Back to Paso Por Paso

Eight retired Orillia teachers, photographed above, travelled to Panajachel Guatemala in January 2006, just months after Hurricane Stan devastated many parts of the country. While there, they met and became friends of Patti Mort and Sharon Smart-Poage. Patti, Sharon and her husband Dwight had started an NGO called Mayan Families. A major part of their goal was to provide assistance to Mayan people living in the Lake Atitlan area. They introduced the Orillia group to the highland village of Tierra Linda and encouraged them to consider helping them by improving the school. The school was very primitive and in desperate need of major renovations in order to accommodate more students.

Once they returned to Orillia, they met and decided to start their own charity. The Government finalized the incorporation  late in 2006 and major fund raising events were started. Since then, many significant changes have occurred in Tierra Linda and the Lake Atitlan area thanks to the efforts of Paso Por Paso. The photograph of the 8 original members above includes Catherine Bullen, Marjorie Tomlin, Fayne Bullen, Patricia Pretty, Judith Rapson, Mary Lou Amos, Roger Pretty and David Rapson. Paso Por Paso continues to grow and change as some directors retire and others join.