Our Guatemalan Partners
The Partnership between Cedar Ridge & Ipala
Cedar Ridge is developing a mutually beneficial partnership with the wonderful people of Ipala, Guatemala. Through regular trips, local events, and ongoing practical projects, we are fostering friendships with the women, men and children of this Central American town, and with immigrants living in the metro DC area. As we learn from and serve alongside each other, we are experiencing the goodness of the Kingdom of God.
History of the Partnership
Starting with our vision-inspired desire to reach out beyond global, cultural and political barriers to offer friendship and practical support, the Global Engagement team led our community through a thorough and prayerful process of selecting a developing country upon which we would focus our efforts. Through a series of God-directed circumstances, in 2009 we settled on Ipala, a town of 20,000 in southeastern Guatemala.
How the Partnership Works
Since that time, over 50 of our youth and adults have ventured to the area, making friends, visiting schools, serving alongside local residents, and falling in love with this beautiful town and its surrounding villages.
Working throughout the year in cooperation with the Comite Ipalteco de Hermanamiento (CIDHER), the municipal government, and the Ipaltecos Ausentes group based in Maryland, Cedar Ridge is currently focused on providing educational opportunities for the children and youth of Ipala, and helping address the healthcare and environmental concerns of the community.
People of all ages at Cedar Ridge are engaged in this partnership through correspondence, planning, travel, playing soccer and participating in other events with our Ipala-born neighbors, prayer, and providing financial support for scholarships and our other ongoing projects.
Trips to Ipala
Since 2011, over 85 different Cedar Ridge youth and adults have traveled to Ipala to strengthen our friendship and serve alongside the men, women, and children of this municipality. These have been truly life-changing trips for all involved, and an opportunity for us to continue to empower and learn from community leaders in an effort to promote economic justice.
Our 2018 Partnership Trip took place from July 7-16. Our team of 20 youth and adults spent those days with our partners in Ipala, seeing first-hand the projects Cedar Ridge supports throughout the year, and serving in some practical ways. We played with school children, brought medicines and served food to low-income older adults, visited the homes of many of our scholarship students, painted a mural and built a house alongside workers from the town, helped install cement floors (funded by Cedar Ridge members and friends), as well as met with our partners to review the past year and look to the future.
Thanks to each of you for your generosity, support, and prayers!