemalan soil) to accompany them on their journey. One of the goals of Project Somos is that the village be self sufficient and not rely on donations – and this is where Bamboletta may come in. I think when this project is ready and when Bamboletta is ready we will find a way to work together. I envision the ‘house mothers’ from the project sewing up little blanket dolls. Or, maybe, sewing some clothing for me – I’m not entirely sure what or how it will happen, but I am certain that it will happen. I still want to keep most of the operations up here near me (because I’m a total control freak) but as we expand the thought of providing income to a project as special as this is amazing. Heather, Greg and I met up last Friday to talk about the project and how things are coming along. They are excited about their upcoming Benefit Fiesta , which takes place on October 14th in Vancouver. I’ve donated a doll to the Fiesta auction – which you can bid on by visiting this post.

So, without further ado – here is the latest adventure of Lucita (Lucita whispers this in Heather’s ear and she emails it to me)..

It’s been three months since Lucita, Greg and I returned to Vancouver from our long stay in Guatemala and an extended road trip through the USA. As many of you know, we were down there searching for land to establish the Project Somos Children’s Village on and Lucita, our Bamboletta ambassador was with us throughout the whole journey. The Project Somos Children’s Village will become a home and community to abandoned and orphaned children in Guatemala. It will be eco-sustainable and have organic gardens and orchards to feed the children. Guatemalan women will be hired to foster groups of children in homes that are provided for them.
It is quite the adjustment coming back to life in Canada, I must say. Once again, everyone is calling our sweet girl, “Lucy” rather than the affectionate “Lucita” (little Lucy). Lucy still, at times, likes to wear the clothes that were especially made for her in Guatemala. She is settling back into the lifestyle here, all the time amazed at how busy and full the days are. Not to mention the amount of “stuff” everyone has!
And… so many may be wondering…. what’s next? Well, we’ve been busy ramping up for our capital campaign to raise the $500K to purchase that perfect property we found. The Land Video.  Without even officially starting the campaign, we have already received $35,000 in donations! We have put in an offer and now await the owner’s response. Unfortunately, someone else has shown some interest in the land but has yet to formally come forward with their larger offer. We sit on pins and needles awaiting. Daily, we picture the children at play on the land; running, climbing trees, swimming and of course, playing with their dolls!
Other exciting news-our Non-Profit Society received its charitable status within weeks of our return to Canada! On October 14th, we’ll be hosting our Second Annual Benefit Fiesta, here in Vancouver at Heritage Hall. Once again, Christina will be donating a doll to our silent auction. There will be many other wonderful items to bid on. We have focused on collecting items that will appeal to families who may want to start their Holiday shopping early while doing good! I hope to see you there!
all the best,
Heather (and Lucy!)
I can’t tell you how happy I am to know Heather, Greg and have to opportunity to be involved in this. It’s total serendipity! As things progress I will be sure to blog about it all. It is so exciting to be involved in something from the ‘ground up’. And, as Greg and Heather say, “it takes a village to raise a child and community to build a village”.

xo,
C
Lashara Hutchison - October 3, 2009 - 8:27 pm

This is such a WONDERFUL thing you are all doing! I will be sure to bid on Poppy.

CanCan - October 3, 2009 - 8:39 pm

This is so amazing. What a beautiful idea, I’m so excited to see it come to fruition!

Stacey Singer - October 4, 2009 - 4:54 pm

Amazing and inspiring!

Kari - October 4, 2009 - 5:32 pm

What a beautiful plan. I can just imagine what a peacful place these children will have to live. =)

Kathy Valencia - October 4, 2009 - 5:34 pm

I am so happy to hear of the help that will be provided in Guatemala. We adopted our daughter from Guatelama and brought her home in March 2008. My husband and I are so sad to hear about the hault in adoptions there even though it was necessary to bring some order to the adoption process. Our daughter is very special to us and hope someday that we would be able to adopt from Guatemala again. Your dolls are too cute, and I plan for Bella’s Gotcha Day in March to get her one of your dolls.

Heather - October 5, 2009 - 11:19 am

It has been really sad and difficult since inter-country adoptions closed in Guatemala. Many homes have closed and there is only so much space in the state-run orphanages. And having spent time in one and heard about others, these are no place for a child to spend their childhood! We’ve already been approached by one organization that has six kids that “fell through the cracks” when adoptions closed. We are willing to take them as soon as we can! It makes it all that more urgent to be there on the ground. Thanks for all the support!

Sarah Riggs - October 5, 2009 - 8:06 pm

Hey, Christina!

I visited the website and hopefully sucessfully placed an opening bid on your beautiful doll up for auction. What a wonderful charity!! :o)

Alison Haworth - October 6, 2009 - 6:10 am

Inspirational, what a wonderful thing to be involved in x

Monica - October 7, 2009 - 12:53 pm

How exciting!! Please tell me how to bid Christina…do I leave a blog comment? I see some great holiday gifts! 😀

April O. - October 7, 2009 - 9:56 pm

Oh happiness. :)

Heather - October 9, 2009 - 6:32 pm

Sarah-we got your bid. Thanks! First one. Go crazy-leaving bids on the comments section will work or writing to us through our “contact us” page on our website. Good luck!

Heather - October 9, 2009 - 6:32 pm

Sarah-we got your bid! First one. Go crazy-leaving bids on the comments section will work or writing to us through our “contact us” page on our website. Good luck!

Leanne - December 4, 2009 - 9:08 pm

I love this story! Our daughter’s name is Lauren and while she was in the orphanage in Guatemala they called her “Laurita” because she was so tiny. It brought a smile to my face just thinking about it. What a wonderful cause!

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The Last Adventure of Lucita..

Sadly, this is the last installments of the Lucita adventures. Heather has been hard at work in Guatemala laying the ground work down for a children’s village, which will be home to orphaned and abandoned children. Read more about Project Somos here.
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We’re just back from a little holiday to “the lake”. Considered a sacred site, Lake Atitlan is an amazing place with many indigenous villages surrounding it. On Friday, we took a three hour shuttle to Panajachel and then caught a boat to San Marcos. Boats are the main mode of transportation between the towns around the lake. It was fun to ride with the locals and to listen to them talk in their indigenous language and it was really magical to be on the water surrounded by the lush green hillsides and volcanoes.
The rainy season is now officially here. Anything we previously considered the rainy season, turned out to be just a warm up. Every day since Wednesday we have been hit with the most intense downpours. On the way out of town, the roads in the next village over, literally turned into rivers! It was unbelievable!
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We spent yesterday exploring San Marcos and then commuted to San Pedro to explore there. This morning we checked out Panajachel. Lucy enjoyed the intense greenery and amazing flowers. She is now feeling really sad about departing Guatemala on Wednesday. There is so much more she would love to see. She looks forward to returning in the Fall after we successfully raise the money to secure the land we found!

-Heather and Lucita

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The Adventures Of Lucita – Part 14

Sadly, this is one of the last installments of the Lucita adventures. Heather has been hard at work in Guatemala laying the ground work down for a children’s village, which will be home to orphaned and abandoned children. Read more about Project Somos here.

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These have been the most amazing, inspirational and incredibly moving last few days in Guatemala. Greg and I, along with Lucita have been attending the Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference here in Antigua. Greg is one of the only men and Lucita is the only doll taking part!
Four of the women who have received the Nobel Peace Prize are in attendance, along with many other women doing inspirational work all over the world. All are dedicated activists putting their hearts and souls into making a difference in the lives and environments in the most compromised and challenging situations.
The four Nobel Peace Laureates in attendance are; Jody Williams (USA) Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala) Mairead Maguire (Ireland) and Shirin Abadi (Iran). We have met all of them and have had opportunities to chat and hug each of them numerous times! I swear, each time one of them shares with the group, I am moved to tears! It’s so energizing to be filled with such inspiration! Be sure to have a peek at their website with videos and blogs galore. http://www.nobelwomensinitiative.org/

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On Sunday night the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation hosted a reception for all attendees along with local ambassadors and VIPs. Greg and I worked with the local indigenous women helping them exhibit and sell their paintings and textiles. It was a huge deal for the women and they were so moved whenever someone showed an interest in their work. I know many of the readers of this blog can relate as many of you are women, mothers and crafters. Having someone value your work is the ultimate gift. At the end of the evening there was a mad rush and many items were purchased! It was an incredible high for all of us.
Earlier that same day, my friend Jenn had delivered Lucita’s new clothing made by a local indigenous woman using “tipico” Guatemalan textiles (thanks for these lovely gifts for Lucita, Jenn!). Little Priscilla and Myrna (daughters of the artists) had a blast playing with Lucita and changing her clothes every few minutes. I was thrilled that they got to dress her in clothing that they could relate to! These are by far the most precious photos I’ve captured of Lucita on this trip to Guatemala. The picture with me is one that was taken with Aura, Rigoberta’s personal secretary. She fell in love with Lucita and insisted that we have this picture taken together!
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Enjoy,
Heather and Lucita
Leah Killian - May 14, 2009 - 3:59 pm

This makes me wish I could help.

Heather - May 15, 2009 - 9:41 am

We are happy to welcome all willing hearts and hands! Drop us a line. Ours is a project about inclusivity. Heather

Leah Killian - June 8, 2009 - 6:36 am

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The Adventures of Lucita – Part 13

I’ve had to take a bit of a Lucita break  because things have been nutty at home these past few weeks. For those who are new (hello!) Lucita is a Bamboletta ambassador that is travelling in Guatemala with my friend Heather from Project Somos. Heather is working hard to establish Project Somos, an eco village for orphaned and abandoned children. To learn more about this amazing project please visit their site – Project Somos .

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This has been a very exciting time for Lucita to be in Guatemala. Easter is a HUGE celebration here in Central America and Antigua hosts the second largest “Semana Santa” festival in the world. For many Sundays leading up to Easter, we have been able to witness the making of the alfombras along the roads. These intricately designed carpets are made from died sawdust, colourful flowers, fruits, vegetables, etc. For hours families and friends gather in front of their homes or storefronts to create their masterpieces. Processions of individuals dressed in purple (and then black on Good Friday) walk by with huge “floats” on top of their shoulders. The floats depict the history of Jesus’ life and death. The processions walk right over the alfombras and are followed by a band playing somber music. The “Mary” float always follows Jesus and these floats are carried by women dressed in black. The number of processions has multiplied greatly over the last number of days and some of them happen right through the night! It’s a very moving experience and we feel honoured to have witnessed this and even to have participated in preparing a number of alfombras with our neighbours. You will see Lucita amongst flowers ready to be placed, her checking out a couple of alfombras near the central plaza and her pictured with one of the many memorabilia available during the festivities. This little guy depicts the purple-robed individuals we have seen throughout Antigua by the thousands. They are the ones that carry the floats atop their shoulders. 

 

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I know it must be difficult to fully appreciate what this is all about if you haven’t witnessed it before. If you’d like to see more photos of the carpets and processions of Semana Santa, check out our blog at http://projectsomoschildrensvillage.blogspot.com/2009/03/before-semana-santa.html

 

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This weekend Lucita has gone to a small neighbouring town with our friend Jenn and her husband John. Jenn is a creative individual and we’ll see what photos and clothes Lucita comes back with next week! 

 

all the best from Guatemala,

Heather and Lucita


cheryl - April 27, 2009 - 4:10 pm

Wow, thats amazing, I never knew what could be done with sawdust. I love the veggie one also.

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