Amigos de Guatemala welcomes our new partner who will be managing the day to day activities such as working with the scholarship students as well as any projects we are working on. Her name is Rosaura Guadalupe Zacarías Chanchavac. She is from the department of Quiché, Guatemala and lives in Zacualpa. She promises to take on this job with great responsibility, honesty, punctuality and above all with a lot of interest. Rosaura did her university internship at ADIZ. She has also been an elementary school teacher. She continued her studies at the University and graduated as a teacher of secondary education and recently complete her education in Educational Administration.
I am in the middle of translating some letters from the Cloverdale High School Interact club. They support two students. Here is an excerpt from a letter to the middle school student they support. Amigos de Guatemala makes a difference in both sides.
Thank you so much for all that you have shared with us. I love reading your letters and learning about you and your life. You help me realize how grateful I should be for my education when I see how much you enjoy it. I think of you when I am struggling…
Helping scholarship students is not just an adult activity. Many different student groups have supported Amigos de Guatemala over time. Currently, there are three different Interact Clubs making a difference through education. These are the Cloverdale, Healdsburg and Salida clubs. Interact is the middle and high school Rotary clubs. Recently, I had the privilege to present to the Healdsburg High School Interact Club about the program. These funds will help with the purchase of solar lights. The Salida Interact Clubs (both middle and high schools) are supporting a student. While the Cloverdale Interact Club is supporting two students. Students can make a difference!
While not an educator by profession, I have always believed that every person around the world has the right to a basic education. To me, basic education means high school, whatever that looks like in their respective country.
As with most third world countries, education is not free especially for the middle and high school students. In many cases, it is the minority ruling the majority and keeping a populace ignorant is a way to “keep them in line.”
Never do I want to change a culture. It is too important to keep their customs, language, food, clothing, etc. The majority of the students in the Amigos de Guatemala scholarship program speak K’iché at home. However, these students and their families live and work in a Spanish speaking world.
Young women are Amigos de Guatemala’s focus. Why? Studies have shown that an educated female will educate her children regardless of sex and make better decisions for herself, her family and her community. When the program started over 10 years ago, not a single girl finished elementary school. During the 2016 school year, the scholarship program was 72% female. Change is happening albeit slowly.
All of you help change the lives of these young people. I just happen to be the “mouthpiece” and the “front man” (oops, woman).
I end with an excerpt from a letter I received from one of our female students who will be starting her first year of high school in 2017:
Hello Jean, I am sending you many greetings and hugs. I take this opportunity to congratulate you for the job you are doing with the youth, because you are helping them to achieve their goals and dreams, and move this country forward. I also thank the group of Amigos de Guatemala for the efforts and the support they do for the students, together with Sr. Fredy because he is fighting to move forward this country and the township of Zacualpa. He wants the youth to study and not depend from anyone. Blessings to everybody continuing to help the youth, because they really need it.
Jean you are a wonderful woman never forget this, I really appreciate you.
Thank you for everything, I have much appreciation to you. Take care.
Ana María Jimón García
This is the difference that we Amigos make that we will ensure a better this world for all.
May 2017 exceed your expectations.