LinkedIn Share This Email

It's Our First Birthday!

Chaptops' Articles of Incorporation were filed on June 1, 2022, stating "The corporation is organized for the charitable and educational purpose of promoting Computer Literacy and general education among needy students in the Republic of Guatemala." Since our project started earlier that year, you've helped us ship about 200 computers, and you'll be shipping another donation of 20-25 very soon. Computers have gone to 5 schools and organizations, and you've helped set up a computer lab and rental program for students in and around the town of Tactic. We've spent only about $4,000 cash on your behalf. We hope you consider that good stewardship.

Personally, I never expected such results. I had just imagined shipping 15 or so computers every month or so to a school chosen from a pool of applicants, requiring minimal fundraising. Syngenta's donation of 125 computers last fall changed everything. It let Byron Cap pursue his dream of making computers available economically to a large number of students in his community. Hats off to Byron, please!

My life is a lot different than a year ago. I've met all sorts of interesting people I wouldn't have run into if I had retired to the golf course. Thank you board members Byron Cap, Dina Fiorentino, Fredy Oxom, and Greg Schwendinger for being and introducing me to those people. Chaptops is hard work, but I enjoy the challenges and the satisfaction of knowing that students in Guatemala benefit. It seemed abstract until I visited Guatemala earlier this year. Students, teachers, and people totally unconnected to Chaptops told me "thank you for what you are doing." Of course, that thanks really belongs to Chaptops' generous individual and corporate supporters.

I'm looking forward to Year Two!

-- Rex Dwyer, Executive Director

Chaptops Tactic

Chaptops Tactic has been open since April 10, when classes resumed from Easter break. Seventeen computers have been rented to local students. The center continues to offer free internet access to students on site as a way to spread the word. Students can print on the laser printer for about $0.07 per page. Younger kids are being invited to practice keyboarding at the center when computers are available. Chaptops representatives have visited classes at two middle schools, and are making plans for high schools visits. As interest increases, the team in Tactic expects to be able charge modestly for use of the facility to approach self-sufficiency.

By the way, you can be sure the program is being run according to sound business principles. Guatemala Director Byron Cap has a degree in business administration from Wake Tech Community College here in North Carolina. As this is being written, he is in Phoenix AZ studying the specialty coffee roasting business in the US on a grant from the US State Department's Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative.


Instituto Maya Comunitario K’amolb’e is a cooperative middle and high school in the isolated Q’eqchi’ village of Nimlah’akok, Alta Verapaz. It’s a 50-mile drive from Cobán, the departmental capital of Alta Verapaz – and it takes three hours. The computer classroom now has more than 20 computers.

We will soon be shipping about 20 more computers, which will provide a computer for each of the 35 current students and four teachers. IMaCK had around 100 students before COVID. Chaptops board member Fredy Oxom will be collaborating with a professional grant writer (working pro bono) to ask for help to bring enrollments back to pre-COVID levels. Chaptops will make a formal commitment to provide a laptop for every enrolled student as enrollment grows.

Instituto Básico Comunitario Cañón Seacacar

IBCCS is a middle school located in a small village near the town of El Estor. Although El Estor is relatively easily accessible from the village, the village itself is in a lovely canyon without internet or phone signals -- at least when I visited in February. But two weeks later, an NGO called Guatemala Village Health brought the internet to Seacacar via a repeater installed for its clinic further upriver. Four computers were delivered for four new girls boarding at the school, and a fifth computer seems to pop up in many places!

Centro Educativo Betania

Centro Educativo Betania is a middle and high school in San Benito Lachuá, a village three hours from Cobán near the Mexican border.  Kramden Institute gave us a generous Welcome Wagon discount to purchase these computers, and Guatemaltecos Unidos NC (North Carolina Guatemalans United) covered the shipping costs. The new computers approximately double the size of the lab.

Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Aldea Tameja

This school in a village in Izabal Department is most conveniently reached by a boat ride across the Río Dulce followed by a rough ride on a poor road. Chaptops is assisting TEACH, an NGO involved in school planting, to provide computers for the school. TEACH will purchase refurbished laptops from Kramden Institute, and Chaptops will collect and ship them to Guatemala. In the meantime, TEACH has rented 15 laptops from Chaptops Tactic and placed them in the school to tide them over.

Can you give Chaptops a birthday present?

Financial Situation

Chaptops currently has a little less than $4000 in the credit union, which is just a little more than necessary to keep Chaptops Tactic open through the end of 2022.

Chaptops' fiscal year ends on June 30, and the board will be discussing next year's budget in the coming weeks. Among the proposals we will discuss (with cost estimates):

  • Opening a center in a second town at the beginning of the 2024 school year in late January. ($5000 for six months)
  • Shipping computers to IMaCK to match increased enrollment in the 2024 school year. ($500)
  • Better website hosting, accounting software, mailing list software, etc. ($500)
  • Shipping 100 computers to 5 new schools. ($1000)
  • Organizing an "IT Medical Mission" to bring IT technicians from the US to Guatemala to repair computers at schools ($???)

All in all, we believe that, with current human resources, we have the capacity to spend $10,000 in the coming fiscal year.

We can't really plan prudently with no idea of our income -- we don't have an endowment to tap!

Please give a gift while we are rolling up our sleeves for Year 2! >>

Donate Securely

Final Note

Not everyone has time to ready every newsletter, so here is a second chance to enjoy these memories from my trip in January and February.

Cardemom seed pods being dried in Nimlah'akok.near IMACK

Home of an IMACK student

Masked dancers in Xela.

Fishing in Seacacar

Ancient Mayan cacao deity, Museo Popul Vuh.

Chi-Ixim Church near Tactic

Marimbas (and a tourist), San Cristóbal Verapaz.

Wholesale produce market in Tactic

Hoeing peas in Chialli near Tactic.

Seacacar Canyon near El Estor

LinkedIn Share This Email
Facebook  LinkedIn