The Foothill Circle started when three of the current members, Mary Ross, Betty Lynn Ferguson, and Margie Robinson traveled with a church group to Guatemala, to the Rabinal area, where we were starting a scholarship program for girls. This part of Guatemala was subject to terrible massacres in the 1980s, as the government was clearing the way for the Chixoy Hydroelectric dam and eliminating anyone in its way.
We were visiting Pacux, a small resettlement village for survivors of the massacres, when a group of 5 Maya women approached us and asked to talk with us. They explained that they had no way of making a living from their land, they had no education or skills, and absolutely no capital for starting a business. Did we know how we could help them become self-sufficient, so they could provide better lives for their children? We were quite moved by this request.
Some people in our group had heard of Friendship Bridge, so we contacted FB in 2007 and had our first meeting with them. As it turned out, FB was not able to extend its reach into the Baja Verapaz, but we became interested in FB’s mission, and formed our own circle. By word of mouth, we had 25 attendees at our first meeting! Ultimately, some of our church group which had traveled to Rabinal, went ahead and sent $600 to ADIVIMA’s director of the scholarship (and Human Rights) program and they bought chickens for the women, which has turned into a profitable business.
Why we support Friendship Bridge
The Foothills Circle enjoys each other’s friendships and are fulfilled by participating in activities to help other women.