Robert Daniels

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I’m pleased to report the ne…
I’m pleased to report the news and progress on the San Andres playground project --now being built! We’re on track for cutting the ribbon at the end of March, ideally during the Semana Santa (Easter) week in Guatemala.

Although our plan was to build the playground in late 2014, we encountered various challenges—which we fortunately have overcome.

The playground site on the shore of Lake Petén Itza had to be moved, since the area initially provided by the San Andrés authorities is now a high flood risk area. Mayor Milton Mendez and Deputy-Mayor Hector Girón have provided an alternative site next to the new town hall. Although not as scenic as the lakefront, this site will attract more children because of its central location, closer to where most children live and go to school.

Despite an ambitious fundraising effort—and tremendous thanks for your incredible generosity—additional funds were still required to purchase and ship a large pre-fabricated playground system from the United States.

My good friend Christophe Caron, a Canadian urban planner/designer who has lived near San Andrés for the last 20 years, suggested we design/build our own playground using local materials, mostly recycled, with only minimal purchases required from abroad. Christophe is designing and supervising the project, and the Mayor will provide part of the required materials and manpower.

Your contributions to the project will cover the cost of most of the playground components (swings, slides, galvanized bolts, etc.), tools (table saws, drills, etc.), landscaping, building a wall around the back end of the property for security and privacy purposes, and additional local labor (carpenters, welders, masons, etc.).

The end product:
A locally designed and built, highly creative, low-maintenance, distinctive playground
specially developed to give children plenty of fun and pleasure.

I look forward to sending you pictures of children laughing and enjoying the new park at the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the playground’s first phase of construction. (We hope to add other amenities to the park, including a fitness area for teenagers, bathrooms, etc.) The inaugural event will include a large sign listing all playground donors. We’ll make a video of the event, and post it on YouTube.

This is a dream taking shape—only possible because of your generosity. Many thanks to all of you for helping make this town better for its children, for its future!

4 years ago
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Dear Friends and Family, G…
Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings and I hope that you’re having a nice start to the New Year.

At this point, I’m writing to provide a short update on the playground project. As you know, I spent the holidays in San Andres, Guatemala. While there, I spoke with several project collaborators including Vice Mayor Hector Giron, Christophe Caron (a good friend who is helping with the playground design), and of course, the children throughout the village.

To date, we have raised over 20,000 of our $77,000 goal. While in San Andres, we discussed the option of building a smaller playground, or phasing in the larger project over time. The consensus—especially among the kids who are unbelievably excited about their playground dream coming true—is to keep pressing forward this year to raise all the funds needed. Therefore, I’m committed to keep fundraising throughout 2014 to reach our goal and will keep you posted.

If you have any questions or want to further participate in the project, please write me at or visit

Thanks again for sharing the gift of play with the children of San Andres.


Dan Irwin
San Andres Playground Project Coordinator
5 years ago
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Robert Daniels
Robert Daniels
Houston, TX United States
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