Pedro showing his artwork
As 2020 draws to an end we are happy to be able to share the fantastic news that 5 of our sponsor students are graduating university this year. We thought we would honour each student by telling their story.
The one common denominator to all the students is that they would not have continued past grade 6 without the Chuk Muk middle school that Aldea Maya started in 2012. Four out of these 5 students were in our first graduating class.
We first met Miriam in 2007 when we visited the Panabaj refugee camp after the Oct 2005 mudslide that killed hundreds. Miriam was one of the first students who got sponsored along with her sister.
In 2011, the family moved to the new village of Chuk Muk. Miriam's sister did not continue her education after elementary school and got married young and started a family. Miriam wanted to continue in school, however her father did not want this. It actually took us 3 hours to convince her papa to let Miriam go to middle school. Families do not always see the benefit of education. Miriam has graduated university with a education degree and is so excited for her future.
We started sponsoring Juana Maria in her last year of middle school in 2014, she was the top female student in her year. Juana Maria and Miriam both went to the high school that specializes in education.
Juana Maria studied Special Education at University de Valle. She is really hoping to help those that struggle in school and has also been learning sign language. Valle University is over 2 hours away and requires the students to take a truck ride to the lake, cross the lake by boat which takes around 40 minutes, walk a mile, then take 2 buses to the university. It cost over $10 for the round trip. She studied on Saturdays for 3 years.
The 2 Diego's
Diego R and Diego S both come from single mom families and are the oldest sibling. This puts a ton of pressure on them to support their families. We are putting them together as they both studied Physical Education at Valle University. This program is a 3 days a week course and is very, very expensive. We could not afford this course. Luckily there was a scholarship opportunity which paid a good percentage. Both boys were successfully in receiving a partial scholarship.
Both Diego's are excited about getting good jobs and helping their family flourish.
We first got to know Pedro when he was chosen to participate in our extracurricular art classes in 2014.Pedro was sponsored by another organization that focuses on elementary education. He was not sponsored for high school. Aldea Maya picked up Pedro as a sponsor student as he was a helpful teenager who loved to study and was the top student for grade 9. Pedro studied accounting in high school and has just completed an associate degree in Business Administration. Pedro will be continuing to study to get his full degree. Pedro is already working in administration for the Chuk Muk middle school.
Juana Maria and Miriam
A group of our university students
Participating in Middle School Football