Horizons film event supports Guatemala project

By Cecilia Nasmith

Horizons of Friendship announces a July 25 screening of Ixcanul, the first-ever Guatemalan entry for an Academy Award, at The Loft Cinema in Cobourg.

Proceeds will support the Cobourg-based international development agency's Maternal, Newborn and Child Health project in Totonicapan, Guatemala.

The cast of Ixcanul features non-professional Maya actors speaking the Kaqchikel language to tell the story of the hardships and resilience of a young Indigenous woman living in the slopes of an active volcano in the Guatemalan Highlands.

Following the 6:30 p,m. screening, a brief discussion will follow on the recurring issues Indigenous Maya women and girls face in that country, and the work Horizons does to break that cycle – like the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health project.
Now in its fourth year, the $13.2-million project is helping reduce maternal and child deaths in the predominantly Maya K'iche province of Totonicapan – which has one of the highest maternal-mortality rates in Central America.

Funded by the Government of Canada, the initiative has been implemented by Horizons' local partner the Association for Health Promotion, Research and Education in close collaboration with the Totonicapan Health Directorate. It is providing culturally relevant training and equipment to more than 950 traditional Indigenous Maya K'iche midwives, building the skills of hundreds of health workers, stocking dozens of health centres (and the provincial hospital) with life-saving equipment, and implementing a province-wide education campaign.

To date, the Horizons press release stated, more than 170,000 Indigenous Maya women, children and men have directly benefited from this project,

People interested in the Ixcanul screening are asked to pay what they can for admission (with a suggested donation of $20).

The Loft is located upstairs at 201 Division St., directly above Craft Food House – which is offering a special Latin American-themed menu for this occasion at 5 p.m. for $35 per person.

Seating is limited. To secure your spot in advance, call 905-37-5483 ext. 10 or e-mail