Hello to all our worldwide friends and supporters from Los Patojos school in Guatemala!
We just finished celebrations for our 13th Anniversary. The students and teachers worked very hard to share our successes with the families and the community in Jocotenango. A very special time for everyone!
In the meantime, our work with each student continues every day. With more than 410 students, there is always lots to do! Jonathan is an example of our success in changing troubled lives into lives with hope and dignity. Jonathan came to Los Patojos 10 years ago when he was 3 years old. His mother was murdered, and he now lives with his grandmother. Life is not easy as his grandmother cannot afford to feed Jonathan and his brother. This is where our team steps in. The kitchen ensures that Jonathan and his brother have sufficient food morning, afternoon and evening. In return, Jonathan helps to serve lunches in the school and assists teachers with activities in their classrooms. He is studying in the 7th Grade in the afternoons. Dr. Valle and the clinic staff also watch out for Johnathon ensuring he gets assistance whenever he is sick; as well they are monitoring his health and nutrition.
In his own words, Jonathan expresses his love for Los Patojos:
“Here I have grown up, my life has changed because here I can play soccer, participate in other sports, learn to draw, paint and perform juggling. I love to be in Los Patojos because after they murdered my mother, this was where I could be safe and feel happy.”
Thank you to each and every one of you, without your generous support, none of our work with these children and youth would be possible. We are forever grateful. Muchas Gracias!
Hello from Guatemala! We have been busy helping our 400 children to be healthy, well fed and educated in a holistic way.
The boxing project has been very successful for the children and they have earned spots in municipal and national student tournaments. Children from 7 to 17 years old participate in different categories. Thanks to the support of our sponsors and sports teachers we have achieved the following: -Participation in municipal games 2019 -Participation in national games youth category and free category 2019 -Participation in district games 2019 -Children’s star tournament participation at the municipal level -Pioneers and youth tournament participation 2019 -Final phase children's tournament
We have been providing training in Boxing, Swimming and Soccer.
The excitement this program has generated in its participants has not only benefitted the children through physical fitness, but as well has given them a very valuable boost in their self worth.
This year, young people in the fourth year of high school began their pre-university studies with cooking orientation. They had their first dinner to give thanks to their parents for all their support. The students cooked, served and managed the menu, food preparation and décor for the meal. We and they were so proud to see the youth performing these actions responsibly and with much love. Next year will be their last year at Los Patojos and then they will be eligible to attend college.
ANY [Annie] GABRIELA
“When I was 5 years old my mother died, the one who takes care of me now is my grandmother, we do not have many things, but I am happy with her. When I came to Los Patojos, I felt that this school was the best of all. Because they love me and take care of me, they also greet me when I go to school and because they give me food. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and be able to work with children and give them a lot of love. I also want to be an athlete, because I like to run and exercise. Thanks to Los Patojos now I am no longer very shy, I have friends and I am growing more and more, before I was smaller and did not learn well. but now, I'm learning more things.
Here I am very happy, I like to come to Los Patojos, although sometimes I come late because I live far away and I walk. I do not want to leave here."
Any had a very poor diet, was way behind in physical development and had difficulty learning. Now that her diet is much improved, thanks to the meals she receives at Los Patojos, her academic achievements are improving as well. She is in the first year of high school and doing well in both her studies and in sports.
We are very excited to announce that we are now providing a complete education from pre-primary to college level for our children. This will ensure that they can alter their lives, the lives of their families and their community forever through education.
This is a huge accomplishment for us as in Guatemala only 10% of the population are able to attend college, but 100% of our children have the opportunity to continue their education in our school. In the college level program (Grade 10) we are emphasizing entrepreneurship, technology, cooking, sports, music, graphic arts, photography, language studies, and science.
We thank you for all your support and we hope that you will continue to be a part of this team, together we are changing hundreds of lives of children in Guatemala.
Thank you for all your support in December and January, your donations have made our work so much more effective.
This year we are emphasizing better nutrition for our students. Our goal is to provide a more balanced diet with less empty carbohydrates and more fruits, vegetables, and protein. While local Guatemalans are helping us by donating vegetables, milk and other food, your donations are making it possible to achieve our goals for each child.
Jessica is an example of why the medical/nutritional program is so very important.
Jessica came to Los Patojos 4 years ago when she was 5 years old. Jessica was suffering psychologically and physically, severely underweight and sad. She is now living with her grandmother, her home environment is better, but food is still very limited. We began to help Jessica primarily with medical attention as she had chronic respiratory problems. In addition, Jessica was provided with extra portions of breakfast, lunch, and snacks to help her to stabilize and grow.
As her medical situation improved Jessica’s learning capacity has also improved. She still has problems to overcome such as self-confidence and speech difficulties, but we will not give up on her. Her teachers, the clinic staff and the kitchen staff all know she needs extra help and as a team, we will give her the best future possible.
This year, in 2018 we enthusiastically celebrated one more anniversary of creating a unified collective, actually in two locations, Jocotenango, and San Miguel Duneñas.
We held the fourth graduatuion for Grade 6 students. We also held the first graduation for Grade 9 students. We have planned many new and important projects for 2019.
Thank you from Los Patojos in Guatemala to all of our loyal friends all over the world who have made our success possible. We truly appreciate the support, and we promise to continue to work every day to give these children and their families an education complete with love and hope for a better future.
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