Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs

by Kateri Tekakwitha Fund
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Juana Rosalia with her students.
Juana Rosalia with her students.

Juana Rosalia graduated from high school in 2017.  Her dream was to go on to the university and further her education. Her family however needed her to work to add to the family income.  She looked for a position as a preschool teacher but there were few openings and without work experience she was the last on the list.  To help her family she took a job in a bakery.  The pay was small and she worked long hours starting in the very early morning.

In June 2021, she applied to the Kateri Fund Intern Program.  They were able to place her in a position at her local government school.  The beginning was difficult as there were some problems within the school but she perservered and showed that she was a willing worker.  As school starts for the 2022 school year, she has been given a stable place as an intern working with one of the other teachers.  Her February letter expresses her feelings as she looks ahead.

"I respectfully address you by introducing myself. I am Juana Rosalía, teacher of Intercultural Bilingual Early Childhood Education. I will be co-teaching this year with the teacher of the kindergarten level of the Official Urban Mixed School No.1 of Santa Clara la Laguna Sololá.  For me it is an honor to continue working with the teachers and especially with all the students. I am mainly responsible for the youngest, ages three to four years."

"First of all, I thank you for your generosity and support towards me. Without your good intention I would not have this opportunity."  

"My goal for this year is to prove myself as a teacher so I will have an opportunity to secure a permanent position.  I want to continue to work as a teacher while continuing to update my knowledge.  I wish with all my heart that this year will be a cycle of blessing for me, and that through my work I will secure a permanent job to continue for next year."

"I feel like I can conquer the world with one hand when you're support provides the other hand"

"HAPPY MONTH OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP"

Juana Rosalia

Juana Rosalia
Juana Rosalia
Juana Rosalia far left with the other interns
Juana Rosalia far left with the other interns
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Cristina Weighing a Child
Cristina Weighing a Child

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recently issued a study entitled “Between Rootedness and the Decision to Migrate: Push and Retention Factors of Migration in Guatemala.” In this study, they analyzed the characteristics that influence individuals’ desire to migrate out of the country.

Among the results, they found that there was a tendency toward a “female brain drain.” This is because young females are more likely to migrate as they reach levels of higher education, particularly if they are unable to find employment opportunities in which they can use the skills that they have developed.

Another factor that makes migration more likely is a sense of being undervalued or discriminated against, which is most common among the Indigenous community. Indigenous individuals feel very connected to their communities, but the sense of discrimination is another impetus for them to leave and seek opportunities elsewhere.

With our goal to empower Indigenous young women within their communities, the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund addresses a number of these factors. The scholarship program supports young women so that they are able to continue with their education and provides tools for professional development during this process. The young women attend workshops on topics such as job interviews in order to help them develop their skills in this area and give them an advantage as they enter the working world.

However, as the CRS report points out, education itself is not enough to prevent young women from migrating. In fact, it actually increases the chances of migration if not accompanied by employment opportunities. It suggests that increasing employment opportunities for young people is important. In particular, job training programs that connect young people to employment opportunities. In addition, the study found that leadership opportunities for women, which help them to feel connected to their communities, are vital.

Our intern program speaks to this recommendation for combatting the factors which motivate the young women to leave their communities to secure a better life. This program connects young women to job opportunities, helping them to develop their skills in  order  to  achieve success in the working world. It also allows them to connect with employers and build professional relationships for the future, often leading to long-term opportunities.

Interns 2021
Interns 2021
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Deysi at Work During the Pandemic
Deysi at Work During the Pandemic

 

Deysi is an intern at an accounting office in her hometown.  Her high school training was as a bookkeeper.  This placement gives her an opportunity to get work experience in her profession.  Below is her report on her experience.

"I want to share with you the experience I have had during these times.  It has been very helpful to my career to be able to develop myself as a person.  I have worked with things related to SAT (Guatemalan IRS) that were complicated for me and other activities, but over time I've had experiences that teach me.  Last time I was negligent concerning a client who did not present a declaration.  With this, I learned to be very attentive so there are not fines.  With time, I am learning I must be more attentive to what I am doing.

I am very satisfied to know that I am contributing to the business and at the same time to society with the work I do.  To work  helps me stay productive.  The other is that I feel that each day I am learning new things, having more knowledge, reinforcing the skills that I have to be able to be more efficient in the activities I do.

The people I work with are nice and I learn from them every day. They help me with my doubts or situations that appear a little complicated for me.  They help me resolve them.  The atmosphere is very pleasant since my coworkers are persons of good character.  They are not always angry and serious.  They are always laughing and so it is a nice atmosphere to work in.

In this situation, I can be with them with all the precautions necessary during the pandemic.  We meet and talk.  It is an experience for me since I am not very sociable and it is very cheerful to socialize with my workmates.

I feel more each day like a professional person.  One of my goals now is to be able to continue working in this business where I am and then continue studying.

The scholarship that I receive is a great help for my family.

I hope to continue learning during the time that continues, increasing my knowledge and experience to grow as a person.

Thanking you for your fine attention.  I leave you.

Deysi

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Deysi at Work
Deysi at Work

 From Deysi of San Juan Comalapa

I want to tell you of my infinite thanks for the help you are giving me.  It is very valuable because it gives me the opportunity to exercise my profession.  At the same time, I am receiving a salary for it.  It is very helpful for me to be able to involve myself in the world of work.

I already have spent some time in the institution performing different accounting services to the people that reside in San Juan Comalapa.  It is a pleasure to work in this institution.  It is a comfortable and agreeable environment.  They are giving me the knowledge I need without any type of arrogance.  Because of this, I am gaining much practical knowledge that will be useful in the future. 

For another part, the situation with Covid-19 continues to affect us at the personal and family level. For this reason, the aid that I receive is very important.  Thank you again for the collaboration since it helps me to get ahead.

I hope to continue learning during this time and to continue to increase my accumulated knowledge and practical experience in order to grow as a person and professional.

Deysi 

From Yanira of Patizicia

I am doing my work experience in the La Sierra Ranch.  During this month, I performed different activities.  The business is divided into different areas.  In the office area, I filed documents in five departments: Financial Manager, Sales Department, Marketing and Advertising, Accounting, and Forest Area.  At the beginning of each month, they do an inventory of the entire ranch.

One of the largest area of the ranch is the forest area.  It has a great variety of documents from the year it started.  The plantation of each tree is by lot.  There are approximately 100 lots.  The lots are divided into other lots. In the lots, you will find trees of different species planted.    Each species has a code.  They make medicine of these trees.  They take advantage of each part and use it well.

 Another area of the ranch is the Dairy.  It is 10 minutes from the central office. At the beginning of this week, I was able to do an inventory of the Diary, get to know the livestock area, and the area where they process the milk. During this day, I also, took blood samples from the cows.  They process this normally each year.  I have gotten to know new coworkers and their responsibilities.

Yanira 

From Cristina of San Juan Comalapa

The reason for the present letter is to share with you the happiness and joy I feel when I see the enthusiasm to learn the children have.  It strengthens me to keep moving forward .  Despite the weight of our situation, I am happy to be able to exercise my profession with much love.

I teach some of the stydents on-line, but I cannot connect with all the classes on-line. I also take the education to their homes.

I want to share with you one of the activities that I have done with the students.  One of the activities for the children from 4 to 6 years old is to recite a poem.  I taught them a poem about a lion and how to make a lion out of paper. They made them at home and shared them on-line. They are full of enthusiasm and work with effort and determination.  Look for the pictures of the loins they made in the pictures attached.

Cristina

Yanira in the Rancho Sierra Office
Yanira in the Rancho Sierra Office
Cristina Teaching Lion Poem
Cristina Teaching Lion Poem
Children's Lion Project
Children's Lion Project
Cristina Teaching at Student's Home
Cristina Teaching at Student's Home
Deysi Working with her PPE in Place
Deysi Working with her PPE in Place
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Mishel
Mishel

Hi!

I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given me.  During this last month of my internship, I have developed various abilities.  The most important of them is to have patience, be more affectionate, and more understanding.

At first, I did not think that I would be able to get along with the other teachers, but as I got to know them better, I was able to share with them a little more.  I have learned that I am able to do things well.   During this time, they gave me the opportunity to speak with the junior high girls about self-esteem.  One of them got up and thanked me for the talk that I gave.  She thanked me and shared with everyone that she did not like herself, but now thanks to my talk, she liked herself a little more.  This made me determined to make the students feel good and understand that they are equal and that they all have different qualities that are unique to them.  It was an honor to talk to the girls and for them to put such confidence in me. To be with them in this stage and to be the adult that I needed when I was a child.  It was more than a pleasure.  Perhaps I am not the best teacher on the planet, but to know that I have already made a footprint, fills me with pride and satisfaction.

About my responsibilities at home: I am at the point of completing 18 years.  This gives me many responsibilities.  Many times, I feel pressured by them.  My parents have told me a new stage is beginning and it may be hard.   I learned to listen to them and feel empathy.  This has improved their confidence in me a lot. 

Without anything more to add, waiting for the end of my internship, I thank you for the opportunity to grow as a professional and as a person.

I sign off!.

 

 Mishel 

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Kateri Tekakwitha Fund

Location: Pacifica, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Kay Sweeney
Pacifica, California United States
$13,027 raised of $22,000 goal
 
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