Where are they now

Because of a pandemic, Jessy became an artist

Jessica Lorena Gutierrez de León

graduated in 2022; just as Guatemala and the world started to reemerge from shut down due to Covid-19.  While isolated at home, she decided to take up painting.  In a few short years, Jessy has won several regional and national competitions.  She brought a few, including one unfinished, to the 20th anniversary celebration of Amigos de Guatemala. The 20th Anniversary celebration was a very special day for Jessy; the famous artist and  scholarship graduate of Amigos de Guatemala.  She presented her works to ADIZ and Amigos De Guatemala, and celebration guests purchased all her paintings! “EDUCATION, THE ONLY WAY TO DEVELOPMENT,” said Fredy Argueta, ADG’s coordinator in Zacualpa. All were purchased by folks attending the celebration, including the unfinished piece.  She has been engaged for commissioned work such as creating a town mural.  She is teaching art in a local school.  Jessica was sponsored by the Salida Interact Club. Interact is Rotary’s auxiliary for Junior and Senior High School students.

Elvia focuses on healthcare

Elvia Rosalina Alvarado Morente

graduated from high school in 2013. But her studies were not over. The next five years saw her attending University where she graduated as a nurse. She was working at the Zacualpa Medical Clinic until she recently broke her shoulder while playing with her daughter. Elvia plans to return to nursing when the shoulder is healed. Meanwhile Elvia helps her mother at the family run pharmacy, a huge achievement. Both parents had no formal education, and her father is illiterate. Her mother studied on her own to learn to read and write some Spanish. Elvia continues to study and is taking courses on-line to achieve a degree in geriatric nursing. Her parents saw the value of an education and supported her as best they could after elementary school. But “ADG helped a lot as my parents could not pay for a junior and senior high school education,” Elvia said. Her nine-year-old daughter, Ixchel, is in the third grade and encouraged to study hard by both her mother and grandparents.

Jensy & Carolina work in banking

Jensy Marigeldy Garcia Grave and Carolina Ajqui Gutierrez

On our most recent visit to Guatemala, we ran into two graduates of the Amigos de Guatemala Program. Jensy and Carolina were on their way to work at COOITZÁ bank. Jensy is a 2020 graduate and works as an assistant loan officer. Carolina graduated in 2021 and is a receptionist. Jensy has been at the bank for six months and credits ADG for “helping her grow in life and thanks to God that they are working.” Carolina noted that without Amigos de Guatemala “It would be hard to find work and help provide for their family.” Both are single. At their young age the two already are giving back to the Guatemala community. They are putting together packets of school supplies for sale in Zacualpa with the proceeds going to an orphanage on Guatemala City.