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.
What can I say other than I am ECSTATIC, bouncing off the walls! Amigos de Guatemala did it. The shipping costs for the $500,000 medical equipment. Through your help, a Rotary district grant as well as a guardian angel in the form of a non-profit called Advance Guatemala, changing lives through access to better medical care.
Amigos de Guatemala is a small operation focusing on access to education and healthcare. This opportunity to change the lives of over 70,000 indigenous Maya will forever change the health of the Zacualpa community.
Thank you Advance Guatemala and Project C.U.R.E for being wonderful partners. To a long and fulfilling partnership.
How can you help? Spread the word. There is always the need to help with education opportunities such as scholarships, keeping the library update to date and literacy besides the numerous medical needs.
No program can be successful without a trusting and great partnership. Amigos de Guatemala is has been working with ADIZ – NGO and its director Fredy Argueta for many years. It is through this partnership that so many students are able to continue with their studies. Fredy’s goal is to improve the municipality of Zacualpa through education.
Getting glasses may not seem special but for those who struggle with unclear vision while in school, it is. The cost of an examination is well out of the reach for our scholarship students. Just the 1 1/2 hour bus ride is beyond their means. Thanks to a Rotary District Grant from the Rotary Club of Anthem, Arizona, District 5490, ten of our students now have clearer vision.
If you would like to help other students with their medical needs, please click here.
Have you ever really looked at your doctor’s office and all of the equipment? What if you lived in an area where the medical center had to bandage the equipment since there is no other option? During our visit in January, the volunteer team had the opportunity to visit the medical center in Zacualpa. The government built and outfitted the center in 1980 and has not upgraded let alone maintain the equipment. The staff does the bes with very limited resources. Since the sterilizer does not work, medical technicians do what they can to sterilize the instruments. Amigos de Guatemala is researching ways to help the medical clinic. ADG has identified a partner to donate all of the equipment needed. It is the shipping from their warehouse in the US to Zacualpa are the funds we need to raise. This would be one of the largest projects ADG has taken on.
Please help spread the word. Click here to donate.
Many children are born with deformities that left untreated may cause life-long physical challenges. Organizations such as Doctors without Borders are invaluable for those who do not have access to medical care. Mayra is one of those. She was born with a cleft palate. Even with the surgery to repair her mouth, she had difficulty eating and was embarrassed due to the lack of teeth. Amigos de Guatemala partnered with Jenner Argueta, DDS, an oral surgeon fellow at University of Southern California. Today, Mayra is never seen without a smile.
Click here to help provide urgently needed dental care.