This past November, Ted was honoured with a Governor General’s Award for Meritorious Service. In 2004 he founded Wells of Hope, a charity that digs fresh water wells for Guatemala’s impoverished residents in the Japala mountains.

“I’m honoured, of course. But I don’t really like to have that kind of attention focused on me. Without my wife Miriam, Wells of Hope  wouldn’t exist and she really deserves so much of the credit,” he said.  “But if it helps raise awareness of the cause, then there is a purpose for  it.”

Students in the Niagara region have also become involved with Wells of  Hope, as each spring community members and school groups travel to  Guatemala with the organization to help the residents.

It’s teachers like Ted van der Zalm that demonstrate and share the  values instilled in our schools: commitment to community, reaching out  to others and nurturing a compassionate, modest attitude.

More information on Wells of Hope can be found  at

Together, are building communities of faith.