Sister City Ataco Fundraiser Hosted By FH Sister Cities and Mountain View Kitchen


2024 "Season of Hope" Humanitarian Relief Campaign to Focus on Sister City Ataco, El Salvador

Fountain Hills Sister Cities and Mountain View Kitchen hosted a Sister City Ataco fundraiser to support humanitarian relief there. Heartfelt thanks go out to Jennifer Ward and the crew of Mountain View Kitchen for supporting this event!

Over the past years, the Covid pandemic, along with repeated natural disasters, have left their mark on the small town of Ataco.

Floods and mudslides in this mountainous region of El Salvador have severely reduced output of their primary cash crops. Coffee bean harvests are a major contributor to the health of the local economy. Without them, the community suffers.

The result is that many of its citizens, particularly the elderly, have experienced food insecurities. 

For 2024, we will host fundraising events and collect donations to provide Ataco with nutritious meal kits. Our goal is to provide 1,000 of these meal kits to Ataco on behalf of our generous Fountain Hills community. In this way, FHSC upholds one of four main missions of the Sister City Program: Community Development and Aid.

Generosity Abounds in Fountain Hills...

The first Sister City Ataco fundraiser of the year netted almost $3,700, which is a great start to our campaign. Special thanks to several key contributors:

-Honorable Consul to Poland Bogumil Horchem and FHSC Vice President Elizabeth Horchem, who donated $1,000

-Honorable Consul Emeritus to El Salvador Enrique Melendez, who donated $1,000

-FHSC President Christine Colley, who donated $1,000

FHSC members and friends from the community made up the balance of our wonderful turnout.

Guest Speakers - Ataco Past and Present...

Claire McWilliams, former FH High School teacher and sponsor of a student trip to Ataco in 2011, stopped by to share her experience. She reminded us of our deep connections to this struggling community. The emotional story revealed just how committed her students were to travelling to Ataco, where they participated in the construction of homes for less fortunate local residents. Images of the experience were forever captured in a hand-signed and framed memorial. It revealed the passion of working on behalf of others that is so evident in the sister cities relationships we share. FHSC was honored to have Claire back to speak about this ground-breaking and impactful event. Her and her students’ story energized the crowd and renewed our focus on our beloved partner city of Ataco.

Chuck Peterson discussed current activities in the region near Ataco supporting the non-profit Fuller Center For Housing. They support ongoing efforts to build shelter homes and provide basic needs for struggling local citizens. We learned that as little as $18 can provide a week’s worth of nutritious food for Ataco’s suffering elderly. Chuck’s work in the region is done in cooperation with a local El Salvador nonprofit, People Helping People. After getting connected with FHSC, he met the mayor of Ataco, continuing the dialogue regarding our 2024 humanitarian relief campaign.  Chuck’s connections and knowledge in the area of Ataco will benefit our efforts to help this community. We are deeply grateful for his contributions in El Salvador and his cooperation with FHSC.

Images of the 2011 Ataco Student Trip With Claire McWilliams...

Images of the Recent Visit Between Ataco Mayor Gomez and Chuck Peterson, Along with Typical Nutritional Food Packages...

We Were Treated to A Food Preparation Demo of a National Favorite from El Salvador...

Ana Benavides led an informative demonstration of how to prepare a treasured national food of El Salvador called Pupusas. She prepared all the ingredients from scratch and discussed the many ways to fill the handheld food pockets. They were delicious! We wish to thank Ana for her contribution to this wonderful event.

A Special VIP Guest Attended...

FHSC welcomed Aye Kari Soe from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Born to Burmese refugee parents who fled persecution for their democratic ideals, her early years were spent in a Thai refugee camp. At seven, her family was offered refuge in the Netherlands, where she grew up inspired by her parents’ passion for democracy. Determined to carry their legacy forward, she founded the nonprofit Worldwide Burmese Students to groom future leaders for Burma’s democratic cause.

Now, as a public speaker, she advocates for global solidarity, while also launching a consultancy firm to promote ethical supply chains.

Through an exchange program, she met Carol Carroll in Fountain Hills, where she discovered a community deeply committed to international relations and the fostering of diplomatic ties. Experiencing the city’s global connectivity firsthand was truly inspiring to her. It underscored the significance of international cooperation and showcased Fountain Hills’ exceptional role in bridging cultures and nations. Thank you, Aye, and welcome to our community of friends!

The Ataco Fundraiser Was Enjoyed By All...

Learn More About Sister City Ataco, El Salvador...

Select from the tabs on the left side of the Ataco page. There you can learn the history, geography, demographics, culture, tourism, and city links of this vibrant town. The city links contain websites for purchasing coffee from the Ataco area to help support their harvest recovery efforts. We know you’ll enjoy the information (and the coffee) as much as we do. 

Not able to attend the Sister City Ataco Fundraiser? Still interested in donating to our 2024 Humanitarian Relief Effort?

Donation Option 1

Please use the donation link below. This will allow you access to our convenient and secure PayPal/Credit Card donation interface. 

Donation Option 2

Sign up for the Frys Community Rewards program, specify Fountain Hills Sister Cities as your desired non-profit organization, and a small percentage of your Fry’s Food Stores purchases will be donated directly to our causes. Simple, Thoughtful, Automatic.

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