In 2004 David LaMotte and his wife Deanna visited Guatemala for their honeymoon, not looking for a project, other than to study Spanish and explore that beautiful country a bit. They ended up founding a non-profit organization, PEG Partners. Since then, David has collected donations at his concerts for Guatemalan school and library projects in a dozen different villages, raising over $100,000 along the way. He visits Guatemala two to three times a year in most years, checking in with ongoing projects and scouting new ones. Virtually all PEG projects are Guatemalan initiated and run.
In 2007, David’s organization, PEG Partners, partnered with LEAF International to begin a music program in the town of El Tejar, near Chimaltenango. PEG oversees the music program at the CEDIN School and provides local instruments and teaching artists. The costs of sustaining the program are split evenly between PEG and LEAF International.
Now, five years after its founding, the band that has grown out of that program is coming to the United States to perform several shows, with the centerpiece being the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). David and the students will also be performing in Asheville area schools as a part of LEAF In Schools and Streets, and performing at Duke University in Durham, NC on Monday night, Oct. 23.
These students play Marimba (Guatemala’s national instrument), Mandolin, Keyboard, Recorder, Guitar, Percussion, and they also sing in Spanish and Kachikel, the local Mayan language in El Tejar. There are 8 students from the school coming, aged 11-18. These students have never left Guatemala before, and are extremely excited about the trip.
If you would like to support this trip, which promises to be life-changing for the students, the teachers who are accompanying them and people they encounter while here, please make a donation through the PEG web site.