Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education

by Cojolya Association
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education
Empower Maya Weavers' Children through Education

LOURDES, the girl who breaks all kinds of barriers to achieve her dream of becoming a Doctor.

 

Lourdes was born into a 100% artisan family, a family that loves and is passionate about transforming threads into art. Lourdes is the youngest of five siblings. When four years old, her mother died and she grew up under the protection and care of her older sister Andrea (one of Cojolya’s star artisans), so Cojolya has been a big part of Lourdes' life and has always known her strength, her desire to excel and that has motivated her to break down barriers to attend school. Working to generate income and staying in school has never been an obstacle for her.

Lourdes's strength to overcome has been one of our greatest inspirations for creating the Mano a Mano para el Desarrollo (Hand in Hand for Development) program and for this program to be an ally of support for her to continue studying and making her dreams come true, like all the students at our school.

We remember when Lourdes was little and said that when she grows up, she wants to become a doctor to support the community. Now she is 16 years old and more confident, and she does everything in her power to achieve her dream.

This year she had to make a decision and she knows well what she wants. Since last year she has been looking for options to study the first years of medicine and then go to university. The only place where she could study at an affordable rate is three hours from Santiago Atitlán. Lourdes has to travel to Totonicapán / Quetzaltenango and the cost of transportation is high, for this reason she visits her family only once every month.

When in Atitlán she takes advantage of the bookstore to pick up supplies and all the stationery she needs through the support of the Mano a Mano program. At this point in her studies, a computer is essential and Cojolya is also supporting her with this.

Lourdes is a great inspiration for all of us. She belongs to the generation of change for the people of Santiago Atitlán, She, like all our students in the program, and we as an organization, deeply thank all our donors for this support. We know that your donation will contribute to improve the quality of life for all our artisans and their children.

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Students and their new backpacks with "THANK YOU"
Students and their new backpacks with "THANK YOU"

The vacations have ended for the students in Guatemala, the months of rest have been useful to support their parents with farming and the coffee harvest.

Although schools continue with new norms and rules due to the pandemic, the students are excited to start the new school year for 2022 and keep learning. All the students in our “Hand in Hand for Development” (Mano a Mano) program attend different school levels, from kindergarten to middle-preschool level.

All of our students are sons and daughters of artisans from Cojolya, low-income families. Some artisans have up to 3 or 4 children still in school and it is very difficult financially to afford all the materials at the beginning of the classes, and this is because normally at Christmas the parents try to buy some necessary clothes for them and this means they sacrifice their backpacks in order to return at school.

Our program has the objective of contributing to the education of the children of the artisans and in this way they can achieve development at their family level.  For the beginning of this school year, ‘Mano a Mano’ program  distributed the necessary materials to allow the students to keep studying.  All students received their new backpacks and school supplies, these materials motivate them and transmit positive energy to study and achieve their goals.

The school year is just beginning and it will be a year with a lot of work for the students and Cojolya will be giving them support so that they can finish the year in a satisfactory level.

We would like to thank all our donors for their contributions  to our project and together we can make greater impacts to this community.

Lourdes happy with her backpack and school supplie
Lourdes happy with her backpack and school supplie
Elias excited with his new materials.
Elias excited with his new materials.
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Currently the beneficiaries of the education program receive English classes with the aim
of learning about other cultures for their personal development. Communicating in a third
language allows greater job opportunities in the future. Nowadays, to qualify for a job, it is
necessary to speak the English language, what would be better if not to begin learning the
language since a young age.
Our students receive English classes every Friday, with the One Two Tree team, which is
an organization that is facilitating English classes to some groups in Santiago Atitlán,
through these classes the beneficiaries effectively learn English, since in local schools they
do not receive the same attention. Although English is included in the curriculum at the
primary and secondary levels, teachers are not trained to develop this course. For this
reason, students hardly learn any English in schools, they need to be guided effectively in
this area.
Being trilingual in Guatemala is the best way to find a job. In Guatemala, many people do
not have a decent job, due to lack of preparation and development of skills, all this is due
to the lack of opportunities. What you want to achieve with the beneficiaries is that they
may be able to support their family in the future, since their parents did not have the
opportunity to study. The Education program that Cojolya is running intends to offer a
better future to the children of the women artisans.
Every human being has many skills, the difficult thing is to develop them professionally,
because there are no opportunities to achieve them. Parents cannot do this work because

they did not have the opportunity to study, therefore they lack knowledge in many areas
and cannot support their children in this regard due to lack of financial resources.

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Maria counting the threads of the fabric.
Maria counting the threads of the fabric.

The women artisans who work in Cojolya learned to weave from a very young age, so they
began to work in Cojolya when they were young, now they have been in Cojolya for more
than 30 years, this work has been their economic source for several years. Actually, now
they are elderly people, but due to their need to generate some revenue, their love for
work and family- they continue to give the best of them, but due to their advanced age
they now have different health issues.
During this time there was an ophthalmology conference at the Hospitalito Atitlán, a
hospital with which Cojolya has partnered for the development of the "Healthy Artisan"
program. Our artisans with eye problems participated in this day, so that they can
continue weaving, as they need their glasses, because in the weaving process they need
to count the threads and they strain their eyes for this process.
María Sosof and María Tiney obtained their glasses, thanks to the “Healthy Artisan”
program, this program has been a great support for our artisans, we have been running
the program for a short time, but it has been a good initiative to take care of the most
vulnerable people’s health in the community, which are women.
Women are happy with this program, María Tiney expressed the following: thanks to the
“Healthy Artisan” program, I have been able to count on my glasses and medicines, since
going to the doctor requires a lot of money, for that reason I do not usually visit the
doctor.
Many of our artisans are elderly women who live alone, they depend a lot on the work
they do in Cojolya, for this reason Cojolya does everything possible to generate work for
these women and has made the "Healthy Artisan" program available to them with the aim

of supporting them for good health, through this program the artisans can go to the
doctor immediately and not wait until the last moment for a medical consultation.

Maria's eyes are being checked.
Maria's eyes are being checked.
The artisans receiving their glasses.
The artisans receiving their glasses.
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Lidia reading the story "Nino Robot"
Lidia reading the story "Nino Robot"

Students are attending school with distance learning. The first months of this school year, classes were held in a hybrid model, with 6-8 students in-person two times a week. As Covid 19 spread and opportunities for in-person attendance lessened, parents came to collect and deliver schoolwork for their children as a way to maintain public health.

95% of primary school students do not have computer or internet access in their homes. Instead of using technology, they receive worksheets. Students face many challenges in pursuit of education without the use of technology, and many drop out for this reason.

To solve this problem and so that our students do not drop out of school, Cojolya’s social coordinator has provided assistance so that students can continue studying. Our beneficiaries receive internet access and additional help once a week.

During this time, our beneficiaries have learned how to use technology, a tool which has helped them immensely. Lidia, an eight-year-old girl, started primary school with distance learning. With a great deal of effort, she is learning how to read. She enjoys watching videos about syllables and printed worksheets, and she comes to learn with her sister. Lidia enjoys reading with our program coordinator, especially fables. She is a very active girl, though current circumstances do not permit her to spend time with her friends from school.

Dulce, a thirteen-year-old girl, is learning how to read and write in Tz-utujil, the indigenous language of the community that 95% of people speak while most cannot read and write. Dulce is proud of her achievements through her work with Cojolya, and she is an outstanding student. Everyday she makes an effort to learn something new. Dulce expressed the following: “I want to study medicine to help my community and to financially support my mother.”

Lidia practicing reading with our social coordinat
Lidia practicing reading with our social coordinat
Dulce in her Tz'utujil lesson
Dulce in her Tz'utujil lesson
Students researching and printing reading material
Students researching and printing reading material
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Organization Information

Cojolya Association

Location: Santiago Atitlan Solola - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Cojolya
Project Leader:
Chonita Pablo
Santiago Atitlan, Solola Guatemala
$13,518 raised of $15,000 goal
 
304 donations
$1,482 to go
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