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During the food distribution last year, we realized the impact of not having a food pantry or community garden to help those without land to grow crops. So many have food insecurities and even more so now between the drought, hurricanes and pandemic. Amigos de Guatemala has been able to secure land for a community garden that the scholarship students are able to farm for their families. Any extra produce will go to the elderly. The land is being prepped for planting.
One of our scholarship students lives in a house that is constantly compromised. It is along a steep cutout. When it rains, the water runs through the house causing damage to the structure and the family’s health. A caring supporter helped underwrite the cost of creating diversion walls so that the water will flow around the house and not through it.
Because we were not able to travel to Zacualpa, interviewing new students happened online. The students were in our scholarship library and the interviewers were at their homes in the U.S.
There are different ways to pivot during the pandemic. The medical center in Zacualpa has taken advantage of the donated medical equipment from Project CURE to create a COVID-19 treatment room, the first in the department of el Quiché.
A senior from Cloverdale High School wrote the following in his scholarship application.
Interact Student’s Impressions
In my sophomore year at Cloverdale High, I joined the school’s Interact Club. At our first meeting, I learned that our club was responsible for sponsoring the education of three children in Central America.
At first, I did not think much of this idea. I appreciated that fact that I was helping kids overseas go to school, but most of my focus was on my own hometown. For a while, my concerns stayed this way; that was, until I read the letters that they sent back to us.
The letters that these children wrote were some of the most heartfelt, profound pieces of writing I have ever heard. They thanked us over and over again for giving them the money they needed to go to school, for allowing them to educate themselves rather than work in a field or factory. They even called us, a small group of high school kids from California, their godparents. The way they reacted to something that, to me, seemed like a basic right impacted me greatly, and it made me see the true value of education.
Although it may seem that way to some, the words of these students have shown me that education is not just a privilege; it is a necessity. Without schooling the minds of potentially brilliant kids will be wasted, unutilized by the world. Without education, people become trapped in a darkness of misinformation, malformed world views, and the struggles of poverty. Education is the best, and the only way to break these chains, and that is why it is so important to me.
Thanks to the Rotary District 5220, 262 families will have food during this pandemic in Zacualpa, el Quiché, Guatemala. Due to the shelter in place and strict curfews, people cannot work. These hard workers work today to buy food for tomorrow. There is not such concept as a food pantry in Guatemala. People work today to buy tomorrow’s food.