Globe Aware March 2016

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Does your destiny include
volunteering in Guatemala?

higher-res-guatemala-weavingWe hope so! Guatemala is a unique destination to traditional tourists with beautiful beaches, ruins and cultural sites, but what makes it a particularly important to consider for those looking to volunteer is its extreme need relative to so much of Latin America. The country is the victim of extreme inequality and poverty. More than half of Guatemala’s population live below the national poverty line, 15 percent in extreme poverty, and the country ranks 13th in the world for its level of income inequality, according to the GINI Index. Many Guatemalans struggle to provide the basic needs for their families and cannot afford the expenses associated with school. Guatemala struggles with high illiteracy rates and low school attendance beyond the 6th grade. Access to quality health care and housing is rare. Preventable diseases often result in death, malnutrition is common among children, and infant mortality rates are high. Many homes are made of scavenged materials, with dirt floors, no toilets, and no drinkable water. In addition to extreme poverty, Guatemala struggles with the after-effects of a 36-year civil war, ended in 1996, as well as persistent political corruption, unemployment, and alcoholism, all of which have had destructive effects on families and communities. Plus, the country’s diverse ethnic heritages—including 23 recognized indigenous languages—make broad-based solutions more difficult, instead requiring localized, culturally-sensitive solutions. The projects Globe Aware volunteers take on are designed to improve the lives of those families most at risk. REGISTER TODAY

Some of the work projects in which Globe Aware volunteers engage onsite:
  1. Install cement floors in the homes of impoverished families.

  2. Work and play alongside children.

  3. Teach English pronunciation to students and teachers of English who are learning how to write but not to speak the language.

  4. Working with a local woman’s group setting up home gardening to introduce healthy greens to the community.

  5. Teaching a class to students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 in a technical institute here in the village for teens without financial resources.

Possible Leisure Activities:
  1. Visit the enchanting Tikal Ruins, a stunning, sprawling ancient complex.

  2. Participate in a tortilla making class

  3. Experience a horseback excursion

  4. Attend a Mayan Fire Ceremony

  5. Tour the incredible Aktun Kan Caves


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Rellenitos de Platano

Rellenitos-de-PlatanoGuatemalan Rellenitos de Platano are fried plantains stuffed with sweetened black beans. These are best enjoyed hot and with a cup of coffee however they would also make a lovely snack or appetizer as well.

  • 6 Plantains, black ones cut into chunks
  • 1 canela stick (cinnamon)
  • 1 can of refried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 quart of oil for frying 


  1. Place the cut plantains in water to cover in a large pot along with a canela stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Drain, remove peel and mash.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the refried beans. Stir in the sugar and salt. Remove from heat.
  3. To make the rellenitos, form a palm-sized amount of mashed plantains into a ball; flatten and place about a teaspoon of the bean mixture in the middle; then mold the sides of the plantain around the beans, making an egg-shaped ball.
  4. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large skillet to 375 degrees F.
  5. Fry rellenitos in oil until browned.
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with cream.


Facebook recently converted our old Globe Aware Volunteers page.
The new format doesn’t allow an easy way to post and share photos.
To keep up to date with our projects and fun, be sure to like us at
To share photos, friend and then post to “Shanti Shahani GlobeAware”.


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Dallas, Texas 75214-2497

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