Lucy, on our visit to Chiapas
Centro de Compartimiento is a program that focuses on getting young women further along in school and helping them with personal development so that they can make better choices about their lives and have more opportunities after they leave the program. As each student nears the end of a level of education they have to make a decision about their next step. We work closely with each student to walk with them in the decision process. Lucy is at one of these points in her life. This June she will finish high school, and she had to make a choice about her next step. Lucy has used her time well at Centro de Compartimiento, and has learned about her strengths and weakness, improved her communication skills and learned to live in community. At this point in her life Lucy is not in love with academics, she loves learning but she is not a strong student and understands that university will possibly be a struggle for her. She feels she is not ready to take that step, but does not want leave her community and work and live on her own. She is passionate about social justice, loves music,gardening, learning new skills, teaching and working with young people.
This past spring we took the students in the program on a Learning Exchange trip. The idea was to take to the students to see other programs that also work with indigenous young people. We live on a sea level plain where our temperature never gets below 70 F, and we have eight months of the year with no rain fall. We drove out five hours and up to two thousand meters above sea level to the city of San Cristobal in the neighboring state of Chiapas. There we found cool pine forests, rain and temperatures in the mid 50's. In San Cristobal the indigenous cultures are strong but very different from the ones in our region. This was the first time out traveling out of the state for most of the students (and we are only one hour away from the state border).
We visited a program that does not focus on academic but on vocational training. The program supports over one hundred residential students, mostly middle and high school age, to learn a vocation to take back to their villages to work. Lucy was impressed with the program and after living in Centro de Compartimiento she began to wonder if a good next step was to volunteer for a time at this program helping younger students and learning some vocational skills to better decided if college is the right path for her. During our visit she spoke to the director of the program, and upon returning home she found that several of the staff at her high school know of and are impressed with the program. She is using skills learned at Centro de Compartimiento to make a choice about her future, and her current choice is to give a year of service to others as she finds her own path.
Thanks to all of you, Lucy had the opportunity to finish her high school, learn valuable decision making skills and now is poised to pass on to others what she has learned. The gift you gave to Centro de Compartimiento does not just support a group of students to keep going in school, but to help young women to make good choices about their lives and forge new paths for themselves and others. We all have time, talent or money that we can share in our world. You gave a financial gift and now Lucy is planning to match your gift by giving of her own time and talent. Truly a wonderful multiplication of gifts. We are excited to see what is next for Lucy as she takes this next step in life, we hope you will continue to travel with us in supporting these wonderful young women.
Next month Global Giving is having another matching day and each donation will count for more. Centro de Compartimiento has just reached the Leader level on Global Giving and donations on July 15th will be matched at 40%. Stay tuned from more information as we draw nearer to the date.