Fall 2013 Newsletter


Santa Elena Project of Accompaniment

Fall 2013

SEPA Newsletter

Special Event Announcement

A complete bio of Sr. Anselmo Roldán Aguilar is available here.Sr. Aguilar will be speaking in ten US locations during this NISGUA speaking tour.For more information visitwww.obsepa.org

Special SEPA Volunteer/Donor Appreciation Dinner

Members of the SEPA Board hosted a festive Appreciation Dinner for about 40 donors and volunteers at the Oberlin Depot on Friday, September 20. Guests enjoyed the Board’s home-cooked smorgasbord before hearing a report on the future of human rights accompaniment in Guatemala.

Barbara and Bill Fuchsman recently represented SEPA at the Annual G.A.P. (Guatemala Accompaniment Project) Gathering in Seattle. Most G.A.P. Sponsors now focus more on accompaniment and no longer maintain the original community connections established when refugees returned home following the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War. SEPA is one of just a few sponsoring groups that continues to maintain these original connections.

John Gates then presented an illustrated talk on his summer visit to Santa Elena, Copal AA and Quetzaltenango. There are many big changes occurring in Santa Elena with a new road and the arrival of electricity to the community.

John reported on the progress of the Santa Elena Catholic Church building (a project funded by Oberlin’s Sacred Heart Church and several other Catholic communities), which is used for Sunday services and has hosted several joyful community events.

John met with student scholarship recipients in Copal AA, and took time to visit Quetzaltenango's Mi Casita Montessori, which Oberlin graduate Maggie Paulin (OC'13) helped establish in 2012 and who now serves there as one of the teachers.

Seeing the residents of these communities and the hard work and progress being achieved was gratifying to SEPA members and also underscored that there are many needs yet to be addressed and much work we can do together.

As part of the evening, the Board announced an “electrifying” mini-fundraiser to help SEPA support the installation of electricity in the Santa Elena school. The project received more than $250 in immediate contributions to help the cause.

“The annual Appreciation Dinner is near and dear to SEPA Board members’ hearts,” explained Mary Anne Cunningham, SEPA VP and organizer of the event. “SEPA is able to accomplish a lot in Guatemala because of its many dedicated supporters, and hosting this evening of good food and friendship is one way we can say “Thanks for all you do!”


To fulfill SEPA's mission, over $30,000 must be raised each year to support human rights accompaniers, teacher salaries and student scholarships.

Calendars Available

They make a great gift. Only $12 wherever you see the SEPA booth.

Marty and Barbara pick the harvest at Bushel Bob's

Sales from SEPA's Farmers Market Booth net over $7000 each year thanks to all of you who shop at the market. The booth owes much of its success to the donation of goods and services from the many friends of SEPA. Each week gardeners bring in produce and bakers donate cookies and bread. If you have any items you would like to donate, email Barbara. The Winter Market at Eastwood School begins on November 2nd.

Extensive information about SEPA, its history and numerous projects, Guatemalan news feeds and much

more can be found at


Follow SEPA on Facebook and LIKE us

SEPA Annual Fund

The focus of the 13/14 Annual Fund will be to raise sufficient funds so as to meet all scholarship requests from Santa Elena and Copal AA. This year Santa Elena is requesting $12,740 for 29 (19 male & 10 female) students. The number of requests for each grade level are as follows:

12th grade: 5

11th grade: 4

10th grade: 1

9th grade: 3

8th grade: 10

7th grade: 6

To continue to support 3 high school students in Copal AA, an additional $1500 is needed.

You can make a real difference by donating to the annual fund. You will receive an annual fund request in the mail soon. Please give as generously as you are able or you may donate now on line:

Congratulations Bill

Bill Fuchsman, SEPA's Treasurer, recently retired from the Oberlin College Chemistry Department which he joined in 1970. In September the Chemistry Department held a symposium and dinner in his honor and then surprised him with a large donation to SEPA that was made possible by Bill's many former students, colleagues and friends. Bill would like a majority of this gift to be used to finish funding the Women's Center that is being built in Santa Elena. The SEPA Board unanimously agreed. The money will be on the way soon.

Copyright © 2013 SEPA, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you have expressed interest in SEPA's mission.

Our mailing address is:


192 Forest St.

Oberlin, Oh 44074