The theme of this year's monthly workshops is "Leadership in the Indigenous Community". Emilsa, the person in charge of these workshops, has planned activities to model this leadership style for the Kateri students. She started out with three workshops in self esteem. Her purpose was to encourage the young women to see themselves as capable of realizing their goals in life- that they were people who had value and possibilities.
The culmination of the workshops was for the young women to state what they wanted their future to be like- their goals. They drew a vision of this future and added their thoughts in writng. Some wanted to be nurses and work in a health clinic. Others wanted to be teachers and teach children Many saw themselves as secretaries in offices. Adela's goal was to work in an accountants office to get experience and finally have her own business. Sandra Cecelia is planning a future as a children's doctor. They all have a positive view of their future.
A second phase of the workshops has presented positive role models for the young women. At the April meeting, Lisabeth and Vilma, two young women from San Juan Comalapa, shared the projects they were working on as leaders. Graduates of the Kateri Education Program were invited to the May meeting to talk about their experiences as students and after. The young women were impressed with how much the lives of the graduates had improved as a result of their education. They now are leaders in their communities. The students asked many questions. The experiences of all these young women encouraged the students and gave them a model of what is possible.
Emilsa and I are pleased with the enthusiasm that the young women have shown and we expect their belief in themselves as leaders in their community will comntinue to grow.
The women in Chumanzana have realized their first harvest. They are enjoying the addition to their meals of these fresh vegetables: radishes, onions, herbs, beets, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, parsley, and cilantro. They are putting into practice the suggestions made by Candelaria, who is in charge of the project, for taking care of their garden.
To protect their gardens from the cold or frost in the morning, they put an old tub or basket over the plants for the night, so that the plants won’t be damaged. Despite this practice, Maria lost her tomatoes, lettuce, and some of her herbs in a morning frost. She wasn’t discouraged by this and focused her attention on the lettuce and other products her family had already eaten.
Most of the women are trying to save seeds from their plants to use in the next planting. They do not harvest some of the vegetables and let them go to seed. Catalina has a large cabbage and can’t decide if she should eat it or save it for seed.
Others have surrounded their gardens with fences of cane to keep the animals like chickens and pigs out. Chickens have been a particular problem for Isabel.
Candelaria is providing them with compost to enrich their gardens. She has access to it through her brother who works on a farm that produces it.
The women proudly shared their gardens with a recent group of visitors from the U.S. The group was impressed with what the women had accomplished. These women are not afraid of hard work and walk the hills of Chumanzana with ease.
They appreciate what the Kateri Fund has done to support their work. We always remind them that it is your donations that make it all possible. Please consider an additional donation now, so we can continue our work in Chumanzana and spread it to our other project in Santa Clara la Laguna.
Everything is possible with a litle help from a FRIEND!
On January 19, 2014, the first meeting of the new school year was held. The theme of the meetings for this year is "Being a Leader in the Indigenous Community". Workshop Leader, Emila and Program Graduate Cristina led the activity for this meeting. The young women were photographed in pairs to give them an opportunity to interact and to get to know each other better. The students also had an opportunity to discuss their current academic and personal goals and family situations with the Education Program Coordinator, Carmela Paz Bal.
Sandra Cecilia is very happy to begin a new stage in her education. She will start her high school career training in Medicine. Her parents work in agriculture and want all of their children to succeed in their studies. They have high expectations for their children.
Adela will graduate as an accountant this year. She wants to get good grades and be successful in her practice in an accounting office and seminar project. She also will help her mother at home. Her father will work in agriculture more this year as his church postion has ended. Her siblings are all studying except for one who, because of the cost of school, will wait until next year to begin his career training.
Paula del Carmen is in her second year of career studies this year. She enjoys her studies in Childhood Education. Her mother doesn't have steady work and is weaving typical blouses for the family. Her mother and her two older brothers are looking for work, but still haven't found any. Her younger brother is working weaving napkins. Her other siblings are in elementary school.
Reina is excited about graduating this year, She plans to work hard to get good grades and share with her classmates and teachers. She will be doing her practice teaching. She is eager to make new friends. Her family farms corn. Her mother weaves napkins. Her sister is in sixth grade and one of her brother is in first grade. Her youngest brother is only four years old.
Marilena is in her second year of career training in Accounting. She has changed school because of the disorganization in her former school Her father had a stroke in December and is recovering and working in church activities. Right now the family is preparing land for planting peas.
Sandra Lourdes will graduate from secretarial school this year. Her goal is to get good grades and study hard. Her mother is sick and recovering at home. Her father works in agriculture to support the family. Her parents are happy she is receiving support from the Kateri Fund.
Clara is in her first year of high school career training working with a focus on Medicine. Her goal is to hand in all her work on time, be respectful to everyone and take care of herself. Her father works in agriculture and her mother embroiders blouses. She wants to be a good student and prays for others, especially those she helps.
Glenda is beginning her high school career training as a teacher. She wants to be disciplined, organized, and improve her spelling and handwriting. She wants to help her family. Her father works in agriculture and her mother manages the home. They are happy she is working toward a career.
Lily will graduate this year with a high school degree in Computer Science. She wants to help her parents and others who need help. Her father picks coffee and her mother sells tortillas.
Flory is in 9th grade. Her goals for the future are to study computers and nursing, then continue in college for a career in Clinical Psychology. She lives alone and works and studies in Panajachel. She is originally from Totonicapan. Her mother died twenty-eight years ago and her father is an alcoholic with occasional work as a carpenter. Florinda is very happy about her Kateri scholarship because it gives her motivation to continue.
Lety is in 8th grade and wants to do well and write more. Her father is harvesting the dried corn and is planting peas and herbs to sell in the village market.
Eva Marina is in 9th grade and wants to do well and help her mother at home. Her family works in the fields, plants corn and coffee, and also limes, oranges and plums. Her father doesn't work regularly and is an alcoholic.
All of the girls are extremely grateful to you as a suporter of the Kateri Fund . Because of your donations they are able to continue their studies. In apreciation of your help, they try very hard to do well in school and help their families and communities.
Now is a good time to make an additional donation. As the new year starts, we are committed to providing a program for these 12 young women for 2014. We will need donations from people like you to accomplish our goal. We thank you for what you have done in the past and look forward to your collaboration in the future.