Giving Hope to the Future through Education

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"The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred."
                                                                                           - George Bernard Shaw

Humans are storytellers. Since our earliest times we have "gathered 'round the campfire" to share our experiences. These days our campfires are not quite so intimate and more technologically based, but hopefully what we have to say to each other remains important and meaningful. Listed below are the various ways that we try to keep our Avivara community "gathered" and connected. 

The Blackboard-Avivara
The Blackboard is our semi-regular email newsletter. It contains articles and photos about recent happenings with the schools we support, our scholarship students, and other important Avivara events. It also has a section called Dispatches from Guatemala which covers a selection of the latest and most outrageous news stories from Guatemala. We only mail The Blackboard out to those folks who have signed up to receive it, so if you are not yet on our mailing list, and would like to get connected, sign up here.

If you haven't had a chance to read our newsletter, here is a copy of our latest issue.

Social Media: "Love it, couldn't live without it" or "I couldn't be bothered." We have been a little bit hesitant about jumping into the social media pool, and currently only maintain a social media presence on our Facebook page. However, social media may become a communications tool that we will use more often in the future, so we have set up ways for people to share our story via various social networks. Also, if you feel there is a social media connection that would be good for us to link into, please Contact Us

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Videos: As we travel to the schools we work with, we are constantly gathering still images and videos of our experiences. And, to keep our creative juices flowing, we often put together a short Feature Video to share with folks. Also on that page is a link to our Video Gallery, which contains a number of our previously produced videos. (Sadly, technical limitations only allow us to place "flash" versions of our videos on our website, which are not quite the same technical quality as the original, high definition versions.) 
Avivara Annual Report 2010
Annual Reports: Grab a cup of coffee, get settled in, and be ready to spend a little time reading our latest Annual Report to find out what really happened last year. Actually, these summaries of our activities for each calendar year do provide a fairly comprehensive history of Avivara. They describe our organizational accomplishments during the previous year, plus an analysis of our financial activity and how our donations were utilized. A recommended read for any donor who really wants to know how their donation helped impact the quality of education in Guatemala. 
Avivara Staff
Staff Presentations: Yes, we make house calls! At least twice a year members of our staff travel to the United States to meet with our board, visit family, and gather with people who are interested in learning more about our programs. We are always happy to share our story with schools, community organizations, church groups, or even just get together with a small gathering of folks in people's homes. If you would be interested in having one of our staff members make a presentation to your group, please go to our Staff Presentations page. 
Cans and string
Contacting Us: Living and working in Guatemala offers some interesting challenges in communications. Fortunately, we have fairly reliable internet service at our office, so the fastest and most cost-effective way to contact any member of our staff or Board of Directors is to use our Contact Us form, which feeds directly into our email accounts. Once we hear from you, we will either respond by email, or by telephone, often within 24 hours or less. Sorry if this method seems a little impersonal, but we have found trying to call our phones here can be a challenge, since they are less dependable than the Internet. (Note: if you have not heard back from us with 48 hours, assume that your original message did not get through and please resend it.) 
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E-Mail: Because our main offices are located in Guatemala, email is one of our primary forms of communication with the rest of the world. However, we are careful in its use and promise that we will never SPAM you. Only if you have specifically signed up to receive our newsletter, The Blackboard, will you receive a group email from us. Other than that, we primarily use email to confirm your contributions and send out your annual contribution statements, or to respond to a specific request or question that we have received from you.

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One of the great technologies that we enjoy in Guatemala is the ability to use Skype to call any phone in the United States at virtually no cost. Also, our skype account allows us to have a U.S. phone number that connects to our offices in Guatemala. That number is 206-452-3426. (Sorry Europe, but our subscription only covers calls to the U.S.)

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Snail Mail:
While we don't use it too often (due to the expense and the length of time it takes to get from Guatemala to the U.S.) on occasion we will send out direct mail to our donors. Usually, these are Thank You notes during the holiday season in December, but they may also be special notices regarding an upcoming event or a special  appeal for donations.

Avivara Forms
Online Forms: At various places on our website you will find forms that ask you for information. These are great ways to quickly communicate with us if you have a question or concern, or want to provide us with certain information. Once you "send" a form to us, it generally shows up in our email within 3-5 seconds and we will make every effort to get back to you within 24-48 hours (but usually sooner). We have designed our forms so that they only ask for the minimum amount of information needed to answer your question or act upon your request. Also, our website is secured (see below) so that any information gathered on our forms are transmitted to us using 256-bit data encryption.


Privacy and Communications Policy: With the advent of the Internet and our use of email, social media and other forms of electronic communication, there is always the concern that personal information will be shared or compromised. Avivara is committed to ensuring that each individual's privacy is protected. Therefore, our website is a "secured" website where all personal or donation information is transmitted using 256-bit SSL data encryption. Also, all information gathered by Avivara will be handled confidentially according to our Privacy & Communications Policy
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