Today is a Paraguayan holiday called “Heroes’ Day”, which memorializes those who have died for the country, especially in the Triple Alliance War in 1870, which pitted the combined forces of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay against Paraguay. After witnessing his army severely weakened, and moments before his death, Paraguay's leader, Marshal Francisco Solano Lopez proclaimed, "I die with my country!" This day honors heroes who have fought for freedom.
We continue to fight for freedom from the chains of poverty for our girls, by offering them an otherwise out-of-reach education, and leveling the playing field for the often overlooked, poor, rural girls of Paraguay. Thank you for being a HERO to these young women and for your continued support!
Micaela Macan is a spirited poet from a town about 5 hours away from the school. She writes poetry to process the world as she sees it and as an outlet for her feelings. She is from a single parent household, and her mother works long hours cleaning at a local company. She has an 11 year old brother, and suffered the tragic loss of a younger brother due to a venomous snake bite. Micaela is entering her junior year in the school. She remarks that the local school options from her town are limited, and she is grateful to pursue a high quality education. She hopes to go to university one day to study agronomy.
SHARE THE LOVE! You can help Micaela and others like her complete their high school education and pursue their dreams of going on to university. Please consider making a donation to the Mbaracayú Educational Center as a gift this Valentine’s Day through GlobalGiving. Enjoy a sample of Micaela’s poetry below. Happy Valentine's Day!
TE AMO I LOVE YOU
Si te amo no es If I love you it’s not
Porque te lo digo, Because I tell you,
Es porque It is because
Me lo dicen. They tell me.
Desde el primer instante From the first moment
En que te he visto That I saw you
Me enamore de ti. I fell in love with you
Para mi SOS You ARE
La primavera porque Spring because
Después que te encontré After meeting you
Mi vida floreció. My life blossomed.
Te amo y por I love you and
Siempre te amaré. I will always love you.
Alaide Micaela Macan Alaide Micaela Macan
During her time at Mbaracayú, recent graduate Silvani Gimenez’s love for orchids prompted her to develop, oversee, and care for the school’s beautiful display of orchid species found in the Mbaracayú forest. She led an expedition of classmates into the forest and discovered 5 new species of orchids to add to the 26 already documented ones. Her work will be published in the 2012 guide to orchids native to the Mbaracayú forest. Silvani and the other students involved in the study and care of the forest's orchids work closely with Fundación Bertoni in the area of research and conservation.
Silvani comes from a family of eight siblings. Her oldest 4 brothers never had an opportunity to study, while one of her younger sisters, Venancia Gimenez, is a student at Mbaracayu’s Girls School, following in Silvani’s footsteps. Silvani hopes to begin her university studies in February, 2012.
The Aché people are traditional hunter-gatherers indigenous to the Atlantic coastal forests of eastern Paraguay, primarily in the Mbaracayú region. The Aché population is approximately 1600 people. They have had an uphill battle against human rights violations, land rights violations, and extreme poverty.
The school is fortunate to serve several students from the Aché community, and for the students to share their culture with their peers. Among our recent graduates, there are seven young Aché women, most are the first ever to finish high school in their families. All seven of them hope to go on to university. They are: Marisa Tykuarangui, Raquel Eiragui, Pablina Myvangi, Rufina Tatugi, Adriana Yapegui, Eulalia Piragui, Yolanda Yacuchangui. The last three are young mothers who made great sacrifices in order to offer their children a better life.
The two young women featured in this photo are Raquel Eiragi, whose brother graduated recently from an affiliated school with an emphasis on agriculture, and Marisa Tykuarangi, who is the first in her family to graduate high school. They worked together on a project that values Aché artisan works, and were chosen by their community to spearhead an Aché artisan cooperative. During their time at the school they have become recognized leaders in the community. Through their initiative, they and other young people in the community have learned from their elders how to create traditional artisan works. They play a crucial role in conserving and valuing Aché cultural traditions, all the while creating income opportunities for their community.
You have the opportunity to support other young women like them in their academic endeavors so that they can be better positioned to support themselves and their families and be empowered as advocates for the community and its traditions. Please consider a recurring monthly donation, or giving a donation to this project as a gift or in honor of someone. Thank you for your continued support!
December 17, 2011 marked a historic day for the Mbaracayu Girls School. 49 girls celebrated becoming the first ever graduating class of the school. They all received a high school degree with an emphasis in environmental sciences. All of the girls had family members in attendance to share this proud moment.
This marks a huge achievement for the girls, their families, and the community. Many of the girls came to the institution timid, and with no self-esteem or motivation for the future. Now they all know their value and are not afraid of new challenges. Against all odds, the girls have no only completed a high school education, but they have also become self-confident young women with an entrepreneurial spirit and skills that will open never imagined opportunities for them. They have paved the way for other girls in the region to become professionals, study at university, and to be valued for their intellect. The girls have new expectations of what life has to offer, far beyond being relegated to extreme poverty, early child bearing, domestic violence as a norm, or involvement in the drug trade, prostitution, or human trafficking – all too often the only options available for many girls in the region.
A big thanks to all of you who made this dream a reality. Please continue to join us on this journey by continuing to share your generosity with the girls who continue to pursue their dreams at the school.
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