Dec 28, 2020

Education program success stories

Pedro showing his artwork
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.

Miriam 

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.

Juana Maria 

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.

Pedro I

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
Juana Maria and Miriam
A group of our university students
A group of our university students
Participating in Middle School Football
Participating in Middle School Football
Dec 26, 2020

Help feed hungry families in Guatemalan Highlands

Nutritious and delicious
Nutritious and delicious

During the time of COVID-19 restrictions, Mayan households in the Guatemalan highlands have been struggling more than normal as they try to feed their families. When incomes become extremely restricted, families will use the small amount of money they have to purchase corn for tortillas. They will often only add salt. This meal is lacking in the vitamins, minerals and complete protien ones body needs to stay healthy and to successfully fight the pandemic.

We have been fortunate to have received donations that have allowed us to suppliment the diet with rice, beans, oil, eggs as well as fruits and vegetables. Many of these fruits and vegetables have come from our organic garden. The university students are virtually learning at present and have been volunteering in our garden and greenhouse. These students love helping to support hunger relief and food security. As travel between villages has been restricted we have partnered to help other organizations to deliver food to families in Chuk Muk, Guatemala.

A bounty of cucumbers to feed many families
A bounty of cucumbers to feed many families
Thanking a donor for supporting feeding program
Thanking a donor for supporting feeding program
The greenhouse helps increase our food production
The greenhouse helps increase our food production
University student spending time volunteering
University student spending time volunteering
Helping another organization to deliver food
Helping another organization to deliver food
Sep 8, 2020

Education is continuing during COVID just altered

A university student completing online assignment
A university student completing online assignment

As of the beginning of September, COVID-19 seems to be under control in Santiago Atitlan and Chuk Muk.

The elementary and middle school students have not been attending school since the outbreak started. The community is still trying to figure out how to restart the elementary school year safely.

Aldea Maya was able to help all the middle school students by photocopying every students assignments to save the families the cost. These students restarted in September with printed assignments.

The high school students have been receiving printed assignments from their school since March.The high schools are now going to start using on line for classes. As the families are very poor and there is no internet available in the village to individual homes, continuing their education would be difficult. Luckily our office has a large disc and we can receive the internet. 

The university students have been using our office for internet and computers since the beginning of the outbreak as ALL their courses have been on line. Because there has been a need for them to social distance we have had students in all 3 rooms in our office as well as sitting outside on the 3 covered patios. However with the high school students now being on line …our wee office was going to be short of computers.

We are very fortunate that a sponsor family generously donated to help us buy 4 brand new laptops. These we will add to our other computers and hopefully be able to help all the students studying in university and high school.

We are pleased that eventhough the students have found switching to one line studies challenging but are rising to the challenge.

Spacing students for safe learning during COVID
Spacing students for safe learning during COVID
Photocopy assignments for middle school students
Photocopy assignments for middle school students
Receiving 4 new laptops
Receiving 4 new laptops
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.