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.
Guatemala is under shelter in place orders with a curfew which is strictly enforced. Our students are learning virtually. This is a challenge as many cannot afford the cost of the Internet data needed to attend classes.
There are so many things that we are grateful for. Read the following newsletter to learn more: https://mailchi.mp/0817df686c48/spring-newsletter-from-amigos-de-guatemala-3038561
This is exciting. Rotary District 5220’s grant is helping fund a new, safe and secure play area for the children’s library in Zacualpa. THANK YOU!