Nikte is one of the 35 children with whom Mil Milagros works in the community of Chutinamit. This very special young lady has overcome incredible obstacles to reach sixth grade where she is a top student in her class. Nikte's family, along with 21 other families, has been homeless since Tropical Storm Agatha ravaged their community in May 2010. The families were forced to leave their mountainside village and set up shelters in a windblown field. Mil Milagros had been working with the community for three years when they become homeless. To help mitigate their very difficult circumstances, we expanded our school-based nutrition program year round and incorporated all the young children into the program too. We rented rooms in a weavers’ cooperative to recreate the children’s school, and funded a “vacation school” so the children would have enrichment activities during their November and December recess. We funded portable gardens so the children could grow radishes, beans, and cilantro. And we secured much needed medical care for the community.
Like most of the 1,000+ children with whom Mil Milagros partners, Nikte plans to continue studying once she graduates from sixth grade. She wants to become a nurse so that she can “help others who need help.” Not surprisingly, she is drawn to mathematics and natural sciences and says she wants to learn all about cellular systems. In addition to her passion for math and science, Nitke is also a gifted artist. She and both her siblings were among the six winners of this year’s Mil Milagros drawing contest at the Chutinamit school. Her winning drawing was incorporated into the beautiful mural that she and her classmates painted outside the front door
Last month, we were thrilled to join with the community, the Sisters of the Holy Eucharist, and our partners from ConstuCasa to break ground in the new Chutinamit. Nikte says the houses that are at long last being built are great. She is especially excited that her new home will have cement floors (instead of dirt) and that she will have a bathroom with a shower.
When we asked Nikte if she had a message to share with Mil Milagros’s “amigos,” she said, “Thank you for the books, the food, and the fruit so that we can study, play and be happy.”
Nitke and her fellow mural design winners
Nitke working on her school mural
Nitke and her classmates with their embroidery
Nitke and classmates with their lunch
New house under construction for Nikte's family